Chris Pine gets buzz for Star Trek

As we’ve reported before, Kevin Smith has been talking a lot about a few of next year’s biggest releases, including glowing accounts of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. And in a recent interview with MTV, Smith continued to talk about the upcoming Trek reboot, focusing mainly on the performance of Chris Pine:

Chris Pine is fantastic… It is a star-making performance. From his first scene forward, this dude is not doing an impression of Shatner. He is doing young Kirk. He doesn’t have the slow delivery mannerisms of Shatner but it’s totally James T. Kirk, the bravado, the self-assuredness. It’s such a great performance. You can’t take your eyes off the guy. Anytime he’s not on the screen you’re waiting for him to get back. And the chick [Zoe Saldana] who plays Uhura is really great. They made Uhura really interesting.

Of course, while Kevin Smith and I generally have a similar taste in film — at least, as far as I can tell — I am still in wait-and-see mode on Star Trek. I have not been a fan of the casting, most notably of Simon Pegg as Scotty or of John Cho as Sulu, but I am hopeful that I will end up being wrong. One thing that has evolved over the course of the last year is my impression of J.J. Abrams’ direction with this film. Many fans had become upset when they found out that William Shatner would not be making an appearance. Though, Abrams’ explanation of Shat’s absence in a recent interview Sci-Fi Scanner suggests that his approach is, as Spock might say, highly logical:

We actually had written a scene with him in it that was a flashback kind of thing, but the truth is, it didn’t quite feel right. The bigger thing was that he was very vocal that he didn’t want to do a cameo. We tried desperately to put him in the movie, but he was making it very clear that he wanted the movie to focus on him significantly, which, frankly, he deserves. The truth is, the story that we were telling required a certain adherence to the Trek canon and consistency of storytelling. It’s funny — a lot of the people who were proclaiming that he must be in this movie were the same people saying it must adhere to canon. Well, his character died on screen. Maybe a smarter group of filmmakers could have figured out how to resolve that.

Ultimately, while I am still skeptical of this Trek reboot, I am becoming anxious to see some footage from the film. Perhaps the waiting game is getting to me — a movie that was originally expected to hit theaters in December, but is now set for May ’09 combined with a minimal presence at Comic Con and no footage beyond a short teaser, that is a recipe for one of two things: either the curiosity of fans will continue to grow or their excitement will fade. We’ve seen it happen before, most notably with The X-Files: I Want to Believe, where fans were very excited early on, but lost interest toward the release. And while I doubt that Star Trek fans will be anything but excited come May 8, 2009, here’s hoping we get to see a little bit of what Kevin Smith loved so much in the near future.

How do you feel about the state of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot at this point?


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