When we heard the Star Trek franchise was due to get a glossy, lens flare-filled big screen reboot, it wasn't long before fans everywhere began to ask whether the original James Tiberius Kirk, William Shatner, would also be getting involved in the proceedings.
As it turns out the original 2009 Star Trek director, J.J. Abrams, had considered providing Shatner with a very small role, although ultimately this plan fell through and only Leonard Nimoy featured in the rebooted series. However, with J.J. Abrams' defection taking him to a galaxy far, far away, it seems Shatner has been given a second chance from the new[Star Trek 3](movie:817262) director, Roberto Orci.
According to a report from Badass Digest, the writer and director's script features a scene in which both Nimoy and Shatner appear together as Kirk and Spock. Quite how that will fit into the narrative is anyone's guess, but with all this alternative universe, time-travelling mumbo-jumbo going on, I'm sure they'll figure something out.
Apparently, all Orci needs is the thumbs up from Shatner to make it so. If he agrees, this will be the first time Nimoy and Shatner have shared a big screen together since 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
Of course, there's no prizes for guessing what Shatner's response will be. The outspoken star has made no secret of his desire to appear in the popular rebooted series, while he also got into a fairly public spat with Abrams over his decision to remove Shatner from Star Trek.
With this in mind, let's take look at Shatner's previous comments regarding the new Star Trek franchise.
The Opening Shots
First, let's head all the way to 2008. In a video, which is directed at Abrams, Shatner addresses the early issues concerning his rumored appearance in Star Trek, especially concerning the rumor that he refused to star in only a cameo. Everyone's very polite to each other, but am I detecting an undercurrent of distaste?
Polite Trash Talking
Things changed fairly quickly, and although originally, Shatner always seemed positive about the rebooted series in public, by 2011 he was expressing his disappointment with the 2009 franchise launcher. Prior to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, he explained:
I think it’s wonderful. It’s a great ride, a great opening up of Star Trek to modern audiences. It doesn’t have the story heart that the best of my Star Trek had, but it’s a glorious motion picture.
Boldly Go Into Actual Insults
However, despite his bemoaning the series, he still seemed intent on getting a slice of the action, occasionally heading onto Twitter to rally up support from his followers. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse when Abrams also took control of the Star Wars franchise, and it seemed for some time that he might try to juggle both franchises. When asked about this in an interview, Shatner called Abrams a 'pig', claiming:
He's being a pig. He's collecting the two franchises and holding them close to his vest. He's probably the most talented director of that ilk that we have but he's gone too far this time.
He also added:
I think of him as a buddy of mine; I've taken him out for sushi. I think it's time for J.J. and I to have another sushi and let me put him straight on two of the largest franchises ... and not employing me in either one of them I think is just foolhardy.
He later apologized for the comments, stating on the Howard Stern show:
I used the wrong word. Because he’s such a great director, they’ve asked him to do Star Wars as well as Star Trek, which theoretically are competitive franchises. So he’s the center of the universe there. That’s great. He’s a great director. JJ’s a wonderful guy, I love him. There’s a confluence there that maybe competition would have helped, but who knows
With the departure of Abrams however, it looks like Shatner might finally have his window of opportunity to get back into the blockbuster series. But is this really a good thing? Let us know below.
Would you like to see William Shatner in Star Trek 3?