New William Shatner Doc Explores Star Trek’s Influence On Science And The World

William Shatner’s latest documentary, The Truth Is in the Stars, has him talking to both celebrities and scientists about how Star Trek has impacted and inspired them, and how art and science go hand in hand.

William Shatner examines space exploration, imagination, and immortality in new doc

William Shatner is back with a new Star Trek-themed documentary, The Truth Is in the Stars, premiering on Sunday on TMN in Canada and coming soon to Netflix in the US and globally. Directed and produced by Craig Thompson, who also co-produced Shatner’s The Captains in 2011 and Chaos on the Bridge in 2014, The Truth Is in the Stars moves away from looking at the making of Star Trek to a focus the franchise’s influence. In this film, Shatner narrates and travels the world for a series of interviews with celebrity Trek fans as well as brilliant, groundbreaking scientists.

William Shatner and Neal deGrasse Tyson in "The Truth is in the Stars"documentary

William Shatner and Neil deGrasse Tyson in “The Truth Is in the Stars” documentary

Mini Review

William Shatner is the perfect host for this doc that explores the intersection of imagination and science. Whether he’s bringing sandwiches to Seth MacFarlane (“This is the greatest deli sandwich you’ve ever had!”), asking Whoopi Goldberg how Star Trek changed her vision of the future, taking a virtual walk around Mars with astronaut Chris Hadfield, or learning how art and science are irrevocably intertwined with Neil deGrasse Tyson, he never fails to entertain, amuse, and inform the audience along the way. His own awe at finally getting to talk with Stephen Hawking is palpable–as is Hawking’s excitement about his appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation–and his wonder at all that he learns from each person is contagious. This joyful documentary explores how the imagination is what fuels even the most fact-based scientific minds, and why Star Trek has had such a colossal impact on all of these individuals, as well as people all over the world. He also addresses mortality, the sacrifices made by explorers, and gets the ultimate thrill when he makes Hawking laugh.

For all of the fun he has had poking fun at his Star Trek image over the years, he spends the time in this doc showing how important it is, too, and how inspiring the show has been for the dreamers and scientists who are out there exploring theoretical physics and space itself.

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William Shatner with Stephen Hawking in “The Truth is in the Stars”

The Truth is in the Stars debuts Sunday, March 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET on The Movie Network in Canada. There will be multiple re-airings and the documentary will be available on TMN GO and The Movie Network OnDemand. For more info visit themovienetwork.ca.

Trailer

Doc airs Sunday in Canada, coming to Netflix soon

While Canadians get to see the new documentary first (which was also the case with Chaos on the Bridge), it will soon be available to the rest of the world. A spokesperson for the production company behind The Truth Is in the Stars tells TrekMovie that they have secured a deal with Netflix and the doc should be on the streaming service in the US and globally (outside of Canada) later this spring.

Netflix is also the streaming home to Shatner’s previous Trek doc Chaos on the Bridge and Adam Nimoy’s award-winning For the Love of Spock documentary about his father. And of course Netflix streams the entire Star Trek catalog of TV shows and will be streaming Star Trek: Discovery outside North America.

Poster for "The Truth is in the Stars"documentary - airing this weekend in Canada and coming soon to Netflix around the world

Poster for “The Truth Is in the Stars”documentary – airing this weekend in Canada and coming soon to Netflix around the world

TrekMovie will provide an update when a release date is set for The Truth Is in the Stars, as well as a full review.

 

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59 Comments on "New William Shatner Doc Explores Star Trek’s Influence On Science And The World"

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Sounds like Fun

It exhausts me just trying to keep track of Shat.

of “the Shat”! :)

I’m amazed how strong the Shat is. My father is an extremely robust 80 years old and even he doesn’t seem to have the energy of the Shat. That he lives every day as he does should be a testament to a positive mental attitude (and before anyone says, he does it for the money – the man doesn’t need the money). I also love that the older he has gotten the more he has embraced the legacy he will leave behind as a key founder of Star Trek and that documentaries like this will perhaps help inspire the next generation (no pun intended).

The producers of The Blacklist should put some of that energy and his chemistry with James Spader into a few episodes, if it gets picked up for another season. In the meanwhile, I’ll settle for this doc, when it hits Netflix.

