Shatner on ‘Star Trek’ Movie: Nimoy Is In, I am Not

In his latest videoblog on Shatnervision, William Shatner discusses the recent rumors about tension between himself and Leonard Nimoy over roles in the new ‘Star Trek’ movie. The Shat makes a joke about the tensions, but also says that Nimoy has a part and he does not.

Transcript (of relevant bit):

Shatner: There is a Star Trek movie and I called Leonard. I said "have you heard" and he said "yes I have," I said "what do you mean?" and he said "I have read the script." I said "Is it a good script?" and he said "ya." I said "am I in it?" and then there was a pause, he said "no" and then he began to laugh. I went through the…I grabbed him by the throat. He’s in it and I’m not in it!

[question: Why didn’t Leonard say ‘if Bill’s not in it I am not going to be in it’]

Shatner: Because we are not that good friends [laughs]. I mean the man needs the money. Leonard loves to benefit the whole stargazing thing at the planetarium. He’s got the whole bit…it’s the Susan and Leonard Nimoy Planetarium…

I had heard the same rumors reported in the New York tabloids and I knew the ‘Shatner is angry’ part was not true (but it seemed that there may be a kernel of truth to the Nimoy role part). Last week I contacted Nimoy’s reps and was told it is ‘premature’ for any comment at this time. Paramount of course ‘do not comment on rumors’ (even when they are from Shatner). I do believe that there is truth to what Shatner is saying, but that there is currently no final signed deal for Nimoy.

What role is for Nimoy?
If Nimoy is in, then there seems to be only two possibilities. One would be an older Spock (likely post-Star Trek Generations) in some form of flashforward (Abrams just loves those). The other possibility would be another character, maybe Spock’s father Sarek. Nimoy himself has said to be open to playing Spock again if the role were substantial and also appeared open to playing Sarek.

No Shat?
As for Shatner having no role it is a bit hard to reconcile with the recent comment by the film’s writers that they were still hoping that Shatner would have a role in the film. Perhaps Orci’s comment "we’re certainly hoping to include him in the shoot" could be taken differently and meant that they hoped Shatner would be there but not in front of the camera. Shatner himself often discussed the dilemma that the writers had in trying to resurrect Kirk post-Generations (something that they do not have to do with Spock).

Shooting is still over four months away so there is still time and the Shat himself may be hoping the attention this gets changes some minds over at Paramount. The Shatner/new Star Trek movie saga has been going on for almost a year now and this is probably not the last chapter.    

Bonus video: Shat on Trek conventions and co-stars

Here is the Shat discussing his fellow Trek costars at a recent radio appearance.

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Charlie X
July 9, 2007 9:49 pm

I’ve been suggesting this possibilty since I heard BOTH Shatner & Nimoy were to be involved: a New Generations-era Spock ‘reading’ Kirk’s memoirs. That way, Shatner could easily do voice-overs without any evidence of his aging, or conflict with Generations.

July 9, 2007 10:08 pm

I always thought a Q TNG movie would be good…..his TNG episodes were always great…..

Then again, I always thought that a Romulan Movie, involving unification would be cool too…

July 9, 2007 10:09 pm

It would be….disappointing to have Nimoy there without Shatner, the same way it was odd not to have Nimoy and De Kelley alongside him in Generations.

Smike van Dyke
July 9, 2007 10:11 pm

Kirk’s dead, Spock isn’t…it’s as simple as that. JJ is not gonna undo the Generations incident. But we might see Spock again. I can live with that. Spock is my favourite TOS character, so I’m all up for a reprise…

Sleeper Agent X
July 9, 2007 10:25 pm

Interesting…I always thought putting Shatner in the movie could be difficult, and not necessarily the best move. But it’ll be interesting to see what Nimoy does in the new movie. We don’t know for sure he’s playing Spock, either, do we?

July 9, 2007 10:26 pm

As the article says… this won’t be the last we hear of this on-going saga. In my opinion, Shat priced himself out of the movie. But we’ll see.

OR Coast Trekkie
July 9, 2007 10:31 pm

I always thought that Shatner was satisfied that Kirk was dead so that he could retire that character. But hey, I guess a lot could change in 13 years…. wow, where does the time go?

#2 Light Years – A Q movie would’ve been GREAT! In my opinion, Q is the greatest Star Trek villian of all time.

Marvin the Martian
July 9, 2007 10:35 pm

Sounds like Nimoy might be playing Sarek, not Spock? Nice tip of the hat to the old series without doing something so obvious.

However, based on the script for Transformers, I don’t have a lot of hope for this film. I’m expecting the obvious and the stupid. And the confusing. Unless, of course, JJ does a major rewrite, and since he’s directing, there’s hope.

