May 1, 2009
Stars boldly go to ‘Trek’
Last night’s Hollywood premier of this summer’s eagerly anticipated “Star Trek” drew a diverse crowd, from classic “Trek” stars to Heidi Klum and one of the “Girls Next Door.” Among the J-listers at Grauman’s Chinese Theater walking the black carpet (red carries a negative connotation in “Trek”): Hank Azaria, Amanda Bynes, Walter Koenig (the original Chekov), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from “Superbad”) and Seth Green, who joined the film’s MOT talent Anton Yelchin (Chekov), Winona Ryder (Amanda, Spock’s mom) and Leonard Nimoy (as an alter-kacker Spock), screenwriter Alex Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof, and, naturally, director J.J. Abrams.
“Trek” veteran George Takei (Sulu) joined Koenig and Nimoy. But Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) apparently had a conflict and William Shatner was a no-show. (Shatner called from Kentucky today to promote his new comic on KROQ’s morning show) Anthony Pascale of TrekMovie.com said that all the living actors from the original series had been invited. He added that Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis from “The Next Generation” were there, and Brent Spiner’s tweets seem to indicate he walked in late.
Stars from “Heroes” (Hayden Panettiere, Masi Oka), “Lost” (Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia) and “Fringe” (Anna Torv, John Noble) turned up, along with Klum, Kristin Cavallari and Kendra Wilkinson, whose audience Abrams is courting with this sexed-up “Trek.”
Nary a Trekker was wearing a costume in the stands, but plenty were sporting studio-supplied Vulcan salute foam hands (I didn’t have the heart to tell them it’s actually a Jewish priestly blessing). The fannish among the crowd put their sci-fi pride on display when they stood and honored “Galactica” guru Ron Moore by repeatedly shouting “So say we all!”
Director J.J. Abrams popped into the overflow screening (alas, I arrived 10 minutes too late to get into the main screening), grabbed the mic and joked, “OK, everyone, let’s sing along!” (Something Dr. Horrible himself, Neil Patrick Harris, who was at the event, would appreciate.) Trying to get all his thoughts out, the fast-talking, New York-born director stumbled over his own words as he excitedly explained to the crowd that his take on the classic “Trek” was one he hoped die-hard fans and noobs (my word, not his) would appreciate and embrace.
I’ll be back with my take on the film...