Star Trek’s George Takei swings for Spider-Man musical lead role
|NEWS - OFFWORLD|
With great geek cred comes great casting opportunities…
The veteran genre actor George Takei, best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek, has released a tongue-in-cheek audition video online for the part of Spider-Man in the troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, presumably after thinking to himself: “Target that role, and audition!” Reeve Carney is currently playing the role, but at the current rate of turnover of cast and crew, Takei’s bid is probably realistic.
The video has a slightly bizarre but amusing sense of humour, and includes not only a moment which references Star Trek and Indiana Jones simultaneously, but also the best version of the Spider-Man theme song since Homer Simpson’s rendition of ‘Spider-Pig’. The catchy “Spider-Man / Spider-Man / George Takei should be Spider-Man…” is sure to be a hit on the web.
Takei also delivers the line “Not only do I have great vocals, but I have great insurance”, a slogan with the seemingly built-in potential for a spin-off series of insurance adverts: “If it’s good enough for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, it’s sure to be good enough for you”; “Insurance so good you won’t even have to worry about being in the cast of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark”.
Takei isn’t alone (or, to put it another way, Sulu isn’t solo) in doing this kind of thing. Last year, in response to a fan suggesting him for the role, Community’s Donald Glover started a Twitter campaign to get to audition to play Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s upcoming reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, before the role went to Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go). Donald Glover’s interest in the role was more serious than George Takei’s, though it was still expressed with a sense of fun and geekish enthusiasm.
Takei already has plenty of geek cred, including voicing a character in a Spider-Man cartoon. Among others, he’s had at the very least bit parts in the following impressive list of franchises: Star Trek (obviously), Heroes, Star Wars, Spider-Man, Batman, The Simpsons, Scrubs, Transformers, Scooby-Doo, and Mission: Impossible, as well as more recently guest starring in the geek sitcoms The Big Bang Theory and Community.
George Takei played Hiro Nakamura’s father Kaito Nakamura on Heroes, whose superpower was…stern disapproval, or something. (Though perhaps if he actually gets the role, he’ll take a leaf out of Hiro’s (comic) book, and throw his arms up in the air, exclaiming “Yatta!”)
Logically speaking, Star Trek and Spider-Man is a strange combination, since the utopian world of Star Trek is quite different from perpetual underdog Peter Parker’s overwhelming, tragedy-strewn life. But it doesn’t matter, because the crossover’s awesome.
It’s clear that George Takei, like his Star Trek co-star William Shatner, has a sense of humour about the whole thing, in contrast to the characters from the hilarious Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest, such as Tim Allen’s pompous Jason Nesmith (Commander Quincy Taggart), Alan Rickman’s bitterly sarcastic Alexander Dane (Doc-tor Laz-arus…), or Sam Rockwell’s panicky, cliché-conscious redshirt Guy / Crewman Number Six.
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