Shatner is a beast! The guy keeps on rolling! Find out a way to get him to cameo on Discovery

Rumor is they tried but he asked for ridiculous amounts of cash

He probably asked for pay in keeping with what he beings to the table

Until they stop acting like they’re doing him a favour by including him and negotiate on the basis of casting the biggest star in the franchise’s history it won’t happen.

It is a shame. I don’t know what the going rate is for a TV episode appearance. I would reduce the FX budget for the episode just to pay him

Here’s the thing, Shat has done TV. Won awards, in fact, He was arguably the biggest star on Boston Legal (and best character and, in fact, as good as that cast was, Shatner over shadowed everyone whenever he was on screen). he did $h!t My Dad Says. He does documentaries all the time.

Its only Paramount/CBS that cant afford him.

And if Shatner is asking for more to do Trek than he asks for other TV, he’s CORRECT! Because he brings a lot more to Trek than he does to anything else. You’re not just casting an actor, you’re casting the biggest star ever, you’re getting millions and millions of dollars of free pub.

Well put, TUP.

Just Another Salt Vampire

Where have you seen this rumor about Discovery? What you are describing did happen on Enterprise. Is that what you are thinking of maybe?

Someone who claims to have “inside” info on Discovery on Trekcore site had mentioned it. So who knows..

Yeah I read that rumor too on Trekcore. Obviously who knows if its true but that was supposedly the exact same reason why he didn’t appear on Enterprise because he simply asked for too much money.

Its a shame. I would like to see him on Trek one last time but I have a feeling its never going to happen unless he lowers his asking price or Paramount/CBS really wants him in a role ever again. Looks like neither is really budging all that hard.

And in all honesty, probably his best shot would’ve been a cameo of some kind in the last Star Trek film to represent the 50th anniversary. And that idea died early on.

Tiger2,

I’ve always regarded it as a phony rumor, because it just doesn’t add up that NBC/Universal could afford him for HAVEN or PSYCHE but his asking fee for Trek would be exorbitant.

I figure if there’s ANY sliver of truth to this, it’s likely to be that in his Paramount settlement/contract Nimoy parity clause entitles Shatner to ask for something Paramount gave Nimoy in his TNG gig that the CBS executive suite is absolutely digging their heels on. In other words, this rumor’s just the suits trying to save face by miscasting this as “too much money” negotiation when its actually old Paramount needing to honor their legal obligations.

Who knows but end of the day it doesn’t seem to be such a chore to get other Star Trek stars to make appearances and cameos in other shows/films. But for some odd reason every time we talk about Shatner doing one its this big ridiculous production from a guy who appears in mostly B movies and make documentaries today.

So I don’t know what it is obviously but all I do know is most former Star Trek actors have been asked to do plenty of cameos in other Trek productions so its not like Paramount is against the idea. They seem just fine with it and everyone comes to a fair agreement. I mean the fact Nimoy appeared in the first two KT films tells you that.

So my only guess is it just comes down to money and story ideas since they killed the character off and both sides can’t seem to come to an agreement of what it takes for a few minutes of an appearance. But as stated Shatner said he doesn’t want to just do cameos so thats an even bigger limit. Thats why they always call Jonathan Frakes. That guy probably pays the studio for his cameos lol. But he clearly just loves being associated with the franchise.

Tiger2

Re:Favored Nations

Maybe it all centers on his favor nations’ clause entitling him to resurrect his character as Nimoy did his? On my DVD of TWOK Shatner’s quite open about being miffed on the Spock’s character resurrection, and he even wrote a book resurrecting Kirk. I even recall JJ saying that he wanted Shatner in his Trek, but resurrecting Kirk was why he couldn’t make it work.

Well I hate to break it to Shatner but this isn’t 25 years ago. When that contract was made, they were actually making TOS MOVIES! Since TUC they have moved on long, long ago at this point and if he’s still trying to get the same demands as Nimoy to be in Trek projects that really isn’t about them anymore, no wonder why we haven’t seen him in Trek in 23 years. And everyone has said they would like to have Shatner back, but his character was killed off. And it was killed off as a transition to other Star Trek movies. That was the entire point. When Nimoy’s Spock was killed, it was only because the actor was sick of the franchise and wanted to move on. He was resurrected because they wanted to make more TOS films, especially after how big TWOK was and it only made sense one of the biggest stars in that franchise stayed so they threw all kinds of money at him and even let him direct it to stay. When Kirk died, they moved on to the Borg next. Its just apples and oranges. The franchise is just no longer about Shatner. They even found a new Kirk to replace him. Everyone would love to see him back, but Paramount isn’t going to base a story around an 86 year old Captain Kirk. At best he may get a cameo in a film or possibly an episode on Discovery if thats possible but… Read more »

Okay…but Shatner’s rumoured role in Trek 3 generated the most news of anything Trek related since, *maybe* the original announcement of Trek being brought back. He’s the biggest star the franchise ever had and the amount of pub his return would generate would almost be incalculable.

