'Star Trek' boldly goes to summer 2009 in schedule shift

By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Star Trek" fans will have to wait a bit longer to see where the crew of the starship Enterprise is boldly going next.

The release of J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek," with a new cast taking on the roles of Capt. James Kirk, Spock and other original characters, has been moved from Christmas Day to May 8, 2009, distributor Paramount said Thursday.

Studio spokesman Michael Vollman said the switch was a business move, not because of any problems with the film caused by the Writers Guild of America strike that just ended.

"Star Trek" will be finished by fall in time for its original release date, but studio executives decided to hold it until next summer, the film could pull in more money, he said.

"`Star Trek' is in fantastic shape," said Paramount spokesman Michael Vollman. "This is all about box-office potential. Summer is where you see the `Star Wars' and the `Spider-Mans' and the `Shreks' and the `Transformers.' `Star Trek' is in that league."

The movie had been in production without its screenwriters on hand for revisions during the strike, which began Nov. 5. The guild reached a deal with producers last week, and writers voted Tuesday to end the walkout.

The strike had left a few holes in 2009's summer blockbuster schedule, leaving the May 8 date up for grabs, Vollman said.

"Star Trek" will open a week after 20th Century Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," the "X-Men" spinoff starring Hugh Jackman, and a week before Sony's "Angels & Demons," Ron Howard and Tom Hanks' follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code."

Directed by "Lost" creator Abrams, "Star Trek" recounts an early adventure of Kirk, Vulcan scientist Spock and their shipmates. Chris Pine plays Kirk, a role originated by William Shatner, and Zachary Quinto plays the young Spock, a part created by Leonard Nimoy, who returns to play the Vulcan in older age.

Paramount and DreamWorks, both owned by Viacom Inc., shuffled other release dates, including Ben Stiller's comedy "Tropic Thunder," moving from this July 11 to Aug. 15; Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett's fantasy "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" from this Nov. 26 to Dec. 19; and Eddie Murphy's comedy "Nowhereland" from this Sept. 26 to June 12, 2009.