Director J.J. ABRAMS has confirmed he originally approached Matt Damon to take on the role of CAPTAIN KIRK in the new Star Trek remake - but the actor turned him down.
The space age franchise originally featured William Shatner as the heroic starship captain, but the veteran stars from the first films have been replaced with a younger cast for the upcoming prequel.
And Lost creator Abrams admits Damon was his first choice for the starring role of Kirk - but he is glad to have been given the chance to subsequently hire little known star Chris Pine.
He tells America's Life magazine, "I actually approached Matt and we had some discussions, but everything happens for a reason. On the one hand, it would have been great to work with Matt - but at the end of the day, it was such a better move to cast the movie with unknowns."
The rest of the cast is also made up of lesser known actors, including Heroes' Zachary Quinto as Spock and Simon Pegg as Scotty.
And Abrams is convinced the casting will help make the characters more believable.
He adds, "It is fun to discover the stars of tomorrow, but even more so, just like with the first Star Wars, you didn't know who those people were when you saw the movie. You believed that guy was Luke Skywalker. You didn't recognise him from six other movies. You bought into who this guy was. It is a slippery slope when you cast any actor that is somewhat known. We weren't beholden to any fame meter.''
Star Trek is due for release next month (May09).