Friday, April 1, 2011

Leonard Nimoy's Transformers 3 Role Ends Star Trek Star's Retirement

Leonard Nimoy's voice role in the upcoming Transformers 3 will end the Star Trek star's retirement, just a year after he announced it.

Michael Bay, the film's director, tells Entertainment Weekly that initially he wasn't sure if he could afford Nimoy's salary. Nimoy has been very choosy about his roles in recent years, and his decision not to reprise his Mr. Spock character for Star Trek: Generations required the film's screenwriters to bring in other characters from the original Star Trek series to take his place.

"I was too scared to ask him," Bay says. "Plus, he's married to Susan Bay, who's a cousin of mine. So I had to be careful. I've met him at family functions. But he told me, 'I would be honored. I'm glad to be back!'"

Nimoy previously voiced the character Galvatron in 1986′s The Transformers: The Movie.

In Transformers 3, Nimoy will voice Sentinel Prime, the predecessor of Optimus Prime. The wreck of Sentinel Prime's body is seen in the teaser trailer, discovered on the moon in 1969 by the Apollo 11 astronauts. After he is brought to earth, he takes on the form of a fire engine for the film's climactic battle in Chicago.

The blockbuster Transformers film franchise is based on the hugely popular Transformers toy line by Hasbro. First released in 1984, the toys have inspired TV shows, comic books, movies and video games. Bay's 2007 feature based on the toys was the highest grossing non-sequel movie in 2007, taking in $709.7 million. Bay's sequel, 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, grossed $100 million more than the original.

Nimoy, who turned 80 last weekend, has been busy in recent years. He reprised the role of Spock in J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek reboot, playing alongside Zachary Quinto's younger version of the character, and he's had a recurring role in the Fox TV series Fringe.