Industrial Light & Magic
May 08, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, Zoe Saldana
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Release date: May 8

Director J.J. Abrams went into Star Trek gripped by two big fears. The first: finding a way to relaunch the moribund, easy-to-parody sci-fi franchise for today’s slick and irony-wired audiences. The second: finding the courage to tell Leonard Nimoy how to play a character the actor has essentially embodied for 40 years. On Nimoy’s first day on the set, Abrams recalls, ”I was literally like, ‘What the hell am I doing telling Leonard Nimoy how Spock should say this line?!’ And he grabbed my jacket and he was like, ‘Tellmetellmetellme.’ ” Says Nimoy: ”It was clear he was nervous, and I’m glad he got over it. Look, I had been away from the character for a long time. His input was important to me.” Exactly how Nimoy’s Spock fits into a plot that has Quinto (Heroes) playing a younger version of the character is something of a secret. Let’s just say: The story, set during the early days of the starship Enterprise, is put in motion by a vengeful Romulan warrior (Bana) who has the technology to travel through time and create black holes. He employs both powers to pursue a vendetta against one James T. Kirk (Pine), an angry young man struggling to find his destiny.

Abrams and his creative team — including Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof and Transformers scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci — promise that their reportedly $160 million reboot upholds Gene Roddenberry’s utopian ethos while appealing to the iPod generation. Says Orci: ”We liked the idea of bringing a little rock & roll to Star Trek.” If that sounds like heresy to Trekker fundamentalists, Nimoy says: Chill. ”This movie has a good chance of revitalizing the franchise and taking it back to its roots,” he says. ”People are going to love these characters again.”

127 minutes
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