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Having turned out a handsome, if not record-shattering, third chapter to Paramount's Mission: Impossible series, J.J. Abrams has now been entrusted to reinvigorate one of the studio's most enduring franchises: Star Trek. the Insider's Marc Malkin reports that for his prequel vision, Abrams wants none other than Matt Damon to step in as a youthful, pre-toupeed Captain Kirk:

I'm told J.J. Abrams is very interested in casting the Oscar-winning [Matt] Damon as a young Captain Kirk in the upcoming 'Star Trek' movie that he's directing and producing. He's so interested that he's apparently already sought support from the original Kirk, William Shataner. "Shatner gave his blessing," my source says. "J.J. got his approval." Damon first popped up in Trekkie circles as soon as the Abrams-'Star Trek' deal was announced. Rumor had it that the new movie would center on Kirk and Spock's early days at a space academy. "J.J. wants Damon as Capt. Kirk," my source reports. "He really loves the idea."

Possessing the quiet charisma and stately authority required to shout orders from the Captain's chair, Damon seems a good choice for Kirk. We must now hold our breaths until Abrams' pick for a young Spock is announced. Seeing the role as the perfect comeback/reunion vehicle, Ben Affleck has been begging wife and Abrams' former Alias muse Jennifer Garner to bring him over to J.J.'s house to show off his homemade, papier-mache pointy ears and demonstrate his mastery of the Vulcan neck pinch.