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The Star Trek Movie You Likely Forgot Featured Tom Hardy

Today, audiences know Tom Hardy best as the face of the Spider-Man adjacent "Venom" film franchise, as well as his iconic portrayal of the post-apocalyptic drifter Max from the 2015 action film "Mad Max: Fury Road," not to mention the menacing Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises." While the actor's name has become synonymous with major media properties such as these ones, some fans of Hardy may not know that he was actually once part of yet another extremely well-known pop culture juggernaut. Ever heard of a little series called "Star Trek," for instance? 

Though the massively beloved space-adventure franchise has derived much of its popularity from renowned TV shows like "Star Trek: The Next Generation," it has also expanded the scope and scale of its storytelling numerous times through feature films. As of 2022, thirteen films have been released, and another movie has been in the works for years (at one point even garnering the interest of Quentin Tarantino). Out of all these movies, Hardy was a central character for just one of them, but it was in a role you would never expect.

Hardy played a young Picard clone in Star Trek: Nemesis

Devoted "Star Trek" fans will likely remember the 2002 film "Star Trek: Nemesis." It was the final feature film to primarily focus on the cast of "The Next Generation," and saw Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and his fellow crew fight for the survival of Earth and the Federation when a sinister conspiracy on the alien planet of Romulus comes to light.

Tom Hardy played none other than the film's central antagonist, Shinzon. The leader of the subjugated Reman race, Shinzon sought to punish his Romulan oppressors and take over the Federation, asserting his power throughout the universe. In one of the film's biggest twists, it is revealed that Shinzon is actually a failed clone of Picard himself. Unsurprisingly, the two end up facing off in a one-on-one fight to the death. Picard emerges victorious, killing Shinzon and ending his bid for domination.

While Hardy's Shinzon is now something of a footnote — both in the long-winded history of the "Star Trek" universe and the actor's own illustrious career — his role in "Nemesis" nonetheless has had a legacy. Most importantly, it kickstarted a major turning point in the character arc of Picard, the effects of which are still being felt to this day in the ongoing series "Star Trek: Picard." Whether fans remember it well or not, few can deny that Hardy made his mark in the world of "Star Trek."