Paramount/CBS are nuts to not get him back asap.

I actually agree TUP. I think if he was in the last Star Trek film, it would’ve generated more news and even some more box office. I think Beyond flopped was because it had no hook whatsoever. Having Shatner back, even if just for a cameo would’ve provided some angle to get fans more interested in it.

That said though, it looks like Paramount has zero interest to bring him back. He’s been in 100 documentaries but not a single Trek story in over 20 years and clearly he’s not getting any younger so I don’t think he’ll ever play Kirk again. And they already have a new Kirk now.

Again I would personally like to see him back but at this point there seems to be no drive from the studio to have him back. And as we know Hemsworth will be the focus of the next KT film assuming they still go through with it. Maybe they could still find a cameo in it for him but I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath.

I think part of the issue is that JJ admits he never liked Star Trek. So he doesnt understand the importance of William Shatner to the franchise in the way he understand why Harrisson Ford had to be the new Star Wars.

When JJ got Star Wars, he threw out Lucas’ stories and re-wrote them to focus on the original cast. Why didnt he do that with Star Trek? Because he doesnt get it.

And when he met Shatner, I doubt Shat kissed JJ’s ass like everyone else does. Shat is a huge huge star. He should be treated like it.

How much did Harrison Ford get for Star Wars? And we’re going to accuse Shatner of wanting too much money? Pfffft

Any creative person that says they want Kirk but cant get around his death is someone who should have been removed from the film for lacking basic creativity.

You know, I hate to say it, but it seems like the ‘he asked for a pile of cash’ is the retort du jour when his potential involvement in a Trek project is commented on. I doubt he’s making obscene amounts of money making documentaries with Trek tie in’s, so could it just be possible he turned it down for other reasons, or, horrors, he wasn’t ‘rumored’ to have been asked at all? Reputation aside, at some level he’s earned the benefit of the doubt. Can the fan base not always jump at the chance to just assume he’s a money grubbing weasel? …and yes, this is coming from someone who is guilty of that crime.

All I can say Phil is Rick Berman confirmed when they wanted him to appear in Enterprise, which he said they were excited about doing, his lawyer called up Paramount asking for 20 times the amount someone would normally get in that role and they obviously said no. Berman laughed about it, he’s known Shatner for awhile, so I don’t think he was shocked. But if its not money, I mean what else could it be then? Its either that or Paramount simply doesn’t want him to be involved in any more movies or shows. But then you have to wonder why since so many other Trek actors still make cameos and appearances whenever they can find a way to include them. This is the top of my head but since Generations, there have been about 20 Trek actors from their shows appearing on other shows and films. Even the TOS actors, George Takei and Leonard Nimoy both got roles for other Trek projects like Sulu’s episode on Voyager and of course Spock in the KT films. The only thing is that since he was killed off they might be apprehensive about undoing that in some way but this is Star Trek. More characters have been brought back to life than the Marvel franchise. And yes he HAS turned down the idea of appearing in the 09 film because it was only suggested to be a cameo role. So end of the day Shatner is not exactly fighting to play… Read more »

Tiger2,

Re: Rick Berman

The same Rick Berman that falsely claimed that he was attached to Deline and Jendresen’s STAR TREK XI movie project?

https://web.archive.org/web/20071103214151/http://www.syfyportal.com/news423391.html

”Despite popular belief (and what the former executive producer himself said), Star Trek torchbearer Rick Berman had absolutely nothing to do with “Star Trek: The Beginning.”” – Erik Jendresen, screenwriter STAR TREK:THE BEGINNING

There is no reason not to believe him and Shatner never exactly refuted it. The point is Shatner pitched them a story, they liked it, wanted to do it but he asked for too much money and it was scrapped. Why else would they scrap if they liked the story? Why bring it up at all then?

