Shatner Says He Would Play Kirk Again – Calls Abrams ‘The Perfect Person’ –

In the November Starlog Magazine William Shatner says that is willing to play Kirk again ‘if the opportunity were right’. Since Shatner recently played Kirk to hawk DirecTV one would imagine that ‘opportunity’ = large sums of cash. The last thing we heard from Shatner was his rapid backpedalling on stating he and Trek XI produder JJ Abrams were meeting. That was when Shatner issued his odd "there’s gas and in this case, the gas is coming from JJ Abrams" comment. In Starlog the Shat has only praise for Abrams:

I think he’s the right guy…He’s the perfect person: He’s an aficionado and a brilliant storyteller and film-maker. If anyone can find the essence of ‘Star Trek’ and bring it up to date, he’s the man

Old News?
Although the interview just showed up online when you look at the full article in the print version it appears it was done in August. That would put it a few weeks before the ‘gas’ statement.  At the time Shatner was mentioning Abrams every time he got in front of a microphone, so the question is what happened to make Shatner do a U-turn. This seemingly erratic commentary is nothing new for the Shat, and we await the latest twist in the story.

Shatner also talks about returning to directing with a new project ‘The Shiva Club’, the possibility of a ‘Free Enterprise 2’, and how his Trek ‘Shatnerverse’ books are autobiographicsl. See for full interview


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Star Trek stands a much better chance at the box office with Shatner as Kirk than w/out him.

No it doesn’t. The youngsters won’t want to see it if the characters are old. A hot young star playing Kirk will help drive in the non-Trekkies.

Actually, Shatner directed a film a couple of years ago called Groom Lake.

Shatner and Nimoy bookending the film, flashback does seem to be an Abrams’ storytelling trait, would appeal to the broadest audience possible. Shatner’s new found resurgence has got to get somebody involved with this project thinking on it. Plus, look how good the Captain looked in that commercial and that was just to hawk satellite dishes. He looked 15 years younger! They could actually set up the Shatner and Nimoy parts as before the vomitous events of Generations. The decommissioning ceremony of the Enterprise A perhaps??

As far as the “hot young star” I think that would be a mistake. An unknown, a talented actor absolutely, but one without a broad track record would be the way to go. A too identifiable star would having the audience thinking “look at so-and-so pretending to be Captain Kirk.” An unknown would better allow an acceptance of this person in the role and a deeper submersion in the story for the audience.

The decommissioning ceremony of the Enterprise A would be a great way to start the film. Although Dohan and Kelley are no longer with us, I’m sure they could thrown in a scene (through the magic of cgi and stock footage) of the original crew at the ceremony, followed by a scene of Kirk and Spock alone reminising. I would love to see Shatner and Nimoy in a film together again.

If Starlog’s lead-time is what it used to be, the interview is five to six weeks old.

I have not checked this out yet, but I think they CG’d present-day Shatner’s head on his 1991 Star Trek VI’s body for that wide shot of him in the turbolift. I’ve watched the neck move a few times and it looks off. Now, I go to the movie itself and compare to see if the footage matches.

In that regard, I mean to say that Bill Shatner os presently too fat to play Kirk in uniform. Does Starfleet issue regulation moomoos?

Shatner’s girth is about the same as it was in Trek VI and Generations. Besides, if the rumors of Shatner wearing a corset are true, there’s no reason why the wardrobe department can’t sinch him into his old starfleet duds.

It is a CG job in the DirecTV commercial AND it is another actor in a pretty bad replica of a movie uniform as well as Kirk’s body (Check out the insignia and shoulder strap). It’s a good thing Shatner can peel off that toupee and glue down one that looks like his 1991 one. All that said… it is a very entertaining spot that I can’t get enough of.
Shatner and Nimoy in Abrams movie as a bookend is a good idea to launch a new series of movies. Future movies would not have to have the two appear since you would have established the new actors.

Seriously, there is no head/body CGI stuff in that ad. Any Shatner fan should be able to recognize his body language, which is in perfect sync with his head. Watch it a few more times. The shots of Shatner’s back are from 15 years ago, and there is some weight difference between the old and new footage. The weight difference, if any, between “new” Kirk and Denny Crane is well within the capabilities of a girdle.

Kirk’s uniforms were all sold at Christies on Saturday so they’ll have to make some new ones anyway. Like they’d want to film in 15 or 25-year-old costumes. Yuck.

