Archive for April, 2014

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I love Star Trek. I especially love Star Trek: The Next Generation. It took everything that was fun, new, innovative and exciting about Gene Roddenberry’s original series and made it better. More compelling stories. More fleshed out characters. Better special effects, sets and costume designs. A proper organizational structure to the Enterprise crew. The Borg. It’s definitely the best of the Trek universe. That said, it would be extremely difficult for me to see any other actor fill the shoes of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Sir Patrick Stewart played the role strongly and admirably. However, I feel like I may have settled on the ideal cast to take up those iconic roles should there ever be interest in seeing what new voyages the Enterprise-D can go on in the new, alternate timeline that JJ Abrams created in his rebooted Star Trek film franchise.

I’m not going to get into any long winded discussions about the reboot series. My likes. Dislikes. The nature of reboots and blah blah blah. If you want to check any of those opinions out you can scroll back to my blog about Star Trek Into Darkness (see “Boldly Go or Go Home” in the archives). You’re here to see what diabolical scheme I’m up to in recasting the greatest Star Trek series of all time. So without any further adieu…

Engage!

Space…the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship, Enterprise. It’s continuing mission…to explore strange new worlds. STAR TREK bursts back onto the big screen in a bold new way. Nearly 100 years after the events of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, a new Enterprise is on a mission of exploration when they encounter a malevolent being known as Q who tests their mettle by slinging them deeper into space than any Federation vessel has ever been where they encounter a dangerous race of cybernetic beings known as The Borg. 

You may think this sounds familiar. In fact, you may think it sounds just like the episodes “Encounter at Farpoint” and “Q Who?” Well, you’d be correct. Those are two classic episodes featuring characters and situations that are uniquely The Next Generation. The events can play out a little different as this is a new course of events and seeing an updated version of The Borg would be a much welcome bit of fan service. Plus, imagine how epic those battles would be with today’s special effects. Just so long as they don’t try to generic up the Borg like they did with RoboCop. Now, who would have the nerve to direct such a venture. Well, check that out below…

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Bryan Singer – Director

J.J. Abrams was a sci-fi/action fan favorite director who did amazing things with the source material when he updated the original Star Trek. Bryan Singer is a sci-fi/action fan favorite director who successfully brought one of Marvel Comics’ hottest properties to the big screen three times. And say what you will about Superman Returns but it was a great, character driven story with lots of drama and elaborate and visual action scenes in it’s own right. I have no doubt that he’d be more than capable to make a grand spectacle of both action and story-telling for a bold new Next Generation.

And now for the cast…

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Liam Neeson – Jean-Luc Picard

I love Patrick Stewart and this was one of the more time consuming efforts that I endured when putting this blog together. But once it hit me I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect. Just imagine Captain Picard with a very specific set of skills! Neeson can go bald if he wants for Stewart’s iconic look but he’s an exceptional enough actor that I don’t think the idea of a Picard with hair would bother people. Neeson has proven time and again that he can still hold his own in an action sequence, too. Although Stewart never shied from some rather brutal fisticuffs, especially in his theatrical efforts, I think Neeson’s talents would add a whole new level of excitement to the Enterprise-D’s captain.

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Brandon Routh – William Riker

The Enterprise’s second-in-command is an upstanding supporter of the law, the Prime Directive, the chain of command and maintaining a great head of hair. These are all traits that the Bryan Singer alum has exhibited in such roles as Superman and CIA agent Daniel Shaw on Chuck. He can remain clean shaven and play the season one version of Riker (which would technically be appropriate) but I’m sure he’d have no trouble pulling off the beard if the more recognizable version is required. Similar to Neeson, as well, Routh is no stranger to action scenes, which would be most beneficial in this new vision of the 24th century.

