Simon Pegg: A role in JJ Abrams' Star Wars reboot would be mission impossible

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The comic actor, who played Scotty in the director's Star Trek franchise, is making a return to television claiming the genre is luring the biggest names away from Hollywood

Television schedules will become “obsolete” as viewers demand instant access to their favourite series through web downloads, the comedy actor Simon Pegg has warned.

The Star Trek and Mission Impossible star said that television dramas like Breaking Bad, which offer a greater depth of characterisation, are luring leading actors away from Hollywood movies.

But broadcasters must accept that viewers will no longer wait a week for the next episode of their favourite cliffhanger drama.

Pegg said: “Television is no longer film’s poorer cousin. I think it’s a place where a lot of the serious acting and great writing is taking place now.”

“But the way we watch TV is definitely changing. The networks have to keep up with that. We are definitely now in the age of (subscription television and film download service) Netflix.”

The British actor, 43, is enjoying the box office success of The World’s End, the conclusion of the “zombie comedy” trilogy which began with Shaun Of The Dead.

The co-creator of Channel 4’s ground-breaking Spaced comedy series is returning to television after filming a pilot for Mob City, a new US drama directed by Frank Darabont, the Shawshank Redemption writer.

“A lot of the serious acting is taking place on TV these days,” he said. “You only have to look at the kind of actors that are working in TV.

“If you’re an actor and you want to live with a character and develop it over the years, that’s definitely something TV offers you.”

Pegg backed Kevin Spacey who told the television executives that web-savvy viewers are demanding greater control over what they watch.

“The idea of serial TV is becoming more and more obsolete in terms of having to wait a whole week to see a drama again and then sit through it with multiple commercial breaks,” Pegg said.

“I watched Breaking Bad episodes on DVD one after the other. It’s only now I’m having to wait on a weekly basis to watch it and it’s the slowest way to way to watch TV.”

“So TV production has to have a rethink. The way we consume TV is changing. In order to keep audiences interested I think the networks have to keep up with how people watch TV.”

Simon Pegg at the Star Trek Into Darkness premiere in London Simon Pegg at the Star Trek Into Darkness premiere in London The Gloucestershire-born Pegg hopes to make a move into children’s television with Henri Le Worm, an animated cooking series, launched as an iPad app, which he helped devise with chef Raymond Blanc.

“The greatest thing you can do with any kind of art or entertainment is have a personal effect or encourage people to rethink the ideas they have – in this case food and nutrition,” said Pegg, who voices the insect characters.

“Having young children I thought it was a great idea. There is the potential to put behind us the era of processed food and actually start realising the importance of organic food and eating well.”

A sci-fi buff, firmly established as engineer Scotty in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek franchise reboot, Pegg doesn’t want a role in the director’s forthcoming Star Wars Episode VII.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to be in it, to be honest,” he said. “I think J.J. should cast new faces with no stunt casting.”

“I wouldn’t want to be popped out of (enjoyment of) the film by a knowing cameo. I think it would be great to do it properly.”

“When we watched the first Star Wars I didn’t know anybody – even Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing, who were emissaries from a more classical acting world. For me as a kid it was all new faces. I believed every single one of them. I think, let’s not be post-modern about it.”

Disney and Lucasfilm have denied reports that Abrams was close to quitting the project because he didn’t want to relocate his family to Britain to shoot the film. But Pegg said: “J.J. is at the helm at the moment and they’ll be coming over here to start production next year. He understands it better than anybody else and I’m very excited that he’s the man for the job.”

Pegg is urging the Star Trek writers to boldly go and create some new alien life forms when the franchise returns. "We've addressed some of the classic characters and we're just about to start our five-year mission. I'd like to see some new stuff coming up. It would be good to come across some new adversaries and original characters. I think we've established ourselves enough to be able to do that so who knows?”

Pegg is attracted by another sci-fi revival, a third X Files film. Series creator Chris Carter has already indicated that the project is underway and there will be a role for Pegg. “I was a big fan of The X Files and I’ve become friends with Gillian Anderson since,” Pegg said.

“I’ve always loved that show, so, yes, it’s definitely something I’d consider. It’s a great story and it would be nice to see it continue.” The new film “has to be with David Duchovny and Gillian” however.

Pegg has signed up to reprise the role of Benji alongside Tom Cruise for a fifth Mission Impossible film, set for 2015. Is there ever a time to put a long-running franchise to bed?

“It all depends on what the audience want. If the audience wants more then it’s up to us to give them more. But it’s also up to us to give them originality and not just to try to rehash old ideas.”

But the team of Pegg, actor Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright, which produced the “Cornetto trilogy” of zombie films, will one day be reactivated.

“We’ll definitely work together again,” Pegg said. “Whether we link three films or do one-offs I don’t know. The world’s our oyster. We can do something different.”

After bigging up Cornettos, will they name their next enterprise after another member of the Wall’s food family? “I don’t know what company is going to end up being the recipient of such ardent free advertising,” the actor joked.

Arts and Entertainment
Keith from The Office ten years on

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams prepares to enter the House of Black and White as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season five

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Albert Hammond Junior of The Strokes performs at the Natural History Museum on July 6, 2006 in London, England.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tv review
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

The best TV shows and films coming to the service

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003