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December 27, 2008

CHRIS PINE
This summer Chris Pine is going where only one man has gone before. As Capt. James T. Kirk in the J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” revival, the 28-year-old faces one of the year’s biggest acting challenges — how can you portray Kirk without sliding into a William Shatner imitation?

The early footage suggests that the L.A. native and third-generation Hollywood actor has pulled it off with swagger and a twinkle in his eye, which is, well, very Kirk-like. “He’s delivered a real performance,” Abrams said, “and it was amazing to watch.”

Pine jumped off the screen in the 2006 hit-man extravaganza “Smokin’ Aces” and then starred with Alan Rickman in the wine-country tale “Bottle Shock.” He was set to star opposite George Clooney in the cinematic adaptation of author James Ellroy’s noir tale “White Jazz” before he beamed up to the “Trek” franchise. Abrams says he hopes his “Trek” flies as a franchise, suggesting Pine may be on more than a five-year mission as Kirk.

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