Harry Ballz
July 9, 2007 10:40 pm

Nimoy, but no Shatner? Grrrrrr…………………..ooan!!

July 9, 2007 11:42 pm

What the hell? If they’re gonna have Nimoy, then thats great. But why the hell wouldnt they put Shatner in there? I dont care if its just for 5 minutes. Jesus, this is really idiotic.

July 9, 2007 11:42 pm

What the hell? If they’re gonna have Nimoy, then thats great. But why the hell wouldnt they put Shatner in there? I dont care if its just for 5 minutes. Jesus, this is really idiotic.

July 9, 2007 11:47 pm

I wish Shatner had cared more about Kirk dying in Generations in the first place, he really didnt seem to care much at the time

Robert Bernardo
July 10, 2007 12:02 am

trektacular wrote:

> I wish Shatner had cared more about Kirk dying in Generations in the
> first place, he really didnt seem to care much at the time

Yes, he did. Read the 1994 book, “Star Trek: Movie Memories”, by William Shatner and Chris Kreski.

July 10, 2007 12:31 am

No Shatner: no popcorn for me.

Oh well, maybe I’ll give it a look in a few years when it comes out on terrestrial.

Meanwhile I’ll be watching Doctor Who. Russell T Davies knows what he’s doing if these guys dont.

July 10, 2007 12:39 am

erm… could you give us a brief synopsis of what it said? I know he’s been trying to resurrect the character since Generations, but I’ve never actually heard his feelings on the matter and at the time of filming.

He actually appears to have dropped a few pounds. Looks pretty damn good for a man of 76 years old.

July 10, 2007 12:51 am

Hey, maybe if it’s only Nimoy we are looking at a TNG era movie…..

I mean, the writing team did not say which Enterprise will be in the movie.

And since Captain Kirk is not in it…..

July 10, 2007 1:11 am

Orci needs to explain why he gave us false hope in regards to Shatner appearing after he insinuated the original report was bull. In effect he threw Shatner fans a red herring and i’m not happy that he kept the hope alive when its now obvious Shatner won’t be in the movie.

Explain yourself Orci. Massive shame on you!

Josh T. ( The undiscovered Capitalist mentality ) Kirk Esquire'
July 10, 2007 1:43 am

This is a quasi-surprising turn of events.

Evidently reconciling a return for Kirk was beyond the skill and imagination level of the writers perhaps?

Amazing, considering we are dealing with a subject matter in which basically well, anything goes. It’s science fiction.

I think the issue was overthought and overbaked, put Kirk in the movie, then do what everyone else is doing, do some viral marketing addressing HOW he came to be in the film, and a prequel comic book.

Damn, that was really hard.

July 10, 2007 1:59 am

kirk is dead

shatner is a drunk

deal with it.

Jawinka Smith
July 10, 2007 2:27 am

I have a feeling the Shat will be in it. I think he’s just trying to make fans think otherwise so it’s this big surprise when he’s on screen.

July 10, 2007 3:09 am

Would Shat play with our minds? Nawwwww….

Wait and see. Wait and see…..

July 10, 2007 3:18 am

I dont think playing Sarek would work.

Looks like it may be a Spock-framing device. The more I think about it – I like the idea of a “let me tell you about my friend Captain Kirk” wonder years story.

That said, you can only do that for one movie. Sequels cant have that.

July 10, 2007 3:29 am

Makes sense i guess – after all Kirk is missing presumed dead on the Ent B in the 23rd century and dosnt show up again until the 24th…for 5 minutes before he falls off a bridge after helping to stop Picard get his ass handed to him on a plate.

Spock however is alive and well..

I know they could do that X3 de-aging thing and have a pre Gen Kirk but to be honest – it looked abit werid…it didnt look right….plus fans would be like ‘um…Wasnt Kirk like killed in Star Trek 7?’

Anyway in the real world The Shat had his send off to Star Trek in Generations…without Nimoy…

now maybe Nimoy will do the same in this one.

Plus The Shat is a sorta parody of himself these days (“Whooooooo” on talk shows, Denny Crane, priceline & kellogs adverts, singing etc)

Nimoy is like a Vulcan eldar…

July 10, 2007 3:57 am

I just lost all interest in this movie.

July 10, 2007 4:05 am

however saying that – Shatner should still be in it somehow

July 10, 2007 4:15 am

Who cares what Nimoy plays? The character of Kirk, being dead, now has little relevance because there is no hope. We know Damon or whatever wannabe plays the part will live, and we know exactly the circumstances are toward his death.

Unless The Return is made canon, we know that the heroic James T. Kirk dies a stupid death for no reason or importance, all because some wimp couldn’t fight his own battles and then couldn’t figure out that he could just leave the nexus a few minutes earlier and slap the cuffs on the villain BEFORE he put everyone in peril.