Its a shame that Beginning movie never went through though. It did sound interesting even if yet another prequel.

Tiger2,

There’s plenty of reason to NOT to believe Rick Berman. Roddenberry didn’t have a monopoly on carnival barkerism self-promotion. And even IF he did Berman made sure not to miss the opportunity to be well-schooled in it.

Like others, he had a contribution to make, but his over-inflated sense of self-importance over the decades lead him to minimalize his mistakes as the faults of others. It definitely was why he thought the world was clamoring for the last episode of ENTERPRISE to be a TNG send-off when it wasn’t.

And it has only been in recent times that he’s backed off from defending that decision vehemently.

His disrespect for the TOS characters, and in negotiating with TOS actors important to his plans, is well known. One only has to cite his ridiculous positions in negotiating with Nimoy and Kelley for GENERATIONS to realize that. I recall Doohan saying the only reason he did it was that he knew Berman blew it and that he had him over a barrel where Berman had to meet his compensation demands.

Oh please man. Fine don’t him. *I* do! Period. I don’t want to go down a silly rabbit hole over a war of words. Fact is Shatner is famous for strong arming when it comes to this franchise and money. And look thats his right but also why we will never see him as Kirk again.

Also, keep in mind, regardless of Shatner said about a cameo in 09, there was never an offer for him to decline. Is he going to run all over begging for a cameo? Or is he going to say hey I’d love a role in the film.

When he was told, I believe at a convention, about the holoemitter scene he said he would have loved to have done it. It really doesnt matter what is said before or after since no talks occurred we dont know what would have or could have happened.

But Shatner is 100% correct that he should be featured and paid in a way that is in keeping with his status and what he brings to the table. The biggest star ever in the franchise who, when he utters the words Star Trek, its headline news. He deserves to be paid for that. And treated with a lot more respect than he has been.

He’s 86. He will eventually be gone and these studio clowns will trip over themselves honoring him in death when they were too cheap, short sighted and stupid to do it in life.

tiger2,

Re: …Shatner pitched them a story

Here’s how Coto says it went down at CBS’ site reporting of GRAND SLAM XIII:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050325071222/http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/10226.html

”Coto recounted that Shatner pitched the idea to him, Brannon Braga and Rick Berman over lunch. They loved it, but Berman pitched an alternative concept, which was actually devised by Mike Sussman.

So Sussman explained that: “Shatner was going to be ‘Chef’ — an ancestor of Kirk. We would find out that at some point in the future the real Kirk got into trouble, got taken out of history. And Daniels would show up, he would grab Archer, he would grab Chef — who of course looked like William Shatner — and say, ‘You have to go to the future and impersonate Captain Kirk in some important ceremony.’ That was the setup.”

“We pitched this to Shatner and there was a long silence,” Coto continued.” — ‘Grand Slam XIII – Sunday Recap’, 03.16.2005, startrek.com

THAT was the pitch!!??? HAHAHAHAHA no wonder Shatner either walked away or demanded a huge payday. Look, if you’re going give me a CRAP role, then you’re going to pay for it! Good for Shat.

What was the pitch Shat made???

TUP, Re: What was the pitch Shat made??? “But then we had the possibility of getting William Shatner. Coincidentally, the Reeves-Stevens [who have worked with Shatner on several Trek novels] were a pair of writers whom I desperately wanted to bring on the show. And they, it turned out, had an idea for a mirror universe two-parter which would feature the return of William Shatner.” — Manny Coto “The idea was that the Tantalus Field was not a disintegrator, it was a humane way of dealing with prisoners, by sending them back in time to a sealed penal colony. Enterprise NX-01 comes upon the colony — and Tiberius [mirror-Kirk] is there. Tiberius thinks, ‘Finally, a ship with a transporter — I can get back to my own universe, my own time.’ He basically goes on the NX-01, gets to the transporter, sets it to go back to the mirror universe — the mirror universe doesn’t exist.” — Garfield Reeves-Stevens “It {the mirror universe} hasn’t been created yet. So Tiberius and Archer work together to figure out where the division point is between the universes, what point that one split off into the other. And as it turns out, Tiberius and Archer together are responsible for the creation of the mirror universe.” — Judith Reeves-Stevens Exactly, Berman was so enamored of Chef he pushed him until he got him into the last ENTERPRISE episode and in both versions the character’s reason for being there and a primary focus is a convoluted… Read more »
Yeah I know all about that pitch. I read it years ago on another site. Again, if Shatner didn’t want to do it, thats fine and yeah it was stupid. It still doesn’t take away from the fact he could’ve asked for a lot of money to do it. I don’t even understand what the argument is anymore lol. Look its simple, the character has been dead for over 2 decades. He was killed off for the purpose of STAYING DEAD. Paramount had NO plans to ever resurrect the character nor needs to. But there has been other approaches they have attempted to at least get him to appear again since its still Star Trek and you can find other ways to do. But it never works out due to either money or story ideas, probably both. This is not that hard. I’m not trying to make Shatner the enemy nor should all the Shatner fanboys make other people the enemy when he’s not casted in other Trek projects. It all comes down to money and story ideas and they just never worked out. That’s life. Not a big deal. Again it would be nice to see him again but CLEARLY no one on either side is really pushing for him to be back because if that was the case he would’ve been back by now. An end of the day it would be nothing more than a glorified cameo. Nice fan service but nothing beyond that. Shatner has no… Read more »

