No sooner was Benicio del Toro made absent from the film, “Star Trek 2” has picked up a different actor — this one popular in the genre.
Peter Weller, who is probably best known for his role in the 1980s RoboCop movie series, has signed on to the new J.J. Abrams film, although it’s highly unlikely he is filling the shoes left behind by del Toro. Instead, Abrams likely has a different role in mind for Weller, who most recently gained some attention for his work in Showtime’s horror series “Dexter.”
Todd Eisner, Weller’s agent, told Entertainment Weekly that the role role is “substantial,” and that he will be a chief executive officer of some futuristic company. “Of course, J.J. Abrams is very tight-lipped about his projects,” Eisner said.
This wouldn’t be the first time Weller has appeared in a Star Trek project. In 2005, he played the leader of a xenophobic human group in the two-part “Star Trek: Enterprise” episodes “Terra Prime” and “Demons.” Those episodes were written by Manny Coto, Judith Reeves-Stevens and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. “Demons” was actually directed by “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alum LeVar Burton.
It’s highly, highly unlikely Weller will resurrect that character. Despite the fact that “Enterprise” is typically still in the rebooted Star Trek movie timeline, John Paxton was arrested but would likely be much, much older by the time Kirk and crew took to the stars.
It wouldn’t be the first time past series guest actors have portrayed other characters in the Star Trek films. The most notable was James Cromwell who played Zefram Cochrane in “Star Trek: First Contact” in 1996, but had previously played Hanok in the “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode “Starship Down,” as well as two different characters in three episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”
Filming is set to begin in January, with a May 2013 release eyed.