Confirmed: Nimoy & Shatner Have ‘Recasting Approval’ Contracts

Four days ago we reported Leonard Nimoy had told the Toronto Star ” I do, by contract, have the right to approve the casting” (for a recasted Spock). Well this bombshell ran around the internet and raised 4 key questions:

  1. Is this true?
  2. Does it apply to Shatner too?
  3. Is this an old contract?
  4. What power does he (do they) really have?

According to a Paramount source it is indeed true: “I can tell you what Nimoy said is accurate, and it applies to Shatner too”. The source also confirmed that no other Trek actor (including ones no longer alive) has the same deal, just Nimoy and Shatner. For the third question, a reasonable assumption would be that these must be old contracts from their heyday in the 80s or maybe during the run-up to Star Trek VI (the last time Paramount considered recasting Kirk and Spock). As it turns out, according to the source, the contracts are brand spanking new and related specifically to Star Trek XI. Which begs the obvious question…why on earth would Paramount and JJ Abrams go out of their way to hand over casting veto power to William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy? This is a question that our studio source either could not or would not answer. To make things even more confusing a source inside William Shatner’s inner circle tells the Trek Movie Report “Bill says he has no power, Paramount makes all the decisions.”

It’s all about PR
Although this seems very confusing, in talking to the various people around this it becomes a bit clearer. It is likely this is all about publicity. When it became clear to Paramount that they would be recasting iconic characters based on living actors, they made sure those actors were going to be part of the team. So yes there are contracts, but can Nimoy or Shatner stop Abrams from casting a certain actor?…apparently not. They can however back out of their deals to promote the film if they don’t like Trek XI produer JJ Abrams choice, but it is unlikely that Abrams would ever let that happen. Paramount do not want Shatner or Nimoy to run around and start spouting off about this film and creating negative buzz. Having them on board is a way for the studio to reach out to the fans and show that they care about Trek history…and that is a good thing. Can this relationship go beyond promotion to actual involvement? It is certainly possible, we know Shatner is ready to go and Nimoy seems open to the idea. At the very least expect a press conference some day with Shatner, Nimoy and the new Kirk and Spock all shaking hands and playing nice.

Oh and one more thing…Trek XI WILL BE about Kirk and Spock
The evidence is becoming overwhelming and this pretty much clinches it. Paramount aren’t going to go out and sign contracts with the old Kirk and Spock if they are doing another movie about Riker, Data, Janeway or even Pike. If the JJ Abrams designed poster and the other hints weren’t enough to convince you, these contracts should be the closer.

But since Paramount and Abrams have not confirmed it, the Trek Movie Report will continue to sprinkle our articles with ‘probably’ and ‘likely’…but if Trek XI isn’t about Kirk and Spock I will eat my hat.

(note to self…buy a hat)


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Hi there,

I just saw “The Faculty” again in a rerun on TV last week and … Josh Hartnett seems like a perfect Spock to me. At least in that role, maybe it’s the hair?

My suggestion is Hugh Laurie as Bones.

You’re welcome.

Greg Kinnear would be great as Bones. (and he has worked with Matt Damon before)

They must have already signed them to caameo in the film as well. It makes no sense if they are not going to be in the film.

Mark Wahlberg for Captain Kirk please!

I agree with Ken. This can only mean Shatner and Nimoy will appear in the new Star Trek film. Which would be great.

If this movie is really about Kirk and Spock’s first adventure, it would have to take place before “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the second pilot. That means no Bones — he wasn’t there yet. Dr. Piper was the chief medical officer.

Although, if Dr. McCoy were in the movie, I’d vote for Gary Sinese.

Where there is smoke there is fire. Shatner and Nimoy will be in this film.

Why would Shatner and Nimoy care to promote this film if they were not in it? I’m sure they wouldn’t be getting a ton of money to simply promote it.

I stand by what I said. Shatner and Nimoy will be in Star Trek 11.

Kirk and Spock go back in time, get genetically modified, and come back to the present time changed (new faces). Easy and predictable. :) \\// llap

Well, that’s the coming of age! I would sue this anomaly! ;-)

I’m sure it a Starfleet Academy days.

So, Bones could be in it. (Maybe he went to medical school prior to joining Starfeet)

Heck, even Scotty could be in it. (He could be a T.A. with the engineering department.)

I hope your hat is not a sombrero…

This movie project probably evolved from the Shatner-Paramount negociations for him to appear on Star Trek-Enterprise. At least I hope, that way negociations should mostly be settled by now. And my guess is that they contacted Abrams with this deal already on the plate.

Bring back Kirk! Just write onscreen that Spock has revived him somehow after his death on Veridian before the movie begins then flash forward 12 years later to the new story and then flashback to the new actors.

It’s probably a Pay-or-Play type of thing: if Nimoy doesn’t like the actor, they have to throw him a couple of bucks.

Joe, Spocky

I’m wondering if there isn’t some kind of likeness rights issues Paramount may be trying to head off here as well as get Nimoy and Shatner’s support in promoting ST XI.

I think Spock and Kirk on some new starship sendoff mission, sorta like in generations. The ship crashes and the 2 are waiting to die as they remanice on there careers together in their youths.

It will be very intersting to see what JJ comes up with, it could be epic if handled correctly

No no you got it all wrong…

Kirk and Spook will be on a plane from Australia to the US and sundenly the place will crash on an island…

There they will discover that not everything is what it looks like…

And part of the movie will be based on Kirk remembering some pass experience when he was younger. Same thing for Spock….

In time they will discover that everything they ever did in there life have been done so that they would end up on this island….. Lost…..