I think setting it 100 years after TNG and having Will Smith or whoever as the new captain could have been a big enough success. It'd still have to be an action movie though I admit.
I think that's potentially interesting idea but could also be seen as Will Smith/Whoever generic SF action movie-but-with-Trek-branding (unless got some cameos/nods in). Heck, they could even have done VOY/DS9/ENT movies; just recast them with box office names. I still think Paramount took the best/wisest route, even if safest. For all its faults, '09 is a Trek movie first and foremost. And I suspect the sequel moreso.