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William Shatner To Direct Documentary About William Shatner June 15, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Celebrity,Shatner,TOS , trackback

With all his projects (like starring in a new sitcom on CBS or hosting two shows on the Bio Channel) you would think William Shatner had enough to do, but you would be wrong. Today Canada’s Movie Central Channel announced they are producing a new feature-length documentary about William Shatner, to be directed by William Shatner! More details below.


Shatner To Direct "The Captains" Doc all about Shatner

Today at the Banff World Television Festival, Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) announced they were partnering with William Shatner’s production company Melis Productions and Ballinran Productions Limited to produce "The Captains" (working title), a feature length documentary on the life of William Shatner.

Here is the official description of "The Captains"

A feature documentary following the life and career of William Shatner, The Captains will explore Shatner’s Montreal roots and his early career in Stratford, Ontario, as well as the extraordinary change in circumstances caused by the serendipitous casting for the role of Captain James T. Kirk. The film will be directed by Shatner, who will also executive produce with David Zappone and Craig Thompson.

"The Captains" is scheduled to start production in July for broadcast in winter 2011 on Movie Central.

In addition to the deal for "The Captains", Movie Central also picked up the Canadian broadcast rights for the Shatner documentary "Gonzo Ballet".  The doc about the ballet based on Shatner’s "Has Been" musical collaboration with Ben Folds will air this fall.

 No word yet on if or when these projects will air in the US or other countries.


William Shatner re-climbing that mountain + time for Star Trek V update?

William Shatner is no stranger to the director’s chair. Shatner has directed a number of TV episodes, starting with TJ Hooker back in the 80s. He has also starred and directed the 2002 Sci-Fi Channel movie Groom Lake, which he also co-wrote. But “The Captains” will be Shatner’s first time directing a documentary, although he has had a experience in both producing and hosting documentaries in the past.

Of course, Shatner’s biggest challenge was his double-duty in the captain’s chair and director’s chair for the 1989 film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. A critical and box-office disappointment, Shatner has often contended that he did not have enough time or money to make the film he had envisioned. And there is even a new fan campaign being spearheaded by TrekWeb to give Shatner the chance to finally make his director’s cut.

On the subject of Star Trek V, it seems a good opportunity to once again share this brilliant mashup/remix of a special feature from the Star Trek V DVD (see below). Let’s hope his new documentary provides something just as entertaining.



1. CmdrR - June 15, 2010

Hopefully, someone will count the decks, measure the hangar deck, and edit out the fart jokes.

Kidding, Bill. Have fun!

2. James R. Kirk - June 15, 2010

Any more Shat and Gene Simmons and pretty soon BIO is going to have the A.S.S Network (All Shatner & SImmons).

3. wickedjacob - June 15, 2010

Good thing this wasn’t announced on April 1st or no one would believe it.

4. SirMartman - June 15, 2010

This will be real interesting to watch,,


5. mikephys - June 15, 2010

Sounds like this is going to be very objective!!

6. Al - June 15, 2010

The man does not slow down

7. navamske - June 15, 2010

That should work out fine, since his directing gig on ST:V turned out so well.

8. Jim Nightshade - June 15, 2010

As Cleveland would say OH NO THAT IS JUST WRONG!!!! The shat cannot be his own boss on his own documentary….as mentioned above there goes the objectivity…can it really be a documentary when the guy directing making it is also the subject ???

oh well thats the SHAT

9. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - June 15, 2010

WoW shat is to star and direcet his own documentary… Next there gunna say he is also Narrating and co-staring.

IF he is directing isnt that an autobiogrophy?

10. The Khan Federation - June 15, 2010

When I’m watching The Simpson’s, I picture William Shatner in the place of Krusty the Clown and Krusty hasn’t done anything that I couldn’t imagine Shatner doing.

11. Lt. Bailey - June 15, 2010

This will be great, every thing you wanted to know about the Shat but were afraid to ask.

It would be nice if Shatner could do a directors cut of ST V. I read the book he and his daughter wrote about the making of that film and listened to their audio commentary on the DVD. Interesting little tidbits of info that most people would not know. Had he been given the time and/or money, he would have had a better film. Or at least he would not have been slammed so hard by the critics.

