Re-Cast: Star Trek The Next Generation

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Now that this summer’s surprisingly-amazing Star Trek “reboot” movie is on DVD, a friend and I were thinking of whom we could cast in a re-make of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Here’s what I came up with:

Liam Neeson as Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

While the idea to keep Patrick Stewart on board as Captain Picard was very tempting, that wouldn’t be much of a re-cast. However, Neeson has proven that he can both be a thoughtful, intelligent character (R’as Al Ghul, Batman Begins), as well as a certifiable badass (Bryan Mills, Taken), two traits necessary for the Captain of the USS NCC-1701D.

Ewan McGregor as Commander William Riker

Not to over-cast a bunch of Jedi as Star Trek: TNG characters, but who better to play Picard’s “Number One” than Obi-Wan Kenobi? McGregor is a contemplative, sexy man who’s ready for action at the drop of a hat, just like Will Riker. But I mostly just cast him for his beard. Hot-dang, is that thing amazing!

Kel Mitchell as Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the orange soda-loving Kel doing anything high-profile in Hollywood. What better chance to re-invent himself than as no-nonsense, Warp Drive engineer Geordi LaForge? This would keep the film light-hearted, as well as re-define Kel as a serious actor.

Elizabeth Shannon as Counselor Deanna Troi

Again, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Elizabeth Shannon in anything. She resembles Marina Sirtis enough to easily fill the Betazoid’s purple bodysuit, and her role as Nadia in American Pie proves that she has no problem doing foreign accents. Plus, every Hollywood film needs a little eye candy, these days.

John Cusack as Lt. Commander Data

Cusack may only have a passing resemblance to Brent Spiner, but the fact that he still looks like he did when he was 21 gets him this role; If Data is an android, he should always look like he’s fresh off the assembly line…something even Spiner couldn’t accomplish. Presuming there will be sequels, Cusack is perfect.

Samuel L. Jackson as Lt. Commander Worf

Worf is a frustrated, angry-sounding, tough-as-nails, honorable Klingon. Sam Jackson plays that role in pretty much every movie he’s made since Pulp Fiction.Plus, Jackson’s got major geek cred, and this role would only help cement that. Seems like a good fit to me!

Alyson Hannigan as Dr. Beverly Crusher

Hannigan has the adorable girl-next-door look that Gates McFadden retained, and her role as Willow Rosenberg on TV’s Buffy proved that she can play as intelligent a role as necessary, although she’s admittedly maybe not quite old enough. It’s a shame that Nikki Cox got all that plastic surgery and now looks like a mutant fish, because it leaves the number of redheads in Hollywood pretty slim… And Lindsay Lohan is right out.

Elisha Cuthbert as Tasha Yar

She’s gonna die in the first action scene, anyways, so let’s just throw in a currently-popular blonde to play Tasha Yar. Why the heck not? It’ll attract the teenage male demographic that was on the fence about the movie.

Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
Yeah, okay. This one is cheating a bit. But Guinan is supposed to be hundreds of years old, right? So if she ages just a little bit, who cares? Besides, who else has the right look for the Enterprise’s bartender? Certainly not the modern-day, rail-thin, AfrAm actresses like Beyoncé. And it’ll only be a cameo appearance that’ll get the theatre crowds to applaud. Nothing wrong with that.

So what do you think? Agree with my re-casting for TNG? No? Why not? Who would you get, instead?

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