Last Sunday, Cinematical was the first to tell you that Chris Pine was the odds-on favorite to take on the big role of psycho cop Junior Stemmons in Joe Carnahan's White Jazz. Carnahan has subsequently confirmed as much on his blog. The role is Pine's if he wants it, so why is he not signing on the dotted line? The reason, as I understand it, is that he's pretty much being forced to choose between a major, potentially star-making role in White Jazz or a very minor role as Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams new Star Trek film. In today's Variety, we learn that Simon Pegg has landed the role of Scotty in that film and that Pine has been officially offered the captain's chair, but hasn't yet taken it. I can see how this would be a tough choice. Even though it's well known that the new Star Trek film is practically sans-Kirk, the prestige of getting to play Kirk could open all kinds of doors for this kid, and who knows -- White Jazz may not turn out as well as everyone hopes. He's between a rock and a hard place. In other Star Trek XI casting news, The Hollywood Reporter tells us that John Cho, of Harold and Kumar fame, has landed the role of Sulu.

In other White Jazz news, Smokin' Joe has put up some more awesome concept art on his blog. This time it's not quite as cool as the panoramic view of 1958 Los Angeles, but it does have a ring of high-class sleaze to it that's reminiscent of L.A. Confidential. The large piece of art has the story's anti-hero Dave Klein walking away, with head down, from some swank Hollywood home that looks like where Pierce Patchett would live. If Joe has any heart at all, he's going to let me onto the set of this movie!