TUP & Phil,

Re: …other reasons

JJ, Orci and Shatner are all on record that the offer was never made. I don’t know why the baloney that Shatner turned something down in ’09 keeps being spread.

In reviewing JJ’s statements, it occurs to me that the problem may not be the inability to creatively deal with Kirk’s death per se, but the fear that Shatner’s favored nations clause in his Paramount deals in regards to parity with Nimoy may force the matter to only be resolved solely by resurrection as that’s the deal Nimoy’s character got to enable his return.

It may be non-negotiable as Shatner’s on my TWOK disc set being quite vocal about how upset he was about the way Spock’s resurrection came about.

I made this as clear as day I said he WOULD HAVE turned down the role in 09 because it was a cameo and he specifically said he didn’t want to just come back for a cameo appearance. Here it is in his own words: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzOs4WEutQ8 So it can’t be said anymore clearly. Yes THERE was an idea to bring him back in a cameo and it was scrapped. My guess is they never offered it to him because they decided early on they weren’t going to even do it as I said. Shatner then confirms that but then made it as clear he would’ve said no regardless because its a a cameo. And then he went on a tangent about trying to bring his character back to life, transporters and resurrecting dinosaurs. And since he wouldn’t have want to have done it and they decided not to anyway no one’s feelings got hurt. As far as story about resurrecting him and all of that well they did that in his book as he said and thats about as far as it would ever get. That would never happen in a movie at this point because the movies aren’t about HIM anymore. Thats seems to be the reality he can’t accept maybe but he’s pushing 90 for god sakes. Looks to be in terrific shape but no one is going to make a Trek movie that revolves around resurrecting a 90 year old Kirk for what would most likely be… Read more »

Tiger2,

Re: I made this as clear day

I wasn’t specifically addressing you, but the only thing you’ve made as clear as day is that you like constructing impossible hypotheticals and then passing off your pointless predictions as FACT when they are far from it.

I made this as clear as day: Shatner has a favored nations clause in his Paramount legal settlements and contracts in regards to what they offer Nimoy which made it absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for your hypothetical situation to have occurred. Your hypothetical cameo is pointless. There’s absolutely no legal way that Paramount could have offered Nimoy the part he got in the 2009 effort and offered Shatner something less, like a cameo.

WTF?

You made it sound like people were saying a role was offered and Shatner turned it down. NO ONE here said that. No one. Christ.

Will you stop going on about the nations clause man. Do you think that contract is set in stone for the next century. And WHO CARES????

Shatner is almost 90 years old man. He’s not the star of Star Trek anymore. Hasn’t been in a long, long time. At the time that was written, literally over 30 years ago it meant something. It DOESN’T TODAY. Get it?

If he wants to argue something this lame that’s his right I guess but no one has to abide by it when it comes to movies HE HAS NO INVOLVEMENT IN!! What’s pointless is this topic lol.

Shatner will NEVER play Kirk again. I wouldn’t mind seeing him again but thats fine by me. The character died 23 years ago. Keep it that way and life goes on.

Tiger2,

Re: I made this as clear day

I wasn’t specifically addressing you, but the only thing you’ve made as clear as day is that you like constructing impossible hypotheticals and then pa$$ing off your pointless predictions as FACT when they are far from it.

