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Shatner Says Abrams Wants Him and Nimoy in Trek XI

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. 

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November 14, 2006 10:13 am

Use this opportunity to rectify the decision to kill Kirk in “Generations”. It was a bad idea then and remains one to this day. Fix it — Have Spock find a way, push till it gives!! This would remove the need for a CGI de-aging effect for Spock. But another reason would have to be given for Kirk’s appearance since presumably he “actually” is still trapped inside the Nexus.

PS So was killing Mr. Data a bad move. Killing off a main character has always been regarded as a solution to “Writer’s Block” — and simply a lack of anymore good ideas.

JON
November 14, 2006 10:20 am

Bringing back Shatner and Nimoy tells me Abrams doesn’t have enough confidence that the new Trek can make it on it’s own without them and needs an insurance policy.It also tells me new Trek will not have it’s own identity apart from the original.

MichaelT
November 14, 2006 10:25 am

Kirk’s death was just wrong. But if the plot isn’t done right to revive him, it’ll look bad and the entire film will suffer. They have to be careful….

by the way, Josh you have messages near the end of the threads on “Viacom Chief”…

November 14, 2006 10:26 am

… or to bring validity to the “New” actors who are to play the roles. I personally prefer that TREK go forward but it is out of my hands. The next movie is going back to the Original Series Era — it appears to be policy — so I’m on board with the concept rather than ignore that it is going to happen.

JON
November 14, 2006 10:42 am

…New actors better be unknowns with nothing to say because no self respecting actor would let themselves be upstaged by Shatner/Nimoy.

November 14, 2006 10:50 am

good point Jon. So what does that say for Matt Damon?

Bob
November 14, 2006 12:08 pm

This would be great news. A perfect chance to give Kirk the ending he deserves.

It would be so easy to do. Just have Spock rescue Kirk from the nexus. Much like Kirk saved Spock on the Genesis planet. The circle would be complete.

Surely it can be explained that there is anothet Kirk still alive in the nexus.
That entire nexus plot was written so poorly. Anyhthing is possible.

Shatner and Nimoy as Kirk and Spock in Star Trek XI would be just the event film the franchise needs to get back on it’s feet.

This is awesome news. Bring back the real Kirk and Spock. One more time.

Oco Chico
November 14, 2006 12:11 pm

Kirk, deserves a better ending than he got in Generations. I’d love to see Kirk brought back to life.

Wow, Nimoy and Shatner. Now JJ has my attention.

It’s good to have a long time fan running the series.

Steve
November 14, 2006 12:16 pm

except of course as Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga explained the Nexus, if you willingly leave it and are not pulled out forcibly, you don’t leave behind a peace of yourself and Guinan and Soran did; that is why there is no Kirk and no Picard left in the Nexus; they left by CHOICE. The argument can be made, though, now that I think of it, Kirk was forced by his sense of DUTY to leave but he didn’t want to exit his paradise. Hmmmm….

Steve
November 14, 2006 12:23 pm

come to think of it, they don’t even have to show this rescue from the Nexus; Kirk could just be alive and in an off hand way thanking Spock for saving him from that false paradise and returning him where he was meant to be; or something like that……it’s so easy to fix with the crap that was the Nexus…..

Steve
November 14, 2006 12:33 pm

How about this? Kirk joins Spock in working on the Romulan reunification issue and the flashbacks could have to do with the Earth/Romulan war and the first reappearance of the Romulans in the TOS era in “Balance of Terror”. So many possibilities….

November 14, 2006 12:34 pm

Steve–the nexus has more plot holes than swiss cheese.

There are several ways to bring Kirk back with the nexus. Here’s the easiest:

–When Kirk left the nexus with Picard, he and Picard travelled back in time to a point before Soran beat the snot out of Picard and therefore prevented Soran and Picard from entering the nexus. By doing that, the nexus passed by without Picard going in. If Picard didn’t go in, a new timeline is created where Kirk didn’t leave. So Kirk is still in there.

Paradoxes can be your friend.

