'Star Trek' Beams Up New Uhura

J.J. Abrams' fresh crew of the USS Enterprise has added its communications officer.

According to the industry trade papers, Zoe Saldana is in place to play Uhura, one of the key members of the Enterprise bridge crew for Paramount's upcoming "Star Trek" franchise reboot.

The exact specifics of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci's scripts remain under wraps, but casting and rumors have long suggested that director-producer Abrams plans to provide a peek at the earliest days of the Enterprise team (a "Muppet Babies Star Trek," if you will).

Set for a Christmas Day 2008 release, "Star Trek" has already booked several major leads including Zachary Quinto ("Heroes") as Young Spock and Anton Yelchin ("Huff") as Young Chekov.

Nichelle Nichols originated the Uhura part on the small and big screen.

Although Saldana may be a relative unknown now, the "Star Trek" casting puts her in line to star in two massive films in a six month period. The 29-year-old actress plays one of the female leads in James Cameron's "Avatar," set for a summer 2009 release. Her current credits include "Drumline," "Guess Who" and the upcoming "Vantage Point."