Tom Hanks is a Star Trek fan. In an interview, he has gone on the record about exactly which character he dreams of playing. But the choice of character is a little unexpected…
The Oscar-winning actor has yet to appear in any Star Trek shows or films, but it’s possible that could change. Just how likely is it that Hanks could secure his dream role on Star Trek? Here’s everything you need to know about Tom Hanks and his obsession with appearing on Star Trek.
Hanks Revealed His Dream in an Interview on UK TV
Hanks made the proclamation about his dream of appearing on the long-running sci-fi series back in 2019. He was making an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, a popular talk show in the UK that regularly features both American and UK-born celebrity guests.
“My entire family…worshipped at the feet of Star Trek,” the actor gushed to host Graham Norton. “When the Romulans make friends…let me play a peaceful Romulan. Man, I think that’d be fun.”
Here’s the video:
Also present in this interview segment was Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the rebooted Star Trek films.
In the clip, Pegg notes “We’re doing more, you know. Come…you know?” He seemed to be playfully suggesting that Hanks would be a welcome addition in a future Trek film. Pegg also co-wrote Star Trek: Beyond, which gives the invitation even more weight.
However, given the informality of the invitation, and the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic in the year after the interview appeared, it’s by no means assured Hanks will ever make an appearance on Star Trek. But that doesn’t stop fans from dreaming about the possibilities.
While it seems like plans for a fourth Star Trek film in the so-called ‘Kelvin universe timeline‘ are stalled, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a role for Hanks on a future Trek TV series instead. Hanks is arguably better known for his film work, but it’s important to remember the actor is on the record about sneaking onto the set of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan while filming his old TV series Bosom Buddies.
Hanks is a Lifelong Star Trek Fan
In the clip above, Hanks expands on his love of all things related to space exploration with Conan O’Brien.
Celebrities who know Tom Hanks have also gone on the record about the Forrest Gump actor’s love of space and Star Trek. Back in 1994, Patrick Stewart told Entertainment Weekly: “Tom knows the name of every Trek character, past, present, and I think future. His one regret is that he wanted to be in Generations or on a Next Generation episode, but he didn’t have time.”
According to Britannica.com, Hanks was born on July 9, 1956. The first episode of Star Trek aired on NBC on September 8, 1966, meaning Hanks was likely about ten years old when he first watched the series as a child. That episode, “The Man Trap,” featured Kirk and the crew fighting a shape-shifting “salt monster”. It’s interesting to note that while NBC was the show’s first home, modern Star Trek shows stream via CBS All Access.
Hanks Would Be an Interesting Romulan
With new seasons of Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Lower Decks all in production, there are ample opportunities for the Romulans to be at the center of the action in the universe of the Federation. Romulans are particularly important in the world of ‘Picard’, which featured numerous members of this alien race in its first season.
Elnor, a Romulan character at the heart of Picard, is arguably the closest thing the franchise has seen to a “friendly Romulan” since they were first introduced in the classic episode “Balance of Terror”.
Romulans have historically been portrayed as secretive or even violent, as was the case with Nero, the Romulan villain of the 2009 Star Trek film. So there’s something amusing to fans about the suggestion of Hanks playing a Romulan. It would arguably mean casting him a bit against type, even if he wants to be a friendlier Romulan than the franchise typically allows.
Then again, some of the most memorable alien characters on Star Trek are the ones that play against the expectations of their species. A great example is Garak, the fan-favorite tailor/spy from Deep Space Nine. While personally affable, he was a member of the secretive and oppressive Cardassian race. Fans wouldn’t be too off-base wondering if a Tom Hanks Romulan would bring some of the humor fans loved in the quirky portrayal of Garak.
It’s also worth noting that Hanks is a noted voice actor as well, most notably in the Toy Story films, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone could approach Hanks to lend a voice to a Romulan on a future episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks or the upcoming Star Trek: Prodigy, both of which are animated series. Or perhaps a stand-alone story on a future season of Short Treks?
We will update this story if it continues to develop, but for now, this may be a “pie in the sky” dream for both Hanks and Star Trek fans alike.