Last week, word went around that there was a section written into the next Star Trek film in which William Shatner could reprise his iconic role of Captain Kirk alongside Leonard Nimoy’s Spock. But quickly after the report started spreading, Shatner took to his Twitter account to clear some things up. While he didn’t deny there was a role for him in the screenplay, he did say that he hadn’t been contacted by anyone about appearing in the movie. Director Roberto Orci said something similar on a fan site comment board, basically saying that he wouldn’t confirm or deny the report at this point. But at Nashville Comic-Con, Shatner confirmed that there is indeed a role for him, and that he’s been contacted by J.J. Abrams about it. Here’s the man himself telling the story of what happened:
Here’s the full transcript, via TrekMovie:
The weirdest thing has happened and I think I can tell you because it is so weird. So I’m in Australia a couple of weeks ago…and JJ Abrams calls me. He called me in Los Angeles and I’m not there, so my assistant calls me and says “JJ called and is going to call back.” I said “great” and hung up the phone “I wonder what JJ wants?” Because the last time I talked to JJ was before the first movie came out and I went to meet him at his office and he said “are you interested in being in the Star Trek movie?” “And I would play the captain?” “No, no. Not as Captain Kirk. We have a young, handsome guy to do that.” But he handed a script and I read it, and it stunk…It is like telling people “You know that little cute baby you got there. It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen!” So I didn’t say that to JJ. This is the worst script I have ever read and it is the next Star Trek movie and the beginning of the whole thing and it was awful! Turns out it wasn’t the script at all…He was assessing whether people were interested in being in the movie and handing them a dummy script because the final movie was really good, but it wasn’t the script that I read.
So now I get this call and he is going to call me back and a week and a half goes by and he never called me. I wonder if he is going to call me? Maybe it is a trick? Maybe it is TMZ? Could he be that cruel. So he calls and says “I’m calling, Bill, because the director of the Star Trek movie, the next one, has had an idea where you might be involved in it. So I am calling to see if you would be interested.” I said “Oh, yeah. If it is meaningful.” When Leonard was Spock in that first movie, I said to Leonard “you know when you go back in time you are still old.” So it depends on what you do with the character. I said “I would be delighted.” And he said “you can’t say anything.” And I said “I wont even tell my wife. I wont tell anyone. I wouldn’t do that, JJ.”
So I get back from Australia and it is all over the Internet, that the director held an interview and said they wanted Shatner and Nimoy to be in the next movie. I bet JJ is frothing at the mouth. So the news is out that they have an idea that they want Leonard and myself. They might want Leonard and myself . I don’t know what to do with it. How do you get me fifty years later into the movie…I know it’s science fiction, but even I couldn’t come up with an idea.
So that confirms the report that there is a draft of the script that has a Shatner/Nimoy scene in it, but whether that actually ends up making the final cut of the film is a different story. It depends on how integral to the movie it is, and while the report stated it was “plot-driven,” so it sounds likely that this will happen. And considering 2016 will be the 50th anniversary of the Trek franchise, it seems like Paramount basically HAS to get Shatner and Nimoy together again in canon for the first time in almost twenty-five years. What do you think? Want to see Shatner suit up once again?
Star Trek 3 (or whatever it ultimately ends up being called) will reportedly begin shooting in February of 2015 for a summer 2016 release.
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