Star Trek

Paul Giamatti Cast In Major Starfleet Academy Role

The veteran actor will play the new show’s main villain, according to reports.

Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti is joining the Star Trek universe. Variety reports that he has been cast in Starfleet Academy, the next streaming series in the franchise from Paramount+.

Giamatti will play the show’s main villain in a recurring guest role, according to the report — a character “who has a sinister connection to the past of one of the cadets.”

He joins actor Holly Hunter, who was previously announced as cast in the role of a Starfleet captain and the chancellor of Starfleet Academy. The new series is set in the 32nd century, in a Federation that is still putting itself back together after the cataclysm known as “the Burn” (which was the subject of Star Trek: Discovery‘s third season).

“Sometimes you’re lucky enough to discover that one of the greatest actors alive is also a huge ‘Star Trek’ fan, and meeting Paul was one of those miraculous moments for us,” co-showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Noga Landau said in a statement. “The sheer delight with which he dove in on ‘Starfleet Academy’ is only surpassed by the gratitude we feel about him joining our incredible cast.”

Paul Giamatti has long been a favorite of filmgoers and critics alike with standout performances in Saving Private Ryan, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Cinderella Man, M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water, and more. This year was nominated for Best Performance in a Leading Role for 2023’s The Holdovers. On television he won an Emmy for playing the title role in HBO’s miniseries John Adams, and more recently has co-starred with Damian Lewis in the hit Showtime drama Billions.

While he hasn’t done much science fiction and fantasy work, the actor did turn up in a very memorable cameo as the villain Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich) in Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Star Trek: Starfleet Academy begins filming in Toronto later this summer. The young cadets are still being cast, but with Hunter and Giamatti they couldn’t ask for a better pair of veteran actors to anchor the series.


Darren is a fan of all things science fiction, and founded the popular Stargate website GateWorld in 1999, followed by SciFi Stream in 2007. He lives in the Seattle area.

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