How do you recreate a classic icon? That's the challenge awaiting the actors starring in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek prequel. Fortunately, in an interview with VH1.com, Zachary Quinto has told us that the original crew has been available with advice and support.
"What we create is something that will be among us - it won't be something that pits one person against another, [but] the actors from the original are available if you want to engage them. "I have the advantage of having Leonard [Nimoy] being a part of the movie and not just supportive of it, but all of the other actors [will] make themselves available if this generation wants that," Quinto says.
Among the other actors from the original Star Trek who have been on-hand to support their successors is George Takei, who played Lt. Sulu. Takei offered words of support to John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle) and the rest of the cast.
"John's a very good actor. He's always excellent, so Sulu is in good hands with John," Takei said. "Zachary Quinto's work is the only [other] actor's work I'm familiar with, and I think he would be wonderful as Spock. First of all, there's that uncanny resemblance. I told Zach, all you have to do is look at Leonard Nimoy and you'll know what you'll look like in 40 years. It looks like a very promising new cast of characters."
John Cho's casting was met with some degree of surprise among fans, as was the casting of Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) in the role of Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott. Quinto thinks of the casting as "genius", going on to say "Scotty is a lighter character anyway, in terms of his perspective on things. Come on, [Pegg's] a comic genius. I feel like I couldn't be in better company."
Quinto expressed the thought that Pegg's casting was a choice that both pays honor to the original series while also going "where no man has gone before," something that would be vital to make the new film exciting, as opposed to simply being a nostalgia piece.
"I was talking to Leonard about this. I think there's a distinction you need to make as an actor that you're clear when and where you drop into that character," he said. "[Spock] evolved over a long period of time, so to pick that up and establish it at a time before you knew those characters is exciting. It allows me to discover some of the origins of these things."
Quinto's excitement over Star Trek is easily seen in his description of the new bridge for the Enterprise. "I've seen drawings of [the rebuilt bridge], and the drawings alone gave me chills," Quinto said. "I think it's going to be a pretty remarkable experience."
Star Trek begins filming later this year, with a Christmas 2008 release date.