Shouldn’t Shatner try and lose some pounds anyway? It’s not healthy to carry around all that weight and he is not getting any younger.

Bill, let’s get a charity drive going where for every poiund you lose, fans donate money to a charity of your choice. And let’s see if he can lose 25 lbs in the process. Is that a reasonable idea?

Related to the direcTV spot, it’s obviously clear that Shatners’s face of today was put into the old film records that showed his body in the time of star trek 6.

The attitude of trying to cater to the “youngsters” has failed Trek ever since they killed Kirk.

More important, Shatner is extremely cool and as popular as ever.

Bring in Shatner. The movie won’t work right without him.

Why even bother if they don’t have Shatner back as Kirk? Nobody cares about ST (in the general public) unless Shatner and Nimoy are involved as Kirk and Spock.

Didn’t the commercial failure of Ds9, Voy and Ent prove that?

People will only accept ST if these legends are involved.

without Shatner and Nimoy the movie series was D.O.A. back in 1992, after the last theatre stopped playing THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY!,

Picard and his group were great on tv, but stunk at the movies, even First Contact, because they RUINED the Zepherim Coghrane character and it was horribly portrayed by a horrible lousy actor, whats his name…

Too bad Glenn Corbett wasnt alive to reprise his role!, it would have been a good film with him as the humane caring man we saw in “Metamorphis” TOS ep!


bring back the man we love!


It would be really cool to see Shatner back as Kirk one more time.

Why wouldn’t Paramont bring back Shatner as Kirk? The public would go nuts.

The world needs it’s great hero’s in times like these.

It’s time for Star Trek’s greatest hero to return.

I say it’s time to bring Captain Kirk back.

“The attitude of trying to cater to the “youngsters” has failed Trek ever since they killed Kirk.”

Whereas, the attitude of trying to cater to Trek fans has failed Trek ever since “Star Trek V.”

It’s perfectly reasonable to point out that the film franchise has been uneven at best since the TNG crew took over. But folks who suggest that the old crew was somehow going like gangbusters and that Paramount blew some kind of “winning formula” in retiring them are mistaken. “The Undiscovered Country” was not nearly the success that the studio expected, and the writing was on the wall: it was more than past time for the TOS crew to go. Had keeping them made any financial sense at all, they would not have been retired in favor of TNG.

Let Shatner do some sort of cameo turn in the next movie if it will please a few older fans, but starring him or any of the original cast in the thing is about as smart as just piling about a hundred million dollars in the middle of the Paramount parking lot, dousing it with gasoline and throwing a match on it — and the people in charge know that.

D.B. your an idiot.

The Undiscovered Country did huge box office in late 91-through may of 1992!

It brought in three times the production costs at the box office.

heres the facts D.B.

$30,000,000 (estimated)

$74,888,996 (USA) (sub-total)
$94,000,000 (Worldwide) (sub-total)
AUD 1,811,440 (Australia) ( 1992) (sub-total)

$36,000,000 (USA)
$60,000,000 (Worldwide)

Copyright Holder
Paramount Pictures Corporation

And so in one fell swoop of my internet axe your statement about ST6 doing shite Box Office was just proven as wrong as the rest of your ignorant 7th grade thoughts!

….and by the way, why are you such a fucking ageist (meaning against Shatner playing himself again just because you call him “old”?), listen up punk,
you will be “old” someday……and I hope some ass like you now is there to kick yer opinions from here to the galactic centre as a laugh!

…Ooooh yeah!!! Goon!

He looks older than he did in Generations.How would he play Kirk previous to Kirks generations death?

If you adjust for inflation TUC would have made around $140 million dollars in 2006 money.

Nemesis on the other hand made about $50 million in 2002.

The TOS cast are icons in the same sense that James Bond and Indiana Jones are. No other cast has that type of star power.

The public wants them back. That is why ST XI is about Kirk and Spock. It makes financial sense.

Hey Anthony!,
I graduated from High School in 1973, so can you figure out my age from there!, secondly, regardless of anyones opinions towards anybody in here,…. it does not change the facts of Ageist and bias attitudes in here against someone “old”er (Shatner) reprising HIS role …going on that one issue alone one can see at alot of places on the net and in the real world!

I was watching Star Trek when most of you were in diapers…and I know more about Star Trek than any of you!
your pal
Zora!.. Warrior Hag!

no guts?…no glory!


