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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Saldana 'to be Star Trek's Uhura'
Zoe Saldana
Saldana has also appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean
Actress Zoe Saldana is to play Uhura in the new big screen adaptation of Star Trek, according to a report.

The 29-year-old, who acted opposite Britney Spears in Crossroads, will play the African-American bridge commander, says trade newspaper Daily Variety.

Uhura, which means freedom in Swahili, was played by Nichelle Nichols in three series of the sci-fi TV show.

In 1966 she shared US TV's first interracial kiss with co-star William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk.

Her character broke rank with previous depictions of black female characters on screen, who were usually cast as maids and housekeepers.

Older Spock

Nichelle Nichols
Nichelle Nichols made the role famous in the 1960s TV series
Saldana recently completed filming on thriller Vantage Point, and is currently working on James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar.

The new Star Trek film, scheduled for release on Christmas Day 2008, follows the crew during their early days at the Starfleet Academy.

It will be the 11th in the series, and will see Leonard Nimoy return in the role of an older Spock.

The original Star Trek TV series, created by Gene Roddenberry, ran from 1966 to 1969.

It went on to spawn 10 feature films, numerous spin-offs and a billion-dollar industry of books, computer games and consumer products.

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