I always loved the way an actor could show up in more than one role in the “Star Trek” universe, and it looks like Peter Weller is going to pull the same trick now as he steps up to play a major role in the new “Star Trek” sequel.
He previously showed up in a two-episode guest role for “Star Trek: Enterprise,” which of course is just part of his science-fiction resume. He is most famous for being the original (and in my world, only) Robocop, but he’s also appeared on shows like “Odyssey 5” and in films like “Leviathan” or “Screamers” or, most wonderfully, “Buckaroo Banzai.”
Little by little, we’re starting to see the shape of this new cast, and I like it. I’m excited to see Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto pick up the characters again, surrounded by that cast including Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and John Cho, and I think it’s obviously very important who you play them off of now that they’re a crew.
That’s one of the key things that the Abrams film did, bringing the crew together and setting it up so the five year mission (or whatever duration they decide) is just getting underway. That phrase, so much a part of the show’s early mythology, is the perfect structure for a film franchise, the same way the “X-Men” structure allows you to build something that can survive any cast change. Some ideas simply work better as ongoing stories, and “Star Trek” is one of those where the promise is contained right there in the title. This is a journey. This is a film series about exploration, about leaving behind everything you know and going with a group of people you trust into the Great Unknown, looking for new life and new civilizations.
I have no idea who Peter Weller is playing, but I’m willing to bet money it’s not Khan. He’s joining Alice Eve and Benicio Del Toro as new additions to the cast, and I love the notion of what Weller brings to things. His presence has always been one that makes movies more interesting, from his work in “Shoot The Moon” on. I’m curious to see if he’s a new character to the universe, or if he’s going to step in and give new life to some familiar character.
Whatever the case, “Star Trek 2” is set for release on May 17, 2013.