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Steven Yeun – Data

Yes, I’m aware that Data was originally played by Texas born actor Brent Spiner. And I’m aware that The Walking Dead‘s Steven Yeun is of Asian descent. However, Data was an android created by Dr. Noonien Soong – in his own likeness. Does that not sound like an Asian name? And fun fact, the character of Noonien Soong was inspired by an old Chinese friend of Roddenberry’s named Noonien Wang. So with that in mind, this version of Data will be of an Asian design (as it may have originally been intended). Yeun is a terrific actor who has really come into his own over the years on the AMC zombie drama. He’s a definite successor to Brent Spiner.

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Michael Jai White – Worf

The Enterprise’s resident Klingon needs a skilled fighter, a deep, booming voice and sense of righteousness and honor. All very easily handled by Jai White who has played Spawn, Jax on Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a villainous corrupt cop on Exit Wounds and is currently kicking ass and taking names as Bronze Tiger on The CW’s Arrow. Michael Jai White is a very talented actor and martial artist. Perfect for Worf.

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Anthony Mackie – Geordy LaForge

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier currently dominating the global box office, Anthony Mackie is sure to be a hot commodity actor in the coming years. He’s got a sense of honor and loyalty about him that can easily take over the mantle of Levar Burton’s chief engineer. Perhaps Bryan Singer’s art director from the X-Men movies can use his skills at creating Cyclops’ visor to create an equally unique new visor design for LaForge.

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Julianne Moore – Beverly Crusher

Red Hair? Check. Maternal instincts? Check. Stunning looks? Check. Julianne Moore is really the only choice to take over for Gates McFadden. They even have similar facial structures. There’s really not much more that needs to be said in regards to recasting the Enterprise’s chief medical officer.

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Kate Beckinsale – Deanna Troi

The Enterprise’s half human/half Betazoid counselor was the sex appeal of The Next Generation. Who better to take over for London-born Marina Sirtis than London-born Kate Beckinsale? She can easily handle the soft, sincere, emotional and sympathetic ways of Counselor Troi and, thanks to her time in the Underworld series and Total Recall, she can also handle whatever menacing situations The Borg put her in.

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Charisma Carpenter – Tasha Yar

And queue the death scene! SPOILER ALERT…Tasha Yar dies. Yes, if there was ever a “Red Shirt” on The Next Generation it was Tasha Yar. She only lasted one season as a regular (with the occasional guest appearance thanks to time travel and a weird alternate universe storyline where she’s a half human/half Romulan descendant of herself). However, her involvement in this film would be necessary as her death carried more weight to the storyline than her life ever did. Will she die in this film? Maybe. Or maybe, in this new timeline, she goes on to live a long, full life and have half robot babies with Data. Regardless, to play the Enterprise’s original security chief, I’m looking to Miss Carpenter. She showed her own level action chops on Angel and check out her hairstyle from that show’s season 4 in the above photo. Totally Tasha Yar!

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Logan Lerman – Wesley Crusher

Say what you will about young Wesley Crusher, but it wouldn’t be Star Trek: The Next Generation without him. The character was way too important to Roddenberry. To take over where “King of the Nerds” Will Wheaton left off is Percy Jackson himself, Logan Lerman. Sure, at 22 years old he may seem initially too old for the role, but he maintains that boyish face well. And if a 25 year old Tom Welling can play a 15 year old Clark Kent on Smallville then what’s the harm?

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Gary Oldman – Q

I originally wanted to cast Conan O’Brian as Q. However, there’s no way you’d be able to see him float in on his hovering judicial bench without thinking it was an MTV Movie Awards parody. So instead I’m going with the amazingly talented character actor, Gary Oldman. The Dark Knight Trilogy. The Professional. Harry Potter. You love him in everything you see him in. And, similar to Q himself, he played an exceptionally over-the-top sci-fi villain in The Fifth Element. Oldman would play a smart, witty, and incredibly sinister Q that would do John De Lancie proud.

 

Well, there you have it loyal followers. My reboot of Star Trek: The Next Generation. What do you think? Did I hit it on the head or did I just spit in the face of one of the greatest science fiction shows of all time? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Make it so.