Would it have to be a reboot if they just showed the original way prime Spock and Kirk met? I don't believe we've ever seen that on screen, and with careful plotting, surely they could've made use of whatever references have been made to it in existing media.
My apologies if someone brought this up earlier in this 47 page thread, but to people who are bothered by the fact that these are alternate universe/timeline versions of the crew - would it have made a difference to you if they had just done a straight-up prequel? Like, set it in the prime universe, just doing a story we never saw before?
You couldn't do the same story at all. You couldn't blow up Vulcan, you couldn't kill Amanda and any danger you put the characters in wouldn't matter because you've already seen how their futures play out.
Either hard or soft, it had to be a reboot if they were going to do a Kirk/Spock origin.