I for one , enjoy the film much more now that I understand the behinds the scenes stuff and what his intentions were.

12. S Pinsent - June 15, 2010

William Shatner will certainly give it two thumbs up!

13. Brett Campbell - June 15, 2010

Awesome! As the kids say …

14. Greg2600 - June 15, 2010

That mashup was great. Only Shatner could direct a documentary about Shatner. It’s egotistical craziness but yet genius!

15. Balok - June 15, 2010

High quality replacement fof all special effects, and CGI out the Romulan Princess, and maybe you have a decent film…

16. jas_montreal - June 15, 2010

“William Shatner To Direct Documentary About William Shatner ”

the title of the article made me crack up….

Whats next ?

“JJ Abrams To Direct Documentary About Bob Orci” ?

17. SPB - June 15, 2010

In this William Shatner documentary, produced by, directed by and narrated by William Shatner, the noted William Shatner will interview William Shatner about William Shatner. With a special appearance by William Shatner, and a special thanks at the end by William Shatner.

If the documentary wins the Oscar, accepting the award for William Shatner will be William Shatner. Who will, of course, thank William Shatner.

18. Neumann - June 15, 2010

Anyone remember the Bone documentary? No objectivity there.

As long as its in the vein of “How William Shatner Changed the World,” I’m in.

I just want a scene where Shatner is interviewing himself on Raw Nerve or some such. I kept thinking while watching Boston Legal that Shatner should have hired Denny Crane in an episode to sue for not being in Star Trek… perhaps THIS could satisfy that bizarre craving.

19. TJ Trek - June 15, 2010

Actually, for those more negative comments concerning Shatner and Star Trek V, I think Star Trek V’s failiure had little to do with Shatners direction. It had more to do with the fact the the special effects were really bad, and that the ending wasn’t allowed to be what it could be. Maybe the story was a bit lacking, but I don’t think that was the huge thing either. If the special effects had worked, and the ending had been given its due, I think we would all be saying about V what we say about III: a good solid effort, but not the best star trek had to offer.

20. Newman - June 15, 2010

Who else would you expect to direct a documentary about William Shatner?

21. Desstruxion - June 15, 2010

Then it will be done right!

22. Harry Ballz - June 15, 2010

The SHAT this guy says!

23. WGW - June 15, 2010

why is the coverage always stilted against Bill? You know Trek V failed, because of the writer’s strike, graphics, and the fact that the ‘7 little dwarfs’ (not my term but the term given from a still successful TOS movie producer) took control. Shatner’s direction had nothing to do with it, the movie has some great character scenes between the big three. Everyone always heralds Voyage Home, and that film makes me ill moreso than V. Correct the Graphics, take out the stupid comedy scenes between the secondary characters, tighten the storyline, film a few new scenes, and it would be a decent film

24. red dead ryan - June 15, 2010

I wonder if it will be the “Mirror” Shatner interviewing “our” Shatner? :-)

As for “The Final Frontier”, I would love to see a “remastered” version. Won’t make the movie great, but it will make it a lot better. Although I do enjoy “Star Trek V” as is despite some ill-advised flirting between Scotty and Uhura, the Nimbus III scenes, bad visual effects and other inconsitancies. The character moments between Spock, Kirk and McCoy was what salvaged the movie.

25. davidfuchs - June 15, 2010

@the above about ST V:

Okay, Shatner had a role in the failure of the film. Denying that is crazy. But, as pointed out, there were mitigating circumstances. No film is the product of one person; as much as I love Nicholas Meyer, to give him credit for all of ST II’s best parts is foolish (he cobbled together the best bits of old scripts for no pay in a week, which is impressive, but still.) Any Hollywood production is the work of dozens of cooks; it’s not surprising that the recipe is often off.

26. lostrod - June 15, 2010

Yes, I’ve noticed that typically any article about Mr. Shatner seems to have a certain negative slant opening up the usual comments about “hair”, “toupee”, “age”, “weight”, “ego”, etc.’

