Star Trek XI casting rumors have flown fast and furious of late, but these announcements come trade-approved. According to Variety, Bana will assume the role of Nero, a villain who will come up against already-confirmed crewmembers Spock (Zachary Quinto), Chekov (Anton Yelchin), and Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Not much else is known about the baddie, and since Abrams’ powers of secrecy are proven (see: 1-18-08/Cloverfield), it’s certain to stay that way for now.
Meanwhile, over at The Hollywood Reporter, it’s been slipped that rising actor Chris Pine is “in discussions” to play the pivotal role of Captain Kirk. Pine, perhaps best known of late for starring opposite Lindsay Lohan in last year’s rom-com Just My Luck, also turned in a surprisingly killer role as one of three sociopath hitman brothers in Joe Carnahan‘s Smokin’ Aces.
But the Reporter points out that Pine may have to choose between playing Kirk in Star Trek and nabbing a key part in Carnahan’s next film White Jazz, an adaptation of the James Ellroy novel. The notoriously long-gestating project has had many false starts over the years (at one point Nick Nolte was set to star as LAPD cop Dave Klein, a role to be filled now by George Clooney) and is has a shooting schedule that will overlap with that of Star Trek this winter. Pine would play Clooney’s partner Junior Stemmons in the noir pic, but he’d better decide fast, as production on Star Trek is slated to begin this November.