Finally, they're beaming up.
Ending months of speculation, J.J. Abrams announced the first major casting in the director's hush-hush re-energizing of the Star Trek
movie franchise by tapping Zachary Quinto to play Spock, the hyper-logical science stud with the pointy ears and Vulcan death grip. In case the name doesn't register on your tricorder, the 29-year-old actor plays Sylar, the serial killer who eats superpowered brains on Heroes
Quinto's fellow Heroes
are thrilled for him. In fact, Milo Ventimiglia reveals to EW that his friends helped champion Quinto for the role. ''A long time ago he and I had a conversation about roles we would love to play,'' says Ventimiglia. ''His was like, 'Man, I just want to play Spock.' Now, my friends knew Star Trek
was coming back, and they had gone online and started dropping hints like, 'Milo — Spock '08.' It was a total joke. But when they heard Zach wanted to be Spock, they looked at him, totally saw Spock in him, and went back to the Web and started dropping 'Zach Quinto — Spock '08.' I'm blown away that Zach got the part.''
Masi Oka seconds Milo's motion. ''We can't be any more happy for him. He's so talented. He's perfect for the part. He wanted it really badly and we were all rooting for him,'' says Oka, adding that he offered Quinto some suggestions on mastering what might be his greatest challenge: nailing Spock's Vulcan salute. ''When Zach and I would hang out, he'd have a rubber band over his fingers, practicing his muscle. We've come up with ways to practice — wiggle the fingers, doing yoga for the hand.... He's been practicing for about a month. I'm betting on him. He'll get it down.''
Maybe Quinto can get some pointers from his pointy-eared predecessor, seeing how they'll soon be seeing a lot of each other. As it turns out, Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, will also be in Abrams' movie, which is set to begin filming in November and is due Christmas 2008. Creative details are still under wraps, but Abrams and producer Damon Lindelof (Lost
) confirm that Nimoy will be playing the role of... Spock. While we can only guess what this means for the story — framing device? time travel? — here's what we know for certain: Abrams is still searching for his Captain Kirk; Quinto will go MIA during a chunk of the upcoming season to film Star Trek
(the logistics were hammered out between Lindelof and Heroes
creator Tim Kring, who are old friends); and Nimoy has advised the new Spock to brace himself for scads of ear jokes. The three Trekkers sat down for an exclusive conversation with EW following the casting announcement last week at Comic-Con in San Diego.