There is really no reason to do a prequel for a character that has no future.

No hope.

It really doesn’t matter how great the script is now. It doesn’t matter if it follows canon or not. The movie won’t accomplish anything.

Let them make Sulu a girl for all I care. At best, I’ll download it.

No Shatner, no interest.

July 10, 2007 4:22 am

#14 I did read the book, still doesn’t explain exactly why he comitted to it though

July 10, 2007 4:33 am

Maybe Spock is at Kirks 24th Century Funeral? Who knows, personally I don’t mind if Shatner is in it or not.

Plus if Nimoy liked the script then the script must be good.

July 10, 2007 4:36 am

I just had a fangasm with a particular thought;

If it is Kirks 24th century funeral then there is an opportunity for lots of cameos. Picard, Sisko, Janeway etc etc could all be there!

On the other hand the idea of Kirks funeral isn’t the nicest thought, but we’ve seen him die already so why not!

July 10, 2007 4:39 am

#8>>However, based on the script for Transformers, I don’t have a lot of hope for this film. I’m expecting the obvious and the stupid. And the confusing. Unless, of course, JJ does a major rewrite, and since he’s directing, there’s hope.

July 10, 2007 4:39 am

It doesn’t matter if the script is good or not. These people toyed with us for over a year, teasing us on the possibility of Shatner being in the movie.

Just last week AFTER THE POST ARTICLE, they had the nerve to say that they want Shatner in the movie, knowing full well they didn’t offer him a part.

That’s terrible.

That blows all the goodwill they’ve established.

Kirk as a character has no hope now. Another poster here had an idea of a comic prequel to explain Kirk’s presence. Or just an canonization of THE RETURN would do it.

Getting Kirk back among the living wasn’t that tough.

They made a STUPID choice.

I’m clearly not the only person pissed off right now. And they lost business as a result of this video.

Good. Let Paramount throw hundreds of millions at this film. I hope it grosses less than Nemesis.

July 10, 2007 4:41 am

Until I hear something from the guy who matters in this thing, JJ Abrams, I could care less what K&O, [i.e., the Hollywod Kidz] have to say about anything, and I’ll reserve judgment regarding the substance or immateriality of this movie until then.

I’m praying to God, given what I’ve heard heretofore, that he’ll butcher that script into something general audiences will flock to see, and not pander to a dwindling sect of zealots who behave as if Trek’s not only their personal property, but some kind of half-baked religion with Gene Roddenberry as their deity.

The only way for this thing [yes, I said thing] to survive is to shed that image of Trek generated over the last 20 or so years and appeal to folks who flock to see crap like Spiderman and Pirates of the Carribbean, and who watch shows like Lost and American Idol.

There aren’t enough “Thralls” left, [no matter how vociferous, world-weary and self-deluding they may be] in the “Gamesters of Trek” to do that, and they’re just gonna have to get used to the reality that both time and public convention have passed them by, and Trek looks to new frontiers and lifeforms. About damned time, too.

Rewrite the book, JJ. Start all over from scratch. Make your mark. Create new horizons and all the possibilities they represent, and I’m with you all the way, man.


July 10, 2007 4:47 am

“Kirk’s dead, Spock isn’t…it’s as simple as that.”
Spock was dead once as I recall.

July 10, 2007 4:59 am

Re #33 Shadow6283

Dude, I agree with everything you just said.

Herbert Eyes Wide Open
July 10, 2007 5:00 am

Gotta be honest… if it’s true… I am more than a little bummed. Kirk’s ill-fated ending in Generations notwithstanding, I had really hoped that J.J. & Company would find a way to include The Shat in the new movie.

Regardless, I’ll still gladly offer my Quatloos to Paramount.

Btw, #20. Sci-Fi Bri… Kirk is NOT dead! Shatner is NOT a… hmmmm, well… I’m pretty sure abut the first part. :)

July 10, 2007 5:00 am

re 30 – “If it is Kirks 24th century funeral then there is an opportunity for lots of cameos. Picard, Sisko, Janeway etc etc could all be there!”

Yuk! No thanks – that lot should he consigned to dvd and never let out

July 10, 2007 5:23 am

Sounds like Shatner may be a little miffed and is playing a game of Hollywood one-up-manship. Abrams and Co. can’t be happy about having a plot detail like that leaked this early.

I’d personally prefer no holdovers from the show, but as this board proves, it’s impossible to do something everyone is going to be happy with. However, if you’re going to do it, using Nimoy would seem to be the easiest and most graceful way to do it without a convoluted set of plans to resurrect anybody.

