Talking pictures: Who will make up next Enterprise crew?

Published: Sunday, Sept. 17 2006 12:00 a.m. MDT

Matt Damon as Captain Kirk?

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This geekiness thing is not an act. Seriously, I'm a full-on nerd. Most of you have already figured out my almost obsessive love for comic books. But I'm also a geek for most things involving "Star Trek."

For example, when I was a kid, I would bring my "Star Trek" action figures to school in my lunchbox so I could play with them during recess.

Later on, my friends and I would play games of "Star Trek" on the playground — though the much coveted role of Captain Kirk went to another person. That would be my late twin brother, Scott, who had mastered William Shatner's odd speech patterns long before the rest of us.

And speaking of Shatner, that total-devotion thing? That's not an act either. It's completely real — and not just because I have a Captain Kirk standee posed near my work station.

I'm a diehard Trek fan ... though you'd better not call me either a "Trekkie" or "Trekker."

And I'm already geeked-out about the news that there will be a new "Star Trek" movie, to be directed by "Lost" and "Alias" co-creator J.J. Abrams and written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (who also penned this recent "Mission: Impossible III," which Abrams directed).

Abrams hasn't said anything about plot specifics, though there has been some speculation about this film being a prequel to "classic" Trek — a sort of "Young Kirk and Spock Chronicles."

And a few reports have quoted Abrams as saying he thinks Matt Damon would make a terrific young Capt. James T. Kirk.

Whether the soft-spoken Damon could perfect Shatner's sometimes blustery delivery remains a question, but physically he would be a good choice.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Abrams should cast Damon and buddy Ben Affleck.

Yes, Ben Affleck. As Mr. Spock.

I'm not kidding.

Check out his credible performance in "Hollywoodland" before you scoff.

And while I'm at it, here are some others I would cast in a "Star Trek" prequel:

As Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy: There's no doubt that William H. Macy would work as the doubting Southern doctor.

Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott: I'm a big fan of Dominic West, from HBO's "The Wire." Yes, I know he's English — but the late James Doohan was actually Canadian.

Lt. Hikaru Sulu: How about John Cho ("Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle") as the Enterprise helmsman? (Even though Cho is South Korean, not Japanese.)

Ensign Pavel Chekhov: I guarantee Shia LaBeouf ("The Greatest Game Ever Played") can do a better Russian accent than Walter Koenig ... and he won't need a Beatles wig.

Lt. Nyota Uhuru: Gabrielle Union ("Bring It On," "Bad Boys II") would be perfect as the ship's communications officer.

Of course, while I'm at it, I'd also cast Sam Rockwell as one of those anonymous, red-shirted crewmen that were always getting killed in the show. It'd be a nice tip of the hat to "GalaxyQuest" (1999), in which Rockwell played a similar role.


E-mail: jeff@desnews.com

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