And here’s a solid for this website because it has been giving cool news.

http://www.tvguide.com/News-Views/Interviews-Features/Article/default.aspx?posting=%7BC5D700DB-6D8B-4AD5-9E60-82F7D8F324AB%7D

Go to that link. Remember when TV Guide said Shatner “dismissed the idea of Kirk appearing” and they promised a full interview.

The above link is that full interview.

He did NOT dismiss a thing. All he said that it was possible that we’ve seen the last of Kirk. No shit. Until he is signed, that’s true.

Now just bring back Kirk damn it!

November 14, 2006 12:38 pm

In response to Jon’s comment about not having confidence. It’s not a lack of confidence to use Shatner. It’s a sign that they need to relaunch.

There is no better way to relaunch a franchise that was ran into the ground than to finally do the story that so many people have been clamoring for over the last 13 years.

For 13 years a good chunk of Trek fans have been pissed over Kirk’s death. And so many people have abandoned this franchise.

What better way to reach out to the Trek fans that have left, then by bringing back the most notable character? What better way to allow another actor to play Kirk, than to have William Shatner pass the torch?

Abrams bringing back Kirk would be absolutely brilliant.

Steve
November 14, 2006 12:38 pm

I think your scenario is too complicated and would take valuable screen time to explain. Just have Kirk thank Spock for rescuing him from that prison and be done with it; give the Nexus as little attention as it deserves. We all know that Spock could figure it out and save Kirk; we don’t need to see it.

Steve
November 14, 2006 12:50 pm

Okay, here it is: The movie could open with Spock welcoming Kirk back but doing so in the period between when Kirk is lost in the Nexus and when he is found by Picard in there. Pulling Kirk out of the Nexus would leave a portion of Kirk in there and that is what Picard finds in the future to stop Soran. No paradoxes, no issues, all works well and fits. Or, if you like this better, Spock could find Kirk after the events of Generations and he could make a comment about the TNG era, something like “if the science were any more obvious…..”. He simply cannot believe they left Kirk there. Kind of a TOS stab at TNG for its dry dependence on science and lack of emotion. Coming from Spock, this would be an interesting comment.

November 14, 2006 12:58 pm

Kirk’s been dead for over a decade, and I don’t care. If Abrams feels the need to have Nimoy and Shatner in the film for a couple of minutes somewhere he’s certainly clever enough to do it without taking time out to resurrect Kirk post-“Generations.”

Dom
November 14, 2006 1:00 pm

Well, the Nexus ***does*** allow you to revisit your past. Maybe Spock finds his way into the Nexus and takes a journey back into his past in order to rescue his best friend!

As for that scientifically-dodgy business about ***willingly*** leaving the Nexus, just ignore it: Guinan was wrong. Who says Guinan’s the great expert?! ;)

Oh, and another thing that pee-ed me off with Generations: why didn’t Kirk travel back from the Nexus to the Enterprise-B and stop Soran there?!!

cbspock
November 14, 2006 1:00 pm

It would be very easy to just have Kirk alive again, you just don’t count Generations, which was the first in a horrible series of TNG movies. What a better way to reboot the franchise than dump all the baggage of Modern Trek .

Steve
November 14, 2006 1:04 pm

Because Picard led the way and Kirk followed. Picard believed that he could not alter the timeline BUT he also believed the massive loss of life at failing to stop Soran was his fault; his failure and he needed to prevent that but in a way that altered the timeline as little as possible.

Anyway, Spock should NOT go into the Nexus himself just bring Kirk out as if it were easy and not understand why Picard and the Enterprise-D could not figure it out themselves. Easy. Done. No more than 5 minutes on screen than get on with the story which I say should be Kirk accompanying Spock back to Romulus and working with him on the reunification issue.

Steve
November 14, 2006 1:11 pm

This could be the movie that Nemesis could have been. Bringing the Romulans to the big screen; something they deserve after all this time. We could deal with issues of pre-federation and federation relationship with the Romulans (i.e. the Earth/Romulan War). All contact with the Romulans through history could be covered as part of the reunification issue. The Romulans are so overdue for some real development and on the big screen would just be awesome. Nemesis really hurt the Romulans as a legitimate race so Abrams could fix that and still have a young Kirk and Spock in flashback moments, recreations of “Balance of Terror” moments, individual Kirk and Spock moments where Romulans impacted on their early lives separately. I think this could work well.

