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Paul Giamatti Joins ‘Star Trek: Starfleet Academy’ as Main Villain

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Set phasers to stunned. In another casting coup, the upcoming Paramount+ series “Star Trek: Starfleet Academy” has cast Emmy winner and multiple Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti in a recurring guest role as the first season’s main villain, who has a sinister connection to the past of one of the (yet to be cast) cadets.

Giamatti joins Holly Hunter, who Variety exclusively reported in May is boarding “Starfleet Academy” as the Academy’s captain and chancellor.

“Sometimes you’re lucky enough to discover that one of the greatest actors alive is also a huge ‘Star Trek’ fan, and meeting Paul was one of those miraculous moments for us,” said co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau in a statement. “The sheer delight with which he dove in on ‘Starfleet Academy’ is only surpassed by the gratitude we feel about him joining our incredible cast.”

While “Star Trek” shows have always featured an impressive array of acting talent, rarely has a “Trek” show launched with quite this much star power, underlining how much of a priority “Starfleet Academy” has become for Paramount+, CBS Studios and Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout. When the show begins shooting in Toronto later this summer, it will include the largest contiguous set ever constructed for a “Star Trek” series: an academic atrium spanning two stories, with an amphitheater, classrooms, a mess hall and an idyllic walkway lined with trees.

As the title suggests, the series will chronicle the lives of the Academy’s cadets, from their academic and romantic pursuits to contending with the newest adversary to endanger the peace and prosperity of the United Federation of Planets. Producers are said to be seeking emerging talent for the younger cast.

Giamatti’s prolific career launched in the 1990s with a series of supporting roles that often punched well above their weight in terms of impact vs. screen time, including “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Saving Private Ryan.” He subsequently won widespread critical acclaim for 2003’s “American Splendor,” 2004’s “Sideways” and 2005’s “Cinderella Man,” which earned Giamatti an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Most recently, he earned an Oscar nomination for best actor for his seriocomic performance in 2023’s “The Holdovers.” Giamatti has also amassed a considerable career on TV — from 2008’s HBO miniseries “John Adams” (for which he won an Emmy) to the recently concluded Showtime drama series “Billions” and HBO Europe’s Spanish horror series “30 Coins.”

Along with Kurtzman and Landau, “Starfleet Academy’s” executive producers include Gaia Violo, Aaron Baiers, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Jenny Lumet, Rod Roddenberry, Trevor Roth, Frank Siracusa and John Weber. Violo wrote the series premiere.

Giamatti is represented by UTA, Kipperman Management and Sloane Offer.

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