Star Trek: Timothy Olyphant Confirms He Lost Captain Kirk Role to Chris Pine

The Justified star is recounting his failed audition for the 2009 movie reboot.

Timothy Olyphant has developed a fascinating filmography over the years, with hits like Justified and Star Wars: The Mandalorian. As a new interview with the actor reveals, that almost included a role in the most recent Star Trek trilogy of films. In a recent interview with Happy, Sad, Confused, Olyphant revealed that he briefly was in the mix to play James T. Kirk in what would become the "Kelvin" Star Trek films. The role would ultimately go to Chris Pine, but Olyphant still had a positive outlook on the ordeal.

"Here's what I can tell you about 'Star Trek': I went in and auditioned not for Captain Kirk, but I remember reading with J.J. Abrams and he's just a lovely, lovely guy," Olyphant revealed. "And just a lovely, lovely audition process. Somewhere in there, I was auditioning for Doc, he's like, 'I already got a guy for Doc, so I don't need you for that, but I don't have a Kirk.' I believe it was one of those things where it's like they might have been prepared to hire me, but they wanted somebody younger, and [Abrams] was having a hard time finding somebody younger. And somewhere along the line, J.J. called and said, 'I found a guy, younger, who's really good.'"

"I have since then met Chris Pine and I am a huge fan of him both on and off screen. I love that guy," Olyphant continued. "He's a good dude. This sounds very show business-y, but I had the honor, we're going to say honor, to go to the Golden Globes one year…and I spent most of the evening at the bar with Chris Pine. Just really adored him. What a good guy. I really like his work. He's one of those guys who makes it look simple and easy... Auditioning sucks, and the fact that I remember the audition process fondly says a lot about J.J. Abrams and what a wonderful man that guy is."

Will There Be a New Star Trek Movie?

A new movie in the Star Trek canon is currently in the works, with a script from Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires, working off of a draft from Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. WandaVision's Matt Shakman was originally set to direct the currently-untitled film, before passing on the project in order to helm Marvel's Fantastic Four reboot.

"We're deep into it with J.J. Abrams, and it feels like we're getting close to the starting line and excited about where we're going creatively," Paramount Pictures president Brian Robbins told Variety last year. "I'm a research nerd, and what the data tells me is that the audience wants that cast in this movie."

"Going forward, I'm focused on our franchises," Robbins continued. "We are fortunate in that we have amazing franchises, which we need to lean into. We have adult franchises like Mission: Impossible, A Quiet Place, Transformers and Star Trek. And we have family franchises with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and SpongeBob. You've got to have multi-year plans for these franchises. You can't just make a movie, see how it does, and then decide to make another one, because if you do that, it will be years between sequels. Like Sonic, we're going to take a spinoff character Knuckles, and do a miniseries on Paramount+, which will transition us into the third Sonic movie with lots of Easter eggs. That planning is what I'm focused on, as well as filling out the slate with filmmakers that we're passionate about who want to tell stories that they have passion for. That allows us to greenlight things like the new movie we have from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the South Park guys, who are working on a movie with Kendrick Lamar that's so far out, it could break through the zeitgeist."