Eric Bana Beams Up To Star Trek

He'll play the movie's villain, Nero

There have been rumours for a while that, after casting a group of virtual unknowns and Sylar from Heroes, JJ Abrams was intent on bagging a couple of big names in his upcoming Star Trek reboot, with the roles of the villain and a Starfleet captain who may or may not be original Enterprise captain, Christopher Pike, up for grabs.

And today those rumours solidified into the cold hard brick of fact, with the news that Eric Bana has signed on to play the villain of the piece, a man called Nero.

That’s all that’s known about Nero so far, although we’re intrigued to see if it’s significant that he shares a name with one of Ancient Rome’s most notorious emperors.

There have also been rumours – thanks to AICN’s Moriarty – that this Trek’s bad guy will act as the catalyst that bridges the ‘present day’ sections of the movie, featuring Leonard Nimoy as Spock, and the ‘original series’ sections, with Zachary Quinto as a young Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, and Anton Yelchin as Chekov.

Russell Crowe had been mooted as a strong contender for the villain role, but Bana is a fine choice. So far in his Hollywood work, Bana has been drawn to tortured but noble heroes, from Hulk to Munich, and perhaps Star Trek will allow him to rediscover the zest and menace of his star-making turn in Chopper.

As for the rest of the casting on the movie, which starts filming in November, Abrams continues his search for a Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy and a big name to play the Federation captain who isn’t James T. Kirk. But speaking of Kirk, it seems that Abrams may have finally found his man – read all about that here. Well, go on!