Particularly annoying was the trend last year of constant stories along the lines of “Shatner complains that he’s not in ST feature …” . The impression was that Mr. Shatner was complaining about not being in the movie on a daily basis.

While in reality, it was simply a case of mulitple reporters from different agencies asking the same obvious question (“What do you think about the new Star Trek movie?) and the actor answering it basically the same way each time. But this site, and others, posted every article as if it were a different ocurrence.

Think about it – if an actor said “I think you should &*#@!! yourself” at a press conference and 12 reporters from 12 media outlets reported the statement (some in audio, some in video, some in print, some in blogs, etc) does that mean the actor made the statement 12 times? No, it simply means he said it once and it was reported TWELVE times.

The real question that should be asked in this article is “Why is Mr. Shatner directing the documentary?”. Was it a stipulation from the financial backers? Did he ask to direct it?

At any rate, I would simply ask that folks ponder a bit before they heap insults on an actor that has bestowed a great deal upon our popular culture. (I’m not talking about this thread in particular, but the site discussions in general).

BTW – Each of us ages differently and (trust me) we have very little control over our physical appearance as the decades pass. Some folks age with added pounds (Mr. Shatner, Mr. Doohan), others with added wrinkles (Mr. Nimoy), others with both (ME).

Enjoy Mr. Shatner while we have the opportunity.

27. Harry Ballz - June 15, 2010


“take out the stupid comedy scenes between the secondary characters, tighten the storyline”

I would suggest that these flaws you pointed out ARE the fault of William Shatner. As the director, he could have changed all of that.

28. lostrod - June 15, 2010


The matters pointed out by #23:

“Correct the Graphics, take out the stupid comedy scenes between the secondary characters, tighten the storyline, film a few new scenes, and it would be a decent film”

Most of the matters are controlled by the studio and producers – not a first time director. Note the recent comments by Mr. Nimoy regarding “The Voyage Home” where he stated that he had less control over STIII than STIV because STIII was his directorial debut.

29. Imrahil - June 15, 2010

Ugh, no.

30. Anthony Pascale - June 15, 2010


how exactly is the article “stilted against Bill”?

31. DJT - June 15, 2010

Great video mash-up.

The video says it all.

32. Andy Patterson - June 15, 2010

I’ll watch his new movie. And what do I always say?……Oh yeah, I love Shatner!

33. Kirk, James T. - June 16, 2010

I’m really unsure as to why CBS?Paramount haven’t given the directors cut treatment to the Star Trek movies that need it – it to me seems like the next step in re releasing these movies without just re releasing the same versions for the 100th time in different packaging…

I’d hope for a Star Trek V Directors Cut as well as a Star Trek X Directors Cut

34. Cygnus-X1 - June 16, 2010

Only Shatner would direct a documentary about himself.

79 years and still going strong.

Gotta love the Shat.

35. WGW - June 16, 2010

27. Harry Ballz – June 15, 2010


“take out the stupid comedy scenes between the secondary characters, tighten the storyline”

I would suggest that these flaws you pointed out ARE the fault of William Shatner. As the director, he could have changed all of that.”

Bill was ordered by the studio to make it a light adventure based on the success of ST IV


“On the subject of Star Trek V, it seems a good opportunity to once again share this brilliant mashup/remix of a special feature from the Star Trek V DVD (see below). Let’s hope his new documentary provides something just as entertaining.”

So, the documentary should be just as entertaining or stupid as this ‘mashup’? ? that is the ramification of the statement. Frankly it was not entertaining to me. This article was not as bad as the ones written in the past about Bill, however there always seems to be a slant against Bill and anything Bill, feeding on the charactures of him given through the years this is unfortunate. Reading this website, and the posts about Bill you would think he is a hammy, old, fat, and egotistical jerk, not a talented actor, writer, producer, and occasional director. Bill and Leonard were the start of the empire we know today as Star Trek. It is ok to poke fun occasionally but, this Bill bashing is really getting old, and as one of the leading Trek sites this site should stay above the fray.

36. VOODOO - June 16, 2010

Sometimes too much of a good thing is just too much. Maybe it’s time for Shatner to get a little more serious?