John N
November 14, 2006 1:22 pm

I love Kirk, and really wish that they had never killed him off… but do we really want to go down the road of some convoluted solution to bring him back, all the while remaining consistent with canon?

Isn’t it this sort of ‘weight’ that has been bringing Trek down over the last few series?

I know it’s controversial, but they’ve done such a wonderful job with Battlestar Galactica, that I would fully welcome a reboot of TOS.

What more evidence do you need than Ronald Moore? Free from the constraints of Trek, he has gone one to create an amazing character-driven show.

I’m not saying abandon everything that made TOS as great as it was… but perhaps abandon everything that came afterwards that has added so many layers that the original product is no longer recognizable, and dare I say it… interesting.

November 14, 2006 1:25 pm

I don’t think it’s that complicated. It’s no more complicated than when Doc Brown explained alternate timelines to Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2.

I agree that Kirk’s return should be done as quickly as possible to move on. But I’d like to see Shatner and Nimoy in a big role.

Kirk may have been gone a long time, but he is the most recognizable character in Star Trek. Generations created unfinished business. What good is watching a prequel Kirk when you know exactly how his life ends?

Kirk’s final appearance should be a happy ending, where he rides off into the sunset.

And Shatner’s final appearance should be used to pass the torch to another Kirk.

November 14, 2006 1:29 pm

Also keep in mind that one does not NEED the nexus to bring back Kirk. It’s a flawed concept. If Abrams wants to do something to reanimate the body on Veridian III, like what Shatner did in THE RETURN, that’s cool too.

One only needs to say that Kirk was revived shortly after Generations, and has been doing his thing for a decade.

But I do think that there is a LOT of potential for a parallel story with Shatner and Nimoy in big roles, saving the day in the 24th century, while young Kirk and Spock do the same thing in their first adventure.

Shatner in this movie is too exciting.

The Gospel truth
November 14, 2006 1:37 pm

The Nexus was just bullshit anyway. They could just easily say that what helped Picard wasn’t kirk, but an ‘echo’ of him. Thus meaning the real Kirk is still alive.

November 14, 2006 1:40 pm

Whatever they decide, the key is that Kirk is alive, post-Generations at the end.

Any other use of Shatner–especially as another character–would be a waste. And doing a pre-Generations appearance would be a blown opportunity.

Signing Shatner gets the ball to the 5 yard line. Anything that doesn’t have a post-Generations living Kirk–would be a fumble.

Screw a cameo. Make them top billing.

Steve
November 14, 2006 1:49 pm

I agree with all of you except with the reboot. Rebooting is a cop-out; an option for weak, tired writers with no real skill of imagination. It’s so easy to fix the death of Kirk, there is no reason for that exercise in lazy creativity that is the reboot (Battlestar Galactica reboot was acceptable because the original never got developed; it barely started). Everyone here has come up with viable solutions to the death of Kirk and no doubt these ideas came, just as mine did, with just a few seconds of thought; imagine if some real time with creative minds worked on this. I just hope the solution is a very small amount of screen time so we can get on with the new story. Maybe Kirk has been with Spock on Vulcan for all this time (you can tell I really want to continue this reunification story; so much wasted potential there).

Dom
November 14, 2006 1:52 pm

Open the film with Spock looking over a desolate terrain alone.

Kirk walks up to him.

Spock raises his eyebrow and asks: ‘Aren’t you dead?’

Kirk shrugs and replies: ‘Aren’t you?’

That was painless!!! ;)

Cheryl B
November 14, 2006 1:57 pm

Kirk’s return portrayed by William Shatner would be wonderfull. I can’t wait.
I always felt his “death” in Generations was poorly done.

I’m really looking forward to this.

Steve
November 14, 2006 2:10 pm

Dom, THAT’S PERFECT!!! Exactly what I was getting at. Keep it simple, very little screen time, AND NOT THE MAIN PLOT OF THE NEW MOVIE! Excellent. I can picture it so perfectly right now; JJ? JJ? You reading?

