In 2007, when director J.J. Abrams first started putting together the cast for his reboot of the Star Trek franchise, much attention naturally focused on who would fill out the Lycra uniform of Captain James T. Kirk, embodied so uniquely by William Shatner in the sci-fi franchise’s previous incarnation. Chris Pine was eventually chosen, and minted a star — leading man roles followed in major studio releases like Unstoppable, This Means War, People Like Us and this December’s forthcoming Jack Ryan, opposite director Kenneth Branagh.
Another integral part of the 2009 Star Trek‘s huge success, though (it pulled in $258 million of its $386 million worldwide gross in the United States, best in the series), was in Zachary Quinto‘s casting as Spock. At the time best known for the buzzy small screen hit Heroes, Quinto would win praise for his carefully layered performance, serving as the emotional anchor of the film — a feat he repeats in this week’s Star Trek Into Darkness. There’s a certain track record for him serving as a film’s emotional and moral center, however. Quinto also largely fills that role in J.C. Chandor’s smart, tightly wound Margin Call, on which the actor also made his feature film debut as a producer. I write more words about all this over at Yahoo Movies, so click here for the read.