Actor to play Nero in J.J. Abrams film

Eric Bana has signed on to play “Star Trek” villain Nero in Paramount Pictures’ bigscreen adaptation of the sci-fi series.

Plot details and even character descriptions of the J.J. Abrams-helmed project are being kept under wraps.

Anton Yelchin, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Leonard Nimoy have already boarded the USS Enterprise. Casting is under way in New York and London, and Abrams had been expected to pursue bigger-name actors for the roles of the villain and the Federation captain, the latter of which remains unfilled.

Par still needs to cast several other major parts before the November start date, including a young James T. Kirk and Scotty.

Abrams is producing the film through his Paramount-based Bad Robot shingle alongside Stratton Leopold. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci wrote the screenplay and will exec produce along with Bryan Burk and Damon Lindelof.

“Star Trek” will bow on Christmas Day 2008.

Bana, who is filming “The Time Traveler’s Wife” for New Line, next appears in Sony’s “The Other Boleyn Girl” alongside Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.

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