Fans of the Netflix series Cobra Kai will know Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, the son of Johnny Lawrence who originally runs the dojo Cobra Kai. Before that Tanner had a two- season run as Leo Kirkman, the son of President Kirkman (played by Keifer Sutherland) in Designated Survivor.
The 22-year-old has been acting since he was eleven years old and has amassed quite a list of credentials. Though still young, he has the gravitas, as shown by his current role as Robby, to take on the character of a young James T. Kirk. He currently portrays a teenager who is dealing with trauma from his estrangement with his father. That role enables gives him some great opportunities for emotional scenes as well as some questionable actions. And, if Kirk were to appear on Strange New Worlds, most likely, he would not have the control he has when he takes over the Enterprise ten years later.
In Star Trek 2009, Chris Pine’s version of James Kirk was somewhat reckless, a ladies’ man, and someone who didn’t pay much attention to authority or rules. Tanner already played that as Leo Kirkman in Designated Survivor. Though he was much younger, he clearly has the ability to tap into that wild side should that be the way SNW chooses to portray him.
SNW would take place ten years before The Original Series which would make Kirk around 22 years old. That gives Tanner plenty of time to grow into the role should it be more than a one-off appearance.