Daniel Shock
November 14, 2006 2:13 pm

I think they could bring Kirk back to life without even really talking about how it was done. If it were me, I would start the film out with a huge exploding Nexsus, a ship warping out of it just ahead of the explosion. Kirk and Spock are onboard with Spock mind melding with Kirk to “bring him back”. No explanation necessry – just Spock saving Kirk from an unexplained phenomena. The person writing the novelization could fill in the details. I don’t see a need for any big expository rescue. Exposition should be limited as it is really boring.

Steve
November 14, 2006 2:15 pm

You could even see Spock responding, ” I got better, thanks to you.” And Kirk commenting somehow that the reverse is also true and that’s all the information we need. Obviously, Spock rescued Kirk from the Nexus and life goes on.

Steve
November 14, 2006 2:17 pm

Daniel, even that is too much. Don’t waste FX money on saving Kirk, keep it simple in a scene like Dom described above and let US fill in the details and if you like, the novelization can expand.

John N
November 14, 2006 2:29 pm

Listen, I appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm, I really do.

But as an media editor, I feel that I can say with a certain level of confidence that the ONLY way to bring Kirk back would be to make that the plot of the ENTIRE movie. You would need that amount of time to properly develop any sort of believable story arc that would pull people in emotionally.

Know what happens if you don’t? Ever see “Batman & Robin”? If so, remember this brilliant bit of exposition?

BATMOBILE hurles out of the Bat Cave. And image of Commisioner Gorden appears on the monitor of the dash.

GORDON: Batman… there’s a man freezing everything at Gotham Museum. He calls himself… MR. FREEZE!

See how ‘simple’ that was? No details required, and now we can start the heroes right off with the REAL story. Rember how terrible a film this was that put the final nail in the coffin (only to be later saved by a reboot).

And if you think that the reboot is lazy (though I can’t imagine that anyone who actually watches Battlestar would call their writing lazy), then how can any can any “Simple! They can do it in 5 minutes” throw-away opening be considered anything BUT lazy writing?

Dave
November 14, 2006 2:31 pm

Why is it that fan of SciFi tend to think that the solution to death is to bring a character back to life?\

Spock’s heroic death in ST2 was cheapened by bringing him back in ST3. Granted its great to see the character back in the films and all, but what is the point in killing a character off and making it somewhat meaningful if the next writer can come along and undo it?

Thank goodness, JMS has no such issues. If he kills a character in a series that character stays dead.

I have no desire to see Kirk resurrected. I’m one of a small minority that thought his death is Generations was very Kirk-like. He went out saving the galaxy from a terrible fate. Something that Kirk would have wanted to do. If you want to talk about pointless deaths that should have been undone, how about Tasha Yar in “Skin of Evil?” If anyone ever deserved a more meaningful death it was her.

Steve
November 14, 2006 2:36 pm

God, there’s always someone who reintrets what people say to fit there own argument. I did not say the writers of BG are lazy only that reboots in general are a non-creative and lazy way of continuing the Trek franchise. It worked for BG because so little had been established in that franchise and I’m a huge fan of both. You know why Batman & Return failed? Because it was a BAD movie; period, simple as that. From direction, to acting, to script, nothing worked. We all already have an emotional connection to Kirk so don’t need a long convoluted FX filled film to show us his return. We would accept it. Why? Because the plot devices used to create his death were so bad and inexplicable that undoing that nonsense would be simple and undeserving of a full movie. The Nexus as a concept simply didn’t work, just grab Kirk from it using Spocks scientific genius and be done with it. And as Dom and I and others have said, it would even work if this were done off screen.

Daniel Shock
November 14, 2006 2:40 pm

Steve – I agree – I was just tossing something off the top of my head. I think things work great when you don’t explain every little detail – leave stuff to the imagination and people will have fun filling it in on their own.

Daniel Shock
November 14, 2006 2:46 pm

John N – I don’t agree – lots of movies start off as if they are in the middle of the story. Star Wars, for example. This movie wouldn’t be about saving Kirk. It would be about Kirk and Spock in the early days. But a bookend situation in which the characters are remembering something from the past, I think it works fine.

John N
November 14, 2006 2:56 pm

Daniel… I agree with your statement, and think that it would work well if Kirk were conveniently alive.

