Written by: Michael Hickerson (SoSF Staff Journalist)
It appears that Abrams has a new buddy in Hollywood — actor Tom Cruise. Abrams directed Cruise in “Mission Impossible 3” and their friendship solidified during the filming process. Now the new rumor has it that Abrams wants to see Cruise participate in next year’s “Star Trek XI” for a cameo appearance as Captain Christopher Pike. Pike, as most “Trek” fans know, was the captain of the Enterprise before James T. Kirk took the center seat.
In the original series, Pike was played by movie actor, Jeffrey Hunter in the original pilot “The Cage.” (Footage from “The Cage” was later incorporated into the original series’ only two-part episode, “The Menagarie.”) When NBC asked for a new pilot from “Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, Hunter was unable or unwilling (there are reports his wife felt the show would kill his career and talked him out of it) to return to the lead role. The role was re-written and re-cast with William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and the rest, as they say, is history.
There is no official confirmation from either Cruise or Abrams that Cruise has been cast as Pike — or any other role in the upcoming “Trek” film so treat this one as pure speculation until we hear from Paramount.