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.
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.