I made this as clear as day: Shatner has a favored nations clause in his Paramount legal settlements and contracts in regards to what they offer Nimoy which made it absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for your hypothetical situation to have occurred. Your hypothetical cameo is pointless. There’s absolutely no legal way that Paramount could have offered Nimoy the part he got in the 2009 effort and offered Shatner something less, like a cameo.

Surely he has no clauses anymore, at least as it pertains to new deals. And in fact wouldnt a favoured nation clause work to Paramounts advantage as far as saying, look here’s the deal Nimoy signed, so sign it!

It was 100% that JJ lacks creativity. Actually, Ill change that to 50-50, JJ and the studio. The studio has a problem with Shatner.

I always felt Orci or his people leaked the Shatner thing as a last ditch effort to save his pitch feeling the free pub and public interest would show the studio that a new film with Shatner would sell. But the studio doesnt like Shatner.

The idea his character dies is absolutely ludicrous as a reason. This is fiction. Its creativity. To say ‘our hands are tied creatively’? lol might as well just say “we suck”.

TUP, I’ve said it before that since the split Paramount’s employees had a high churn and most are impossibly young. They have fallen for the Priceline millionaire “common” knowledge about him and fear losing suite cred being bested by a savvy old geezer in negotiations, so they avoid him. The reason I believe the Nations clause is still active is JJ, to this day, keeps harping on and on that his problem with signing him is no one has pitched a plausible Prime Kirk resurrection. http://www.torontosun.com/2016/07/18/star-trek-beyond-jj-abrams-says-william-shatners-kirk-will-never-return “In all the years we’ve been working on this, I’ve yet to hear a pitch that didn’t sound too contorted and contrived for an audience to swallow. And I’ve talked to him (Shatner) about it. If Kirk had lived there’d be an answer. But there’s something about his having died that makes it impossible.” — JJ Abrams, 7/18/16 I mean out of all the possible ways the various STAR TREKs have generated to create an indistinguishable double, why does JJ focus on a plausible resurrection making it impossible? For that matter, which is more convoluted, Spock Prime’s original resurrection or JJ’s alternate universe resurrection of the same character? I mean people harp about Shatner’s age but they seem to forget that his Prime character in the series already experienced advanced premature aging in THE DEADLY YEARS. And I mention that only because there are those who claim there’s no possible way to explain why a resurrected Prime Kirk, who should be younger than Shatner,… Read more »
Thank you! Yeah clauses aren’t set for eternity lol. The whole thing is silly to even bring up at this point. Maybe Shatner is the one who keeps bringing it up and if he is he is waaaaaaay out of touch. No one needs to honor something for projects that doesn’t star him. Clearly it was meant for when the films they were starring in. And you’re probably right the studio probably DOES have an issue with Shatner. But same time they paid the guy millions 20 years ago to kill him. He agreed to it and thats that. They don’t have to bring him back if they don’t want to and clearly they don’t. Interestingly in the video I mentioned about Berman saying Shatner wanted a lot of money for his appearance on Enterprise they also talked about Generations. According to him the studio didn’t want to use the TOS cast for the movie. They thought it should just be TNG related but he pushed to use them. Now how people feel about that decision is one thing but my point is Paramount probably saw TUC as really their swan song and to move on. They were persuaded to have them be in one more film as a transition story but they probably wanted to wash their hands for good after that, probably with Shatner since he just cost the most. I don’t think they really wanted him to appear in anything since TUC, but its all the filmmakers… Read more »

The funny thing is, Trek can never seem to make a deal yet Shat works all the time. Did Network TV, he’s in a new movie coming out, does Documentaries all the time, appearances. But nope, he’s so difficult!!

TUP AND Tiger2

Re: clauses

If only the filmed entertainment industry did live in your limited clauses universe, then the limited copyrights of STAR TREK would be actually observed and it would be in the public domain and we’d be having a completely different discussion about what it’s possible to do with STAR TREK.

Can someone explain to me the difference how this guy seem to be able to make a new Star Trek documentary almost every year with ease but yet the DS9 doc needed crowd sourcing just to get off the ground?

