DeForest Kelley, the actor who played Dr. McCoy in Star Trek: The Original Series and its cinematic follow-ups, died in 1999. Thus, when Urban took over the role for the Star Trek reboot a decade later, he was unable to ask Kelley for his approval on his performance. However, Nimoy still fondly remembered his friend and co-star and Urban learned later that his performance as Bones touched Nimoy.
"After we shot [Star Trek (2009)] and as it was being released, William Shatner had a charity event and a whole bunch of us went along and Leonard and his wife Susan went too," Urban recalled during a panel at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention (via Trek Movie). "And I was walking ahead and I hear 'Hey Karl,' and I turn around and it was Susan and she pulls me back and says 'Karl, I just wanted you to know that when Leonard watched the movie the other night when you came on screen he cried.' What it was is that the work that I had done reminded him of his dear friend and to me that was the greatest nod of appreciation that I have ever had to know that I was on the right track."
Nimoy, who played the iconic Spock, died in 2015. In addition to starring in Star Trek: The Original Series and six Star Trek movies featuring the original series cast, he also reprised his role again for the Star Trek reboot and the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. His death was referenced in 2016's Star Trek Beyond when the younger Spock of the reboot Kelvin timeline (Zachary Quinto) received word of the prime Spock's death.
In 2009's Star Trek, aboard the USS Enterprise, the most-sophisticated starship ever built, a novice crew embarks on its maiden voyage. Their path takes them on a collision course with Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan commander whose mission of vengeance threatens all mankind. If humanity would survive, a rebellious young officer named James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and a coolly logical Vulcan named Spock (Zachary Quinto) must move beyond their rivalry and find a way to defeat Nero before it is too late.
Star Trek was directed by J. J. Abrams and written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. The film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Eric Bana, John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin.
Paramount announced plans for a fourth Star Trek reboot movie but has been silent on the matter following Star Trek Beyond's disappointing box office performance.