Steve… relax… I wasn’t trying to twist your words… I obviously misunderstood your point, and if so, then I apologize.

However, I still don’t see how a five minute intro that ‘leaves everything to the imagination’ isn’t lazy, and would appeal to anyone other than those who are just so anxious to have Kirk back that they are willing to overlook this classic example of Deux Ex Machina.

John N
November 14, 2006 2:57 pm

oops… Deus Ex Machina… if I pull out terms like that, I had better at least get the spelling right… ;)

John N
November 14, 2006 2:59 pm

One other point Steve… the reboot doesn’t only work for under-developed franchises like the original Battlestar Galactica.

Comic book franchises with a rich history of back stories have successfully rebooted themselves several times.

jonboc
November 14, 2006 3:03 pm

Nexus Schmexus. Who cares about the Nexus? The new crowd that Paramount is aiming at, and the old school original series fans don’t really care. Just get Shat and Nimoy in there somwhere, as Kirk and Spock, use them to introduce the new Kirk and Spock and their early adventure in the era, make it good, and everyone will be happy campers.

John A.
November 14, 2006 3:14 pm

Anyone who thinks Shatner and Nimoy -shouldn’t- be in the film is crazy. Sorry, but I just to say that :)

Lao3D
November 14, 2006 3:14 pm

John N is right (jonboc too)– the idea of this film is to reinvigorate the Trek “franchise” (god what an awful term, but that’s what it is). Obviously they don’t want to alienate diehard fans and creat backlash, but neither can they do backflips trying to cater to plot lines and continuity that only the diehards here know or care about (and I count myself among that number, believe me). But the Kirk I know is a lean, mean femalien-chasing machine, a lover, fighter and all around kick-ass leader of men and women. And I love and admire Shatner, I really do, but it makes me sad to see him trussed up now in that costume, bedecked in some bad rug. And Nimoy has allowed Spock to retire with dignity. Let Abrams and company build on the huge, and I mean HUGE legacy, these two fine actors created. Write them big fat checks as consultants, but don’t try to find a way to force them on-screen as Kirk and Spock. Let’s allow the torch to be passed and see if we can build a Trek that will survive further into the 21st century.

JON
November 14, 2006 3:19 pm

If you want to see Shatner and Nimoy again go to a Star Trek convention.Shatner made his final contribution when he endorsed the death of Kirk.

Lao3D
November 14, 2006 3:26 pm

What he said. :)

Dr. Image
November 14, 2006 3:27 pm

A good writer (JJ) could dispense with all the Nexus BS in five minutes. THAT’S all that Braga-created quagmire would need to obliterate it.

Killing Kirk was the most arrogant and misguided gesture in the history of Trek. How short-sighted and just plain stupid could someone be??
Not surprising though, given who was behind it.

Bring. Shat. BACK!!!

John A.
November 14, 2006 3:31 pm

The RETURN (or a movie based on that premise) would work well to bring Kirk back, and be a logical way to have both Spock and TNG in the movie.

I was watching Voyager yesterday, where 7 of 9 brough Neelix back to life by using nanoprobes after he had been dead for 18 hrs. In the episode, she said that the Borg could bring people back to life after being dead for as long as 72hrs. First Contact was the biggest TNG movie because it had the Borg in it. A “RETURN” style movie would give people the ‘Kirk VS Picard” angle that alot of people have wanted over the years (just please don’t keep him a Borg).

Lao3D
November 14, 2006 3:38 pm

First Contact was the most successful TNG film because it didn’t put people to sleep, or force us to see Riker and Troi in a hottub.

JON
November 14, 2006 3:41 pm

Great ! Make ANOTHER star Trek movie about bringing back a dead character.Yeah.That’ll really pack em into theaters (all 6 of the Trekkies who post Kirk’s return from death on this site).No more back from the dead themes in Trek.PLEASE!

John N
November 14, 2006 3:49 pm

That’s TrekKERs… :)

#46 – ” Bring. Shat. BACK!!! ”

If you think about it, you’ve really clarified the argument here. People in here really aren’t arguing about bring Kirk back. That’s going to happen regardless.

They want Shatner back.

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