I’m almost certain Shatner doesn’t put in his own money so who is producing all these Star Trek documentaries and how come the What You Leave Behind guys couldn’t go through them? Clearly Star Trek documentaries sell as there is no end to them (at least on Shatner’s end) but yet they needed fans to get made. And it doesn’t look like CBS put in a single dollar for it. Bizarre.

As for Netflix, it is cool how its become the go to source for all Star Trek but it sucks they can’t seem to get more than 1 or 2 films in North America. But with the shows, docs and movies it feels like a powerhouse. Would be nice if they could get the TV specials that ran through the years too although a lot of those are basically on Youtube now.

Shatner turns 86 three days from now, and it amazes me how much energy the man still has. I’m thrilled that he’s still with us; I wish Leonard Nimoy still was.

Amen to that! I think he just might make it the 23rd century at this rate!

Hee! If willing would make it so, Shatner would do it. :-)

Laurie Ulster,

Excellent article, but you did muff the parenthetical aside:

“While Canadians get to see the new documentary first (which was also the case with Chaos on the Bridge)…”

should have been

“While Canadians get to see the new documentary first (which was also the case with Chaos on the Bridge, not to mention STAR TREK itself)…”

William Shatner is an amazing man. About to turn 86 years old and so active. So sharply and witty. Working hard. Producing good and thoughtful work

Very inspirational

And there is no room for this man in Star Trek anymore? Absolutely ridiculous.

Unreal isn’t it? They don’t want to pay him and or deal with him I guess. I truly think Fuller intended to find a way to make it happen but then he left or things broke down at the negotiating table

I think its just both sides that are too stubborn. Shatner claims he wants to do Star Trek again, but he seems to only want to do it if A. He gets paid whatever he quotes for it and B. That he would have more than just a cameo role, ie, the story revolve around Kirk. And he confirmed B directly in a youtube video when the whole drama about him appearing in the 09 movie was around and all the questions about if he would or wouldn’t be in it. He basically said he was never directly offered a role because I think Orci said they decided what they were going to do felt a little out of place, but it was only suppose to be just one scene. Shatner said directly he would’ve said no to it anyway because he doesn’t want to do just a cameo. And there it is. And Paramount has probably decided the franchise has kind of lived long and prospered well after they killed off Kirk in Generations so feels no obligations to give in to his demands anymore. In that movie he got both what he wanted, a pretty big starring role and a nice big pay check over it. In fact he was the highest paid for that movie than the stars of that show by millions even though he only had 2 weeks of work. So I think in Paramounts head they gave the guy a ton of money to… Read more »

In another interview, when the holoemitter scene was released, Shatner said he would have loved to have done it and lamented it was never offered.

Im firmly on Shatner’s side. Doing a minor cameo for cameo’s sake is trading on Shatner’s fame and what it means to have him in Trek but in a way that is hardly worth his time.

I always felt like the studio seems annoyed that Shatner doesnt want to just vollunteer his time to Trek. Shatner knows, rightly so, that his appearance in Star Trek is essentially the biggest news that could happen to the franchise.

When the Shatner-in-Trek-3 news was leaked, it was headline news all over. That’s the free pub that comes with just a rumoured association between Shatner and Trek. He deserves to be paid and treated with respect.

There is a lot of ground between an appearance like Nimoy in STID and Nimoy in 09. In STID it was a cameo for cameo sake and out of place and rather pointless. In 09, his role was still mostly a glorified cameo and didnt over-shadow the rest of the film BUT his character was extremely important to the story.

I think Shatner wants something important and worthwhile, not neccesarily a Kirk-centric film. Just a role that matters. And rightfully so.

Thats fine, so people should just accept why he would never play the character again because the series isn’t about him anymore. They retired his Kirk 25 years ago in TUC and then brought him back in Generations to kill him off for good and the franchise has moved on with multiple shows and film series since then.

I get Shatner himself likes to be in a bigger role but those days have been over for a long time now and its no ones obligation to give him any bigger roles. So probably best if he just stuck to documentaries at this point.

@Tiger – so you didnt read anything I wrote.

What does “accepting the series isnt about him” have to do with the discussion at hand? The series is about whatever the writers decide it’s about, including guest stars.

You either are clueless or just incredibly disrespectful. Shatner is 86 years old. The fact he isnt making moves every month isnt a reflection on his talent or star power. They ddnt want him even when he was a series regular ad winning awards for his acting.

Paramount/CBS are just clueless about him. The way they treat Shatner is the opposite of how Disney treats Hamill, Ford and Fisher.

