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Star Trek in the News - November 2, 2010

Star Trek in the News - November 2, 2010

Kate Mulgrew is keeping busy. The actress, who starred as Captain Kathryn Janeway on Voyager, is currently playing Cleopatra in a Hartford Stage production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. The show will run through November 7. Mulgrew has also completed production on a film entitled The Best and the Brightest, a comedy about the lengths to which parents will go to ensure that their young children gain entry to Manhattan’s most prestigious private kindergartens. Mulgrew co-stars as a character referred to as “The Player’s Wife,” while “The Player” is essayed by Christopher McDonald, who years ago guest starred as Lt. Richard Castillo on the acclaimed TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”

Strange Frame: Love & Sax is an upcoming animated sci-fi film, the first in a proposed Strange Frame quadrilogy. The voice cast for Love & Sax features a Who’s Who of Star Trek, sci-fi and animation figures that includes Michael Dorn, George Takei, Claudia Black, Cree Summer, Tim Curry, Claudia Christian and Juliet Landau. Production is still underway with an eye toward a 2011 release.

Speaking of Michael Dorn and also of animation, TNG’s former Lt. Worf will be heard in the upcoming DVD entitled Family Guy: It’s a Trap. The Return of the Jedi/Star Wars send-up casts Dorn as Worf and Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard, and also includes Patrick Warburton as Jabba the Hutt, Arianna Huffington as an Ewok, Seth Green (as Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker) and Seth MacFarlane as too many characters to count, though Han Solo and Darth Vader are among them. Star Trek fans will remember that MacFarlane appeared in “Affliction” and “The Forgotten,” two episodes of Enterprise. Family Guy: It’s a Trap will be released on December 21.

The new Star Trek film’s Uhura, Zoe Saldana, has wrapped production on the upcoming action-drama Colombiana. Saldana plays Cat, a woman who – having witnessed the horror of her parents’ murders as a child in Bogota – is now a ruthless assassin. The Luc Besson-produced film, which also stars Graham McTavish, Callum Blue and Michael Vartan, will be released next year. And, though nothing has been announced officially, Saldana will likely reprise her Avatar role as Neytiri in Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, which have just been green-lit and will be directed once again by James Cameron.

Meanwhile, the original Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, has been all over the map lately. Last week, she served as the honorary chair for a gala “Lift Off” event in Texas to celebrate the progress of The Houston Museum of African American Culture, which will open in 2012. And on Sunday she was in Orlando to participate in NASA’s Innovation Summit.

Dennis Christopher is a veteran character actor who continues to make his mark in film and on TV. Christopher is best known for his roles in Chariots of Fire, Breaking Away and, especially, the horror film Fade to Black, and he also made guest appearances on both DS9 and Enterprise, turning up as Borath in the “The Search, Part II” episode of the former and as Danik in the “Detained” hour of the latter. His current project is Queen of the Lot, from indie film auteur Henry Jaglom. The comedy-drama, set for release on in L.A. on Nov. 19 and Dec. 4 in New York before opening in additional markets into 2011, follows a rising starlet, Maggie (Tanna Frederick), determined to jump from B-pictures to the A-list. Christopher plays a member of Hollywood royalty, while other Star Trek guest stars in the cast include Christopher Rydell, who was the Alien Astronaut in the Enterprise episode “Dear Doctor;” Mary Crosby, who played Natima Lang in “Profit and Loss,” a second-season DS9 hour; and Diane Salinger, who was Lupaza in the DS9 entries “Shakaar” and “The Darkness and the Light.”

William Shatner is so happy these days that he’s dancing about it. Shatner’s new sitcom, $#*! My Dad Says, is a hit that’s just been picked up for the rest of the season by CBS. And the other night Shatner turned up as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live. During his appearance on the talk show he shocked the host by asking Kimmel to dance with him. Shatner proposed that they engage in a waltz and, as they stood toe to toe, the actor explained to Kimmel that someone would have to take the lead. That comment prompted Kimmel to say, “You’re the man. You’re Captain Kirk, for God’s sake. Of course, you’re the man.” And together they danced into the commercial break.

Michael Giacchino, who composed the score for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (2009), has been working overtime lately. He not only continues to score episodes of Fringe, but he’s been tapped to create the music for the upcoming films Monte Carlo (with Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy, Cory Monteith and Brett Cullen, the last of whom played Deral in the DS9 episode “Meridian”), Live with It (starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anna Kendrick), John Carter of Mars (with Mark Strong, Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe and Lynn Collins), and the top-secret J.J. Abrams-directed sci-fi film Super 8 (with Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka and Kyle Chandler).