"Lord of the Rings" veteran Karl Urban is strapping on a stethoscope to play Leonard "Bones" McCoy, the Starship's Enterprise's medical officer, in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" feature.
Chris Pine, meanwhile, closed his deal to star as the young Captain Kirk. He had been in talks to play Kirk as well as a role opposite George Clooney in Joe Carnahan's "White Jazz." The two movies overlapped, and Pine was forced to choose between them, opting to make the "Trek." Abrams has been furiously casting "Trek," with John Cho (Sulu), Simon Pegg (Scotty) and Eric Bana (the villainous Nero) joining the film last week.
Also on board are Zoe Saldana as the young Uhura, Anton Yelchin as the young Chekov and Zachary Quinto as the young Spock. Leonard Nimoy, who originated the role of Spock, also will be part of the film.
The Paramount Pictures project is expected to shoot from November to March.
Plot details are begin kept under wraps, but it is understood that the movie chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew.
The character of McCoy, originated by DeForest Kelley, didn't trust advanced technology and frequently sparred with Spock in debates of logic vs. emotion. Bones also was responsible for several of "Trek's" catchphases, including "He's dead, Jim" and "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a . . .," ending in a profession in which he had no training.
Urban, from New Zealand, played Eomer in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. His feature credits include "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Pathfinder."