Pine Set, Urban Up For Trek

Director Joe Carnahan has confirmed that actor Chris Pine has given up the lead role in his upcoming James Ellroy adaptation “White Jazz” to take on the role of Captain Kirk in the new J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Trek” film.

With the strike coming, both projects are set to shoot simultaneously. Despite attempts to work out the schedule – it was expected that Pine would have to drop one for the other.

“The young man playing Junior Stemmons has opted to ‘go where no man has gone before’ and thus, had to bow out of White Jazz. I’ve been talking to him this past week and knew how tough the decision had to be for him” Carnahan wrote on his official blog this week.

He adds “I don’t envy ever being in that spot but I gave him my full support, even if it meant he didn’t do Jazz. You don’t get opportunities like that often and I told him as long as he could control as much of that process as possible and not get sucked into doing lesser sequels as a result of taking this gig, then good luck and God bless.”

He still plans to use Pine again though – “We’re sure to do something down the road. I’ve already slotted him in for Killing Pablo” — a thriller based on the true story of how Colombian gangster Pablo Escobar was assassinated.”

Paramount has yet to officially announce Pine’s role as Kirk but it’s one of the two key Enterprise crew members left to be announced. The other is Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, and TrekMovie reports that Kiwi actor Karl Urban (“The Bourne Supremacy,” “Doom,” “Pathfinder”) is apparently in negotiations for the role. Urban was previously attached to play the villain Nero, a role that went to Aussie actor Eric Bana.