If Im CBS, the first thing I do is sign a contract with Shatner to be brand ambassador, make appearances, more merchandising, more DVD’s and yes, guest appearances!

No matter how many other actors have come along, no one is as associated with Star Trek as William Shatner. He IS Star Trek.

LOL, no offense TUP but this is utter delusion. I get it, I’m on a fan site with Shatner fans whose probably been watching him for 50 years. No one is trying to be ‘disrespectful’ just realistic. He IS 86 years old. Yeah he is still working and doing a lot of projects which is great. And btw, I watch a lot of those myself as I plan to watch this documentary. But his time as Kirk died long ago. No studio is inching to resurrect a 90 year Captain Kirk. My guess is you are way over 30 at this point which you have to be to be this deluded about Shatner. And I only bring that up because no offense but Shatner fans are no longer the target demographic anymore so for studios. They are targeting fans under 35. You guys sound too much like old fanboys that think the guy should be offered A list roles. I hope that’s not what you’re suggesting but it sounds like you are. And sure Disney used Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher again, but whats funny is they are doing the SAME thing Paramount did with Shatner in Generations and its just a transition period between the old characters and the new. Did you forget already they killed off Han Solo in the last movie lol. And sadly we know Carrie Fisher last film will be Episode 8. I imagine Hamill might continue on, but who knows? They could… Read more »
Tiger2, Re: I get it… As much as I am glad to see your more reasonable approach to Shatner’s negotiations, I honestly don’t think you do. You think this is about seeing Shatner reflected through an ageless fan mirror and not seeing him as the old geezer that he is in your mind’s eye now. STAR TREK wasn’t perfect, but it was about inclusion and the reality about which you think that you are talking but actually aren’t. The show was never afraid to tackle the existence of old age. It had old people in it from the 1st pilot on. And I find it weirder that you introduce Stewart, who’s played his comic book character Xavier in advanced old age twice on the big franchise screen and is getting accolades for his performance as such in LOGAN, into this when he’s played his Picard character to similar old age in TNG long before LOGAN. And yet you persist with this nonsense, which surmises to me as “No one wants to see old people in STAR TREK.” STAR TREK is not perfect in addressing it, but it has tackled ageism before, and if there’s one scintilla of truth to your assertions that it’s raised its ugly head again on this side of the millennium, at the ticket booth, in that a vibrant, active and very much alive Shatner can’t play such a character believably because he doesn’t fit the stereotype of what that should look like on screen, then I… Read more »
OMG man, I simply said the guy will more than likely never play Kirk again because he’s almost 90, they KILLED the character off over 2 decades ago, they already HAVE a new Kirk whether you like it or not and there is no big upside for Paramount other than fan service to please old fanboys like yourselves. But few people under 40 is inching to see him back since the franchise has lived long and prospered in all the time he’s been gone. Thats just the reality. I’m not talking age alone but all the other factors you seem to avoid like the plague, mostly that the character is dead lol. I’m not saying Shatner can’t work anymore. The guy is clearly busy lol. But he’s not a big part of the franchise anymore outside of personal appearances and his documentaries. Hasn’t been in literally DECADES now. Man, you don’t seem to realize literally an entire generation of people was born and now graduated college since the last time he played the role. Thats a long freaking time. Disinvited, what exactly do you think would happen a this point? They take out a huge chunk of story to resurrect him in a movie and then he’ll get a spin off show or something? At best it would just be a glorified cameo. Thats it. There is literally nothing they can even do with the character any more beyond that because the KT films takes place in another universe before… Read more »

They made several attempts in the past from Enterprise to the KT films as a possible appearance. It sounds like it was either money, conflict over story ideas or question over how his character should appear why it never happened.

According to someone at Trekcore, there was some discussion about him appearing in the show but he wanted to much money. Of course you have to take it with a grain of salt but it doesn’t sound like he’ll cameo on Discovery regardless.

I would love to see him one more time in a Discovery episode. Maybe the y could do a standalone show on all access, CBS is aware how much the TOS merchandise sells. Certainly a Shat episode would be o value to them. I recall Fuller teased that it would be wonderful to tell stories with Kirk if they found a way to bring him back. He used plural so perhaps he was planning on recurring the character as long as the Shat was able to . Shame they cant get this worked out.

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