Star Trek: Discovery EP Alex Kurtzman Talks Casting

Since the initial announcement of Star Trek: Discovery late last year, co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman has been quiet on the new series. That is, until now. In a new interview, Kurtzman discussed the most recent casting announcement, he was decidedly tight-lipped about the show in general.

“I will not give you one detail about the show,” he told Jim Vejvoda of IGN.

In discussing the additions of Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp and Michelle Yeoh to the cast, the most interesting piece of information came when Kurtzman talked about Yeoh’s role as Captain Georgiou of the Starship Shenzhou.

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh

“Michelle gets to play a part that has so many dimensions to it and is so perfect for where we want to go over the course of the season and maybe even beyond,” he said.

Seeing that the show called Discovery and not Shenzhou, those remarks seem to suggest that Georgiou and her ship will play a big role in the coming series. It’s especially interesting when considered with what Discovery writer Nicholas Meyer said earlier this year. Meyer, in his first interview after officially joining the show, said that Discovery co-creator Bryan Fuller considered the Meyer-directed Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country a “taking off point, or touchstone for how… he’s thinking about the direction of the new show.” Perhaps the Shenzhou will be the Excelsior to Discovery’s Enterprise.

Doug Jones

Doug Jones

Kurtzman then moved on to Doug Jones, whose career is filled with creature performances in films like as Mimic, Pan’s Labyrinth and both Hellboy films. Jones will soon add another to that list, playing Lt. Saru, who belongs to a brand new alien species.

“Doug Jones, you know, one of the greatest. What he did in Pan’s Labyrinth has embedded itself in my mind forever,” said Kurtzman. He then compared Jones to Sofia Boutella who, in addition to playing Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond plays the titular role in Kurtzman’s revival of the Universal horror classic The Mummy.

“What you want to do when you’re creating a creature of some kind is cast an actor who has the ability to pull off the bulk of it in a practical way and that requires a real understanding of movement. And again, Sofia’s ability, because she’s a dancer, she had an innate understanding. It’s just in her DNA to understand how to move in that way. Doug obviously carries the same thing,” he said in reference to Jones’ background as a mime and contortionist.

Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp

Rapp’s Lt. Stamets will be the first major on-screen gay character in Star Trek television history.

“I’ve been a fan of Anthony’s for a long time. He’s just a brilliant actor,” said Kurtzman. “It’s always just about how do you find actors who are, it’s always who’s right for the part, but it’s also there’s a lovely diversity that Star Trek has always been about.”

With the majority of the cast yet to be announced, Kurtzman and the rest of the team are pleased with the response to these three actors.

“We were excited that people seemed to be so excited about our first three choices.”

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Andrew Cardinale is from a Boston suburb where he works in IT. When he’s not doing something Star Trek related, he writes, follows local sports and listens to far too many podcasts.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter @acardi.

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