Star Trek fans today (the young ones) are so ill informed about what was and what is Star Trek!…Period!

bye bye losers

A re-cast of the original characters makes sense.The fact that Star Trek movies’ storylines always prefaced that the actors were aged or coming out of retirement( as early as TMP )worked against the believability of them in action-adventure roles.Paramount really needs to capitalize on the equity of these characters by going with a well casted younger group.And they need to do it right with a great script.No flash in the pan exploitation flick.

Trek with Shatner as Kirk,Nimoy etc. plays too much as a homage piece.As much as we love em.


I must disagree with you. People want the real thing. If Stallone can make Rocky 6, Harrison Ford can do Indy 4. And the Rolling Stones are the only band left in the world that still plays to 50,000 people in football stadiums every night (the current tour is the biggest ever) in their mid 60’s.

Why can’t Shatner and Nimoy play Kirk and Spock?

They are clearly Star Trek’s biggest and most popular characters. Is it just a coincedence that the biggest selling book in the history of ST novels is Wiliam Shatner’s “The Return” which brings Kirk back?

For the record I am only 29 years old.

Shatner is too fat to play Kirk, he would be a laughing stock – unless Trek XI is actually a comedy.

Also Paramount will have to make a choice, they have three choices:

Pay Shatner to shut up
Pay Shatner to help promote the movie
Pay Shatner to be in the movie.

Abrams will have to make his mind up soon.

In the commercial he looks almost no different than he did in TUC.

Also, just look at the traffic the mere mention of Shatner/Kirk coming back to ST brings to this board and one’s like it.

Shatner/Kirk is the flashpoint ST needs to get back on top.

I reiterate Shatner needs to go on a serious diet to do this role. I cannot fathom watching a tubby Kirk roll around the bridge, too fat to pry himself off the Captain’s chair. Besides, losing weight will be good for Bill. And what’s good for Bill is good for all of us Kirk-fans.

Shatner and Nimoy are too old to be convincing as the leads in an action adventure sci-fi film, but would be great setting up the flashbacks.

Personally, I’d open with Spock at Kirk’s grave on Earth, post-ST:Generations carrying out an imaginary conversation with Kirk, thinking back. Then we’d get the main part of the film with the new cast.

At the end, We’d return to the grave. Spock would be joined by Kirk for real. How he’s alive would be a mystery, but it’d give Shatner the final line of the film and it’d undo the farce that was Kirk’s death scene in Generations. I don’t normally get all uptight about these things (I have a life! ;-) ), but I ***refuse*** to recognise Kirk’s death as a permanent fixture of the Trek universe.

Heroes like Kirk can’t die, unless it’s in some gloriously operatic way. Kirk falls off a bridge in what looks like a cheap rehash of some old matinee cliffhanger serial. It was an appalling end for such a great character and any opportunity to reverse it should be taken asap!

GENERATIONS was an insult. Dom is 100% on the money.

Hey gang, since this is all about Shatner today, here’s a funny YouTube clip I found– warning there’s some adult language.

Kirk Lives…As much as I liked Roger Moore,I didn’t want to follow James Bond into retirement.Or watch a old bond try to do the things a young bond did.That’s the way I feel about the Trek characters.As for the Rolling Stones.They re not playing fictional characters.Your admiration for for the original actors is sweet,God bless you.

Dom ,It sounds like a story about spock entering the Nexus.Ugh ,how the next gen has inextricatably polluted the story arc.

Jon… I don’t think you can really compare Roger Moore as 007 (the third man to play Bond) Shatner has been Kirk to millions for 40 years.

I agree that Shatner is too old to play an action hero. But, he could play a more mature version of the character.

I also agree with Dom. Generations was a disgrace. Kirk deserves a better end. Hopefully Star Trek 11 will give him a better ending.

I am older than Zora and have been watching “Star Trek” since its premiere.

His figures concerning the cost of Star Trek VI versus its domestic return are in error, since he neglects costs of advertising and distribution. At best that’s a naive error based on a lack of understanding of how the business works; at worst, it’s disingenuous.

If Paramount had stood to make the money they wanted off of further TOS films, they would have made them. If their experience with the TOS films had justified any confidence in the early 1990s, they would not have waited until the last moment to greenlight the film after slashing its proposed budget so deeply that — by Meyer’s own published testimony — the director cried in the budget meeting with studio executives.

