See Brent Spiner Replaced As Star Trek’s Data By Nicholas Hoult

We fashioned an image of what Nicholas Hoult might look like if he played Data of Star Trek fame.

By Kevin C. Neece | Updated

Here at GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT we’ve produced an image that casts Nicholas Hoult as Star Trek’s Data on Instagram. There’s no insider scuttlebutt or online rumors regarding Hoult being cast in some remake of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Brent Spiner hasn’t definitively retired the character of Data but that doesn’t mean another actor might take over the role in the future.

Recasting Star Trek characters is a fan favorite pastime, as is creating fan art to enjoy the particular creations of our own inventive head canons. And so we offer you an actor we would love to see playing Data: Nicholas Hoult. The Renfield star might not spring to mind as the most obvious choice, but playing the yellow-eyed one is no small acting feat as an absence of emotion is actually supremely difficult, and Hoult has the range and skill to handle just such a challenge.

When Spiner originated the now-iconic role of Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, he realized early on that, since no one knew how an android behaved, he got to follow his own acting instincts and essentially write the book on the subject. Since then, he has broadened and deepened the character more than Gene Roddenberry probably ever imagined, including delivering a masterful performance in a terrible movie that featured his signature character in what some see as the franchise’s biggest mistake. But the acting trail he blazed as our best positronic pal has left a tall order for anyone brave enough to once again occupy the role, and we think Hoult could be up to the challenge.

Nicholas Hoult as The Beast

While he has never been in Star Trek, Hoult has shown a penchant for science fiction and fantasy, starring as The Beast in the X-Men films and as Jack the Giant Slayer, not to mention legendary fantasy wizard J. R. R. Tolkien, creator of The Lord of the Rings. He will also star in the final film to be directed by Hollywood royalty Clint Eastwood, showing he has the acting skills to capture the storied director’s attention. His latest performance in Renfield also shows his dynamic range and taste for doing high adventure, action, and visual-effects-heavy films.

Also, this is a Star Trek we don’t even know yet and a Data we haven’t met. Who knows what could change about the character in some future iteration and what new ideas Hoult could bring to the table? We might be imagining him in the role just because he’s been on our minds lately or because he’s an actor we think has the chops to play Data or just because he looks so darn good in that uniform, not to mention with glistening android skin.

In any case, we hope Star Trek and Nicolas Hoult take note and grant our fan wish for a new Data series.