July 10, 2007 5:38 am

If Bill Shatner is absolutely, definately not in this in an acting capacity, then I admit I am disappointed. I didn’t like this iconic fantasy heroic character being “killed off”, and hoped there could be some ” sidestepping” writing to help Kirk cheat the odds one more time for this TOS era Movie. Whether as a quick “catch-up” introductory prologue intro. or some kind of “bookend”, or somekind of “flashback” o”flashforward”, either way with Leonard Nimoy involved. If Bill is not in this it will be interesting to confirm WHY not, whether it is because the writers or director wouldn’t or couldn’t resurrect his character, or whether it’s some issue to do with Bill himself. Either way, it will be a disappointing missed opportunity to have the character “living on” in imagination. And as far as Leonard goes, I truly hope we will see him as his OWN character in some older capacity, however brief, rather than some tacked on cameo as Spock’s father!

July 10, 2007 5:43 am

It doesn’t really matter how they use Nimoy. There was no demand nor call for Spock’s return. There has been a demand and call for Kirk’s return since Generations.

Kirk has unfinished business. Spock does not.

The producers really dropped the ball here. First major decision on this movie is a collosal mistake.

What REALLY makes me mad is that the writers flat out said they wanted Shatner in the movie when they knew full well they didn’t write him a part.

The lie pisses me off almost as much as the mistake.

July 10, 2007 5:44 am

If u had to pick THE MOST Iconic Star Trek character…..I think most would choose Spock over Kirk – plus the fact that Nimoy as Spock can be intergrated into the film quite seemlessly (unlike Shatner as Kirk)…well there ya go i guess….

still who knows.

chris LaRoche
July 10, 2007 6:00 am

Can’t wait to see the movie hopefully shatner will play a role. But if not oh well.I will enjoy it either because Mr Nimoys in the film.

July 10, 2007 6:15 am
July 10, 2007 6:29 am

I’m a “Star Trek” fan; I don’t do the actor-fandom thing. Shatner or not, makes no difference. This movie sounds like a winner so far.

#6: “As the article says… this won’t be the last we hear of this on-going saga. In my opinion, Shat priced himself out of the movie. But we’ll see.”

Exactly so. We’ll see what we’ll see. ;)

July 10, 2007 6:35 am

The fact that you can say “Shatner or not, makes no difference,” means you really don’t get it. Shatner IS Star Trek. Shatner just isn’t an actor–he is the franchise.

Star Trek without Shatner is bland. Yes, the hope is that the characters will bring back the wonder of the franchise, but the producers denying their biggest draw a role in the movie shows stupidity.

Any producer that doesn’t even have the guts to tell Shatner directly, doesn’t get Star Trek. The video says Shatner found out because Nimoy told him on the phone.

The producers flat out lied about wanting Shatner in the movie. That’s NOT a good way to run Star Trek.

Some people will buy anything that says Star Trek in the title. Most won’t.

July 10, 2007 6:42 am

All I want is a good movie. One that is fun to watch and doesn’t take itself too seriously. (that’s what made TOS good) And I don’t want to see Matt Damon or actors of his ilk in the film. I honestly don’t care if Shatner or Nemoy are in it or not, provided they don’t have them do some stupid, sappy retrospective. Give ’em a cameo if need be. Please don’t allow them to make fools of themselves. (Shatner already does that enough on his own.)

July 10, 2007 6:45 am

I agree that the lying about Shatner is just as worse as him not being in it. They toyed with people’s feelings and hopes there. A lot of people have deep feelings about Shatner being in the film that it didnt help one of the writers giving us hope to the contrary after a report (now correct) told us he wasn’t going to be in it.

These are meant to be the best writers in the world. That they couldn’t come up with a plot that would work with Shatner involved I don’t buy for one second. Every time a major character died on Voyager, the crew sometimes changed years worth of timelines to bring their friends back… Every Berman era major character that was permanently killed off got a second chance: Yar, Dax, hell even Trip was put in cryo storage. Seeing a new Captain Kirk story but knowing the characters fate still exists at the hands of Rick Berman’s Generations… Not my cuppa Trek.

Shatner time for you to swallow your pride and call New Voyages up. Meanwhile I’ll be watching the Sulu one and hoping Farscape comes back.

I’d like to hear back from Orci after his comments. He has some serious explaining to do.

July 10, 2007 6:48 am

47 – “New Voyages”??


July 10, 2007 6:52 am

Snake. These people love Star Trek and the Kirk character. If Paramount don’t want Shatner returning as Kirk you can bet these people do. I’d take his return on that medium over nothing. But as much as I love the man Shatner also has a big ego and likes his money. It will never happen.

July 10, 2007 6:58 am

anyone know what Berman wanted him to do in Enterprise? wasnt it something in the mirror universe or as a chef or something?