Winona Ryder beams aboard 'Star Trek' as... Spock's mom?

Winona_lVariety‘s report that Winona Ryder is joining the cast of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek: Muppet Babies as Spock’s mom raises a number of questions:

1. The article says she is going "to play the Vulcan mother of a young Spock (Zachary Quinto)." But as even Trek newbies know, Spock is only half-Vulcan; his mom was a human, played in a guest spot on the original show by (in a witty bit of casting) Father Knows Best‘s Jane Wyatt. The conflict between logic and emotion is built into Spock’s genes. Is Abrams really planning to mess with this key bit of Trek lore, or did the reporter get it wrong?

2. Ryder is 36. Quinto is 30. This could be the weirdest piece of Oedipal casting since Angelina Jolie played Colin Farrell’s mom in Alexander. Is that really what Abrams is going for, or will she play the mom of an even younger Spock in flashbacks?

3. Ryder’s been pretty much MIA since her shoplifting debacle in 2002. Has she been on her own five-year mission? Is she back on Earth to stay? Will this role in a likely blockbuster help her get her career back on track? Or did you not even miss her? Weigh in on her casting below deck, in the comments section.

addCredit(“Winona Ryder: Bill Davila/Retna”)

Comments (51 total) Add your comment
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  • Wendy

    I could buy her age/younger appearance if she was playing a Vulcan, since they are supposed to live much longer and age slower, but she can’t be Spock’s mom AND be a Vulcan. I hope that the reporter just got it wrong.

  • Cliff

    The media’s treatment of Ryder was a disgrace. Far worse crimes have been comitted by far less talented people, with no fallout whatsoever. And here we have an Oscar nominee, a Scorsese actor, freakin’ Veronica Sawyer for crying out loud, and she can’t get jobs. Here’s hoping she’s here to stay this time.

  • Ned

    I’m betting she’ll be in flashbacks, or they’ll age her up a little bit. I think it’s great news, Winona Ryder is one of my favorite actresses, there have been actors that did much worse than shoplift that still get to work, hello, look at all the DUIs, they could have killed someone.
    I hope she makes a comeback, Hollywood needs talented actresses like her.

  • t-bone

    “star trek: muppet babies” – thanks for the laugh, gary :)

  • Ceballos

    1. I woulnd’t exactly call Variety a bastion of journalism to begin with. That being said, I’m assuming it was a reporter’s mistake, as he/she probably assumed since Spock is a Vulcan, his mom must be. (Personally, I didn’t know his mom wasn’t a Vulcan).
    2. Since I’m not exactly sure at what age Vulcans age when compared to humans, I’m assuming she’s probably his mom in flashbacks when he’s younger.
    3. Why not a Winona come back? It’s not like we’re overstocked with talented actresses (Lohan, Alba, etc.) taking her place

  • nico

    Winona’s character will be in flash-backs! I’m glad Winona Ryder is back! she is a naturally gifted actor. ha! i can’t wait for this movie!

  • Laurie

    Has anyone else noticed that Whitney Pastorek is missing? Where are her snarky posts I miss them.

  • Ep Sato

    Remember Meatballs? The chant Bill Murray makes everyone say is “It just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter”.
    Well, it just doesn’t matter who is cast. This is an odd numbered Trek movie, which is a nearly guaranteed turkey rating.
    Since this is almost guaranteed to be the case then Abrams should feel free to mess with the mythos, cast well known actors to roles that originally went to relative unknowns and do whatever he wants that most die hards believe will “ruin” the series. Expecting an odd numbered Trek movie to be good is like expecting gourmet food at Denny’s.
    So let Abrams mess with the mythology all he wants to, it still won’t be worse than Star Treks 1, 5 (worst of them all), 7 and 9.
    Gene Roddenberry’s been dead for more than a decade, and many of the original series actors have also passed (Scotty, Bones, Mccoy).
    Rather than continue to rehash this series, why not just move on?

  • mike

    The curse of the odd numbered Star Trek was broken when the even numbered Star Trek: Nemesis came out, and sucked.
    And really, The Search For Spock wasn’t that bad, and Star Trek 5 is one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ movies, granted it wasn’t meant to be funny, but it’s some of the funniest unintentional humor ever. Not quite on the level of Karate Kid 3, but still, pretty damn funny.

  • Beth

    WINONA! I thought she had FINALLY disappeared from movie screens. This makes me NOT want to see the movie.

  • Snarf

    The fanboys have been wringing their hands and wailing. Drama Queens.

  • Kent

    Um…hasn’t anyone in Hollywood noticed that Wino is a horrible actress? How she managed to get a couple of Oscar noms, I’ll never know.

  • Winona Rulez!

    Hey, Beth and Kent…GO SCREW!!!

  • Bernard

    It’s funny (and sadly predictable) how the majority of comments so far are related to everything BUT the merits of the casting in order to be what sadly passes for “snark” these days.
    I think Ms. Ryder is an excellent choice to play Amanda. Despite her personal woes, Ms. Ryder can be an excellent actress and has the right reserves to play the compassionate but politically wily wife of Sarek, motgher of Spock.
    As for the age difference, it doesn’t matter: In Trek lore, Vulcans (including Spock, who is half Vulcan) physically age slower than humans (although it seems they mature faster). Since we are dealing with an “alien” culture and physiology, getting needlessly anal about whether she plays amanda in the “present” or the “past” of Spock’s childhood is pointless.

  • Donna

    Love Winona! Glad to see she’s in movies again.

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