I’d like to see him get a shot at a new version of ST V for Blu-ray/dvd and have a role in the new ST film for starters.

37. James Tyler - June 16, 2010

This has the potential to be really bad and unintentionally funny…. or he could keep up his Priceline persona and be intentionally funny.

38. Andy Patterson - June 16, 2010

@ 36

Shatner can be very serious and very honest. If you’ve read his latest bio…or even heard it on tape….it has some very sobering, real moments. I see him doing some of this in the movie too.l

39. Shaun - June 16, 2010

the shat is awesome. only the shat himself could do the shat justice.

40. Tony Whitehead - June 16, 2010

I love it!
Newsflash. . .it’s going to be titled “I, Hubris.”

41. I, Mugsy - June 16, 2010

Get Takei to direct it :p

42. Harry Ballz - June 16, 2010


Good idea! Except, get Takei to do the voice-over….every time it is shown that the Shat has done something remarkable in his career, Takei can be heard to exclaim, “OH, MY!”

43. thebiggfrogg - June 16, 2010

I’ll wait for the one directed by Takei. That’d make excellent bookends.

44. Polly - June 16, 2010

The documentary will no doubt be very entertaining.

Btw, that video is hilarious. I always find these little videos so funny.

45. The Original Animated Next Generation Deep Space Voyager Enterprise I-XI - June 16, 2010

Why. . .does. . .this. . .not. . .surprise. . . me???

46. denny cranium - June 16, 2010

Lost Rod- I agree with the statement you made about how we have no control over our physical appearance- IF WE DO NOTHING ABOUT IT! A car will slide into the ditch if we don’t steer it.

Myself and a friend made a commitment to each other to get fit. He has lost 30lbs and doesnt need his diabetes meds anymore. I’ve dropped 4 pants sizes. I sleep better and have more energy.
I’m a month in to a 3 month program. (yes its tough) Its p90x. After that is completed we are doing the Body For Life program. If myself and my buddy can do it -ANYONE CAN. (I’m 47 he’s 40)

As far as Mr Shatner’s weight/toupee/comments- Shatner will always be compared to his original Star Trek physique.He played a heroic character.He was fit. His toupee then was better than it is now. The problem with any toupee is that none of them look good enough to fool anyone. My business partner wears one and he looks RIDICULOUS! My other business partner has embraced his baldness and its made him look much better. He has better luck with the ladies now and his business has exploded.

I think (maybe) Shatner denies that he wears a toupee or thinks that he is fitter than he actually is.
Please I admire Mr Shatner greatly (thus my moniker) I think some of us just wish he would be a bit truer to himself.

47. Shatner_Fan_Prime - June 16, 2010

Bill looks terrific for 80! End of story. And he has more energy than most people half his age.

As for STV, I plan to sign that petition. New fx would be wonderful, and the CBS Digital team who worked on TOS, namely Dave Rossi and the Okudas, would love to do it.

48. The First Son of Krypton - June 16, 2010

I said it before and I’ll say it again… this song should of been released as a single!

And now it will be stuck in head for the rest of the day

49. Captain Hackett - June 16, 2010

I would love to buy and keep DVD copy of STV: Director’s Cut! I think he should be given a fair chance to do it since other ST movies have already had director’s cut.

50. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - June 16, 2010

Why can’t we get Dirty Darren involved somehow?

And then we can edit Generations with the lame, fluteplaying, teasipping captain dying instead of the heroic one who can actually throw a punch

51. Andy Patterson - June 16, 2010


“lame, fluteplaying, teasipping captain dying ….”

That’s the funniest post I’ve read in a while.

And I still think it’s a funny moniker for Mr. Dochterman. “Dirty Darren “

52. S. John Ross - June 16, 2010

Hagiodocumentary? Heck, bring it on. I find Shatner’s take on Shatner more entertaining than the easy pot-shots others tend to sling at him :)

53. Buzz Cagney - June 16, 2010

#50 absolutely pmsl. I love it. Lets ‘make it so’ hehehehe

Love that Shatner of the Mount video. Bill has never sung better.

