Zachary Quinto Taking A Two Year Break From Spock

This could be trouble. While just about everyone in the world is eagerly looking forward to the next Star Trek installment, there’s at least one person who maybe isn’t. His name, unfortunately, is Zachary Quinto.

Quinto, who plays New Spock, recently spoke with Wired about his career in Vulcan ears and he seems ready to… not have anything to do with Spock. At least not for awhile. He says, “I’m stepping away from Star Trek for at least two years — no movies, no conventions, no anything for a while.” He’s working on some other projects during his shore leave from Star Trek, and that would be fine except for that rather definite timeline he just threw out there.

Star Trek: The Next, or whatever they end up calling it, already has a release date. Paramount has announced June 29, 2012 as the sequel’s beam-in. That’s more than two years away, so you’re probably thinking no problem. Nope. Big problem. Zachary Quinto is one of the movie’s primary players. That means he’ll be in a lot of scenes, if not every scene. To meet a June 29 release date they’ll need to start shooting long before January 27, 2012, which is exactly two years from today.

To give you an idea of just how far in advance they’d need to start shooting, the first trailer for the first Trek was released on January 21, 2008. The movie itself wasn’t released until May 8, 2009. Star Trek: The Next probably needs to start shooting some time in 2011 at the latest and Zachary Quinto, well he’ll still be off on herding tribbles towards a career as a serious actor.

Now the good news here is that, in theory anyway, Quinto is already committed to the second movie. He’s supposed to be on board with the sequel, so there’s probably no reason to panic. Maybe he’s just not good at math. Don’t go recasting Spock just yet. Still, it might be nice if he was just a little bit more eager to beam up, on time, and in uniform.

The ironic thing here is that it was always Leonard Nimoy who held up the previous generation of Star Trek movies. He demanded they kill off his character in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and it was only by dangling a directing gig that they got him back for the third movie at all. Quinto seems to be following in his mentor's footsteps.

Update! Quinto has come forward to clear up any confusion he's caused. The following post was left on his official blog:

i have been inundated with questions and confusion about a comment i made during an interview with wired - about the new atari star trek online game - in which i said i am stepping away from trek for the next two years. obviously i will be a part of any upcoming films... reprising my role as spock. what i meant was that in the meantime i won't be making any public appearances related to the franchise - or doing any more auxiliary projects pertaining to the trek universe. i will be focusing my efforts on other projects and preparing to shoot the next film - which will be released in june of 2012... two years from now. hence the no trek for two years remark. worry not trekkers. it was a misunderstanding of context. i am not spock. but i am spock. all at the same time.

Josh Tyler