William Shatner appeared at a couple of Trek conventions over the weekend and gave some more details from his conversations with Star Trek XI Producer J.J. Abrams. According to TrekWeb, Shatner again confirmed that the characters of Kirk and Spock would be in the film, telling the crowd in Springfield, MA that "I had a talk with J.J. Abrams a while ago and they were writing a new script – and we are all hoping it will be wonderful…and he said, they were going to get the Kirk and Spock characters in there." The next day Shatner was in New York where Doug Wilson of TrekCore.com reports Shatner as saying "J.J. [Abrams] is committed to having Leonard and I, Leonard and me, in the film." Shatner also suggested that Abrams would be looking at unkowns for the roles of the younger Kirk and Spock.
Bring Kirk Back To Life?
According to both reports Shatner wondered how they would deal with Kirk’s death (at the end of Star Trek: Generations). "It’s easy for Leonard, because Spock’s alive. But I’m dead," said Shatner in New York. Assuming the bulk of the film takes place during the Original Series era, Kirk’s death would only become an issue if Nimoy and Shatner portion of the film takes place in some form of ‘flashforward’ and the scenes were set after the events of ‘Star Trek: Generations’ . There is no problem if their scenes are set before Generations (perhaps in the period between Star Trek VI and Generations), and Shatner’s recent CGI-enhanced DirecTV commercial shows how this can still be done believably. Alternatively they can be cast as different characters within the Original Series era. Although many fans have called for it, it is hard to imagine that they would spend the exposition time required to bring Kirk back to life in a post Generations setting.
Speaking of Shatner, don’t forget his new game show has a special preview this evening on ABC. Watch the first 12 minutes at ABC.com.