James Cromwell as Zefram Cochrane.
Movies - TV
How (And Why) Star Trek Recast Zefram Cochrane For First Contact
James Cromwell played Zefram Cochrane in 1996’s “Star Trek: First Contact,” but this was not the first time the character appeared on “Star Trek.”
In the original series episode "Metamorphosis" (November 10, 1967), the character who invented the warp drive was unexpectedly discovered on a distant planet.
In “Metamorphosis,” Cochrane was played by Glenn Corbett. However, the makers of “First Contact” needed someone very unlike the matinee-idol-handsome actor.
This Cochrane was going to be unrefined and unenlightened. Cromwell portrayed him as an irascible drunk who only aims to invent warp engines to make money.
Initially, the casting directors were also onsidering Tom Hanks for the role, but according to a 1996 episode of "HBO First Look," Cromwell was the preferred actor from the start.