54. Dayton Ward - June 16, 2010

Maybe we’ll finally get those rock monsters the way they were meant to be seen! ;)

55. Anthony Pascale - June 16, 2010

I think you need to lighten up, I am sure William Shatner would say the same. The above video was once linked by William SHatner himself via his Twitter and he said he thought it was hilarious. So if he can enjoy the joke, why can’t you?

I do not need to be lectured on the importance of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy. And this site gives Shatner more positive press than just about any site on the web, even more than his own website. We even have a category for him and regular ShatWatch articles. We have certainly never ‘bashed’ Shatner.

We celebrate all that is great about the man and his various talents, more than any other Trek celebrity and we will continue to do so. And yes we also have some fun with it, because that is how he does it.

So please, have some fun with it, just like Bill is doing.

56. lostrod - June 16, 2010


Congratulations on your body for life program. However, I think it’s a little unfair to pass judgement on someone 30 years your elder. Many factors will come into play that may make physical activity difficult. I believe Mr. Shatner has had hip surgery (correct me if I’m wrong) so running may no longer be an option.

Did it ever occur to you that Mr. Shatner would LOVE to do something about his weight but can’t? My wife has had multiple hip surgeries and would love to do more physical activity to improve her health but CAN’T because it would cause more damage to her prothesis.

Unless I’m wrong, he has absolutely no control over his hair loss (as have I, unfortunately “)) Are you blaming his hair loss on Mr. Shatner? Was there something he was supposed to do to prevent his hair loss 50 years ago? Are you saying he did nothing to prevent it (based on hair loss medical knowledge of the time, not NOW)?

It’s funny how we tend to second guess people’s actions many years after the fact. Medical research changes from day to day. What was once GOOD for you is now BAD for you.

Regarding the toupee issue – is there some documentation that Mr. Shatner deny’s wearing a toupee?

Once again, best of luck on your fit for life program. I’m on a similar program in the military – it’s called “pass your annual PT test or you’re outta here” program. Let me know how it’s working out thirty years from now :).

I’m 58 and I can tell you right now that despite your ‘fit for life’ approach, there are some things that you will not anticipate or control about your physical condition.

All I can say is don’t judge Mr. Shatner because he’s aged. Why not blame Mr. Nimoy because (heaven forbid) he go wrinkled? Should he have done something to prevent wrinkles? Everyone on this site will face the same voyage of life. Some of us will handle it better than others for a variety of reasons (primarily genetics).

I can tell you right now that Mr. Shatner is my role model on how to live life into my late 70’s and beyond.


57. Andy Patterson - June 16, 2010

@ 56

Agree with all you say. I do believe however he has denied wearing a rug. I think there’s something about his makeup that just won’t let him admit that openly. I’ve long said it is THE best kept secret in Hollywood. I’ve never found one picture on the net showing it.

58. Iowagirl - June 17, 2010

I hope that one day in the distant future Shatner will write his own obituary – I’d love to read that. :)

59. David P - June 17, 2010


60. Music and Movie Treasures By Brenda - June 17, 2010

That sounds like an interesting film.

61. Captain Kathryn - June 17, 2010

Shatner loves to poke fun at himself. He has a self-deprecating manner, which is why he is so lovable. Looking foward to watching it.

62. OLLEY OLLEY OLLEY - June 19, 2010

There are some Shatner fans who are getting a little oversensitive to the Billy bashing.
But this question remains unanswered.

Mr Kurtzman and Mr Orci wrote a nice scene that would have involved Mr Shatner, he refused!

Why did Mr Shatner refuse to do the scene?

63. Disinvited - June 21, 2010


I have never seen any account that supports your claim that Shatner saw and “refused” Orci’s treatment. Most report that J.J. never made Shatner an offer because his character was dead and J.J. could find no way to re-introduce Kirk Prime that would not reek of pure cheese to the producer/director’s sensibilities.

As I recall, Orci said his Kirk Prime treatment was nixed by a higher up – not Shatner.

If you could enlighten me by pointing me to a credible source where any of the principles involved make this claim, I would much appreciate it.

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