Chris Pine, a little-known American actor, has been chosen to play the coveted role of Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek prequel.
Pine, 27, is best known for a small role in the violent gangster film Smokin’ Aces, where he played a psychotic neo-nazi hitman. He has also had small parts in some US TV dramas, including Six Feet Under and CSI: Miami.
The film, which is to be released in December 2008, is rumoured to be about Kirk’s days as a student at the Starfleet Academy, where he meets up with his future crew, including Mr Spock and Dr Bones McCoy.
Lord of The Rings and Bourne Supremacy star Karl Urban is set to play the grumpy medical officer and Zachary Quinto, the menacing Sylar from television series Heroes, is to be the loyal Vulcan.
Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg will star as the Enterprise’s long-suffering engineer Scotty.
The director, JJ Abrams, is best known for the Lost television series, but has also directed feature films, including Mission Impossible III in 2006.
The notoriously passionate online fan forums are already showing how strongly they feel about the project, with “phantomdroid” on the Internet Movie Database warning that “JJ Abrams better not screw this up or there’ll be hell to pay!”