Abrams Confirms Kirk in 'Star Trek XI'

By Michelle
April 18, 2007 - 9:09 PM

J.J. Abrams has confirmed that James T. Kirk will be a presence in the upcoming Star Trek feature film, but the look of the film may be quite different from its predecessors, as it will be without the design talents of Herman F. Zimmerman.

TrekMovie.com reported that Abrams told the new issue of Star Trek magazine, "James T Kirk appears in the movie." It has been widely assumed that this was the case since William Shatner (Kirk) reported discussions with the director-producer about who might take over the role, but this is the first time Abrams has gone on the record with that statement.

However, TrekMovie.com also noted that the eleventh Star Trek feature film will be the first since the era of The Next Generation not to have Zimmerman - who also worked on Deep Space Nine, Enterprise and numerous other Star Trek projects - on crew as the production designer.

"I am officially retired," said Zimmerman, who added that he has "enjoyed being the keeper of the flame as far as the look of the franchise since 1987...it is more fun than work." Zimmerman knew original series creator Gene Roddenberry and described himself as a childhood fan of the show.

On the hiring of Scott Chambliss to take over production designe, Zimmerman said it made sense for Abrams to choose someone he had worked with previously, and Chambliss, who designed Mission: Impossible III, obviously had the background.

"Those two icons of popular television literature and are being rediscovered, and Scott Chambliss has the opportunity to reinvent both of them," noted Zimmerman, who added that if it was up to him, the new franchise directors would leave the original series exterior designs largely as they are but give the interiors a "sprucing up", perhaps taking cues from the more realistic bridge of Enterprise's NX-01.

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