Given Zora’s evident desire to personalize the debate, I’ll pass on any further dialogue — I’m far too prone to such behavior myself to indulge the temptation.

The Trek movies were enough of a concession to Booking the same actors in the same character’s roles.As much as I enjoyed the movies, it felt a little uncomfortable watching old actors playing roles that were never really meant to mature beyond a certain age( the established characters of Trek tos).The reason why I felt uncomfortable(in some way)is because the characters came across as a bunch of old boys.But ,you know in that respect I’m as guilty as anyone who wants to see the same actors because BACK THEN I did too.So the whole thing was forced ,but in the world of sci fi / fantasy what isn’t?

I think a lot of the Shatner bashers here (or ageist, if you please) are missing the point of what the fans expect of him, if indeed he is asked to participate in the new film.

Now obviously no one expects a 70 year old man, with more than a little middle age spread, to be doing shoulder rolls and smacking down aliens with his Captain’s patented double axe handle chops. That’s ridiculous. I’d love to see it, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless.

The classic characters are going to be recast. Everyone knows that. I think what the purists are gunning for is a little nostalgia. For a lot of us that last REAL Trek movie played in theaters in 1991. A little cameo by Kirk and Spock, who someone on this board rightfully pointed out are the franchises most popular characters, in their starfleet burgundy and black would be a final gift to the fans who have backed the show for 4 decades. The Direct TV ad, if anything, demonstrated that the old guy can still pull it off. Shatner and Nimoy’s involvement would also help ease the audience into accepting new actors in their roles. “We give these kids our thumbs up. GIve ’em a chance.” That kind of message.

And as far as Paramount never cowtowing to the fan’s request. Abrams is in charge of the project and he is a fanboy with much affection and respect for these two characters and the actors who play them.

I think a Shatner cameo/bookend etc. would be very distracting,and would change the momentum and mood of the film.It would be a slight to new actors who would be struggling to re-establish the characters.I don’t think an actor of Damon’s caliber (for example)would put up for that

All I want is, Kirk to emerge from the nexus alive and well. That was such a stupid end for such a great character.

DB, TOS went through a period of unpopularity in the early 1990s.

There was a lot of snobbery because TNG having an ‘RSC ac-TOR, don’t you know!’ in the lead, leaving ‘hammy’ Shatner and the TOS crew to get regularly used as the butt of ‘oldly go’ jokes.

Also the early-to-mid-nineties saw a depressing open warfare between members of the original cast. None of these things would have helped box office receipts, so ending TOS when they did was a good thing.

TNG was a flavour-of-the-month fad, though. Years three to six were very good and many international audiences didn’t get to watch the mostly poorer seventh season until after Generations had entered cinemas. Indeed, the less-informed (less geeky? ;)) UK viewers I knew assumed the seventh TNG series would be a follow-up to Generations.

If anything, the TNG cast aged worse than the TOS crew. Patrick Stewart is one of those actors like Max Von Sydow, who starts out looking older than he is and consequently never seems to change. But Stewart’s Dorian Gray-like good fortune showed up that Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner aged a lot in a few years. Picard’s ‘young Kirk’ second-in-command ended up looking almost as old as Picard himself!

In spite of Data’s added-late-in-the-day fake ‘aging’ ability Spiner couldn’t get away with any more films. As it stood, Data’s other ‘brother’ B4 happening to look exactly the same age as Data had chosen to look required a lot of suspension of disbelief!

Marina Sirtis, who remains a very attractive woman, should have shot the make-up artists on the post-Generations movies!

In the end, people started to look beyond the other issues that had hovered around the TOS team and TOS got reassessed. Shatner and his former co-stars very publicly made their peace and Shatner created a quirky self-parodying image that won him back the affection of audiences.

With the saturation of TNG-era Treks, people had got bored. I was a massive TOS fan and watched TNG, although its ‘reset switch’ plotting and the cowardice of the producers in not tackling any really meaty subjects and really shaking up the Trek universe was a source of frustration. I remember thinking how odd it was when DS9 was on that I was no longer watching Star Trek! Ironically, DS9 did shake things up, but like most viewers, by then I’d ‘tuned out.’

I think the time’s right for a return of Kirk and Spock film. People recognise them as iconic characters now and, most importantly, they aren’t associated with the 24th century era Treks.

