'TREK' beams up Ben Cross as Sarek

The star of "Dark Shadows" and Species 4 will succeed the late Mark Lenard as Spock's father in Star Trek.
TrekMovie's ANTHONY PASCALE reports that English actor Ben Cross will appear in J.J. Abrams's Star Trek as Sarek, the Vulcan father of young Spock (Zachary Quinto) and spouse of the human Amanda Grayson (Winona Ryder). Cross himself confirmed the casting by listing the new movie on his official site.

Sarek, as originated by the late Mark Lenard, first appeared in the original series episode "Journey to Babel", where it was established that he was a Federation Ambassador, and that Spock’s decision to go to Starfleet Academy, rather than the Vulcan Science Academy, estranged father and son. Lenard reprised the role for "The Next Generation" episodes "Sarek" and "Unification Part I", and for three of the feature films.

The 59-year-old Cross, a graduate of London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, may be best known for his starring role as Jewish Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams in the Academy Award-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire. He starred as the vampire Barnabas Collins in the 1991 mini-series remake of "Dark Shadows". Cross’s latest genre project was the direct-to-video Species: The Awakening where he starred alongside "Star Trek Enterprise" regular Dominic Keating. His Trek connections also include film appearances alongside Alexander Siddig of "Deep Space Nine" and Marina Sirtis of "The Next Generation".

The new film, which began filming this month, revolves around the early days of the Enterprise crew, and is scheduled for release on Christmas Day 2008.

[Thanks to CARLY MAYBERRY at The Hollywood Reporter, GUSTAVO LEAO at TrekWeb, and Startrek.com for additional info.]
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