Sometimes, though, I wonder what might have happened had Paramount not rushed out a TNG movie in 1994. Suppose they’d released the film in 1995, finalised the deal with Leonard Nimoy to direct and get involved in the writing. Had Star Trek VII been better integrated into the film series, would we have ended up with the TV movie-standard disasters that were Insurrection and Nemesis and an ignominious end for the TNG cast?

Maybe someone will do a graphic novel on Spock entering the nexus and encountering a nexus-Kirk.But that’s just too sunshine and lollypops for a movie.

Not that I’m disagreeing with your points, DB, but I wanted to add that fifteen years ago the cost for promoting and distributing a movie was not $20 million like it is today. In the end, ST VI was a solid performer, saving the film franchise from ST V’s poor performance.

The reason Paramount didn’t go ahead with another TOS movie was so they could do a less-expensive (and presumably more profitable TNG series of movies). Remember, TNG had 20 million viewers weekly, it was a big ratings-getter. Paramount saw a potential for a $100 million movie in that market. And what happened with Generations? It made the same money as ST VI. Only First Contact broke the $70-80 million bubble for the TNG movie series.

Be it TOS or TNG, the bottom line is you need a good story with good action in order to sell a Star Trek movie.

” I wanted to add that fifteen years ago the cost for promoting and distributing a movie was not $20 million like it is today. In the end, ST VI was a solid performer, saving the film franchise from ST V’s poor performance.”

In those days, the 2.5-to-3-times-production cost for promotion and distribution was more applicable than it is now. In the end, ST 6 made money for Paramount, but not enough on first-run for the studio to consider it to have further potential. Ideally, when one sees the income lag and the audience figures diminish, one ends production *before* the series starts actually losing money. The trend is what matters, when the numbers get that close.

Someone supposedly asked David Gerrold sometime early in the TOS movie cycle “How many ‘Star Trek’ films do you think they’ll make?” and he supposedly answered “One too many.” The studio probably avoided that mistake by jettisoning the TOS cast for ST 7, but ran straight into it with ST 10.

Why couldn’t they just place Kirk or Spock in charge of orbital Space Station? That way you could see them doing what they do best inside while Kirk kept making command choices for the Space Station and sector within his realm of space. Spock on the other hand could be put in charge Science division at Starfleet Command on Earth or a outpost on Vulcan for a extra good measure. What ever would work best.
I can’t see why a majority of feel that Kirk should have to be aboard a ship again? Been there and done that – right? Both characters are way too old to be on active duty aboard a ship of such magnitude.

I think it’s a mistake to have the characters age.Let go of your perceptions of actors as superheros and let them retire in dignity.One day Superman and Batman will be old too but you don’t have to go there in the movies.Give other actors a chance

DB, what do you have to say about ST VI being as successful/more successful than the majority of the TNG movies?

As for ad budgets/dist. costs, let’s try not to guess anymore how much it cost. The bottom line was ST VI did make a profit, equal to Generations, and greater than Nemesis and Insurrection.

Unless I’ve heard incorrectly, isn’t the upcoming movie supposed to be about Kirk and Spock’s *early* days? If so — and this is from an old ST fan from day 1 — I think shoehorning in the now-geriatric Shatner & Nimoy would ultimately do the movie a disservice. Unless they were just added at the end of the film as a “Later on, in the future…” sort of attachment (that might work), it would be contrived. (Please, for the love of God, no more time warps!)
I’m sure some people will accuse me of ageism, maybe rightly so, but I have to be honest: most of today’s movie-going audiences are younger and frankly don’t want to see a bunch of senior citizens ambling around in an action movie. Harsh, maybe, but true. I’ll always have a soft spot for the TOS cast, but they had their day. I believe that for the new movie to have its best shot at not only entertaining us longtime, diehard fans, but also enticing a whole new audience of younger fans, it needs to be contemporary. They need to have *their* ST heroes too. (I agree with earlier posters that unknowns should be cast as K & S. I swear, if they cast Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck as Kirk and Spock, I’m taking hostages!) The idea of future movies featuring 95-yr. old Shatner & Nimoy shuffling around in walkers might thrill us hardcore fans, but not the general public.
And unless the new movie hooks new/more fans and provides fresh blood to the franchise, I’m really afraid the audience will continue to dwindle and the franchise fade away. It sure seems that way now, considering there are NO new ST shows currently playing or planned, other than this movie. :( Our good fortune of getting a hot, talented, Trek-friendly new writer/director like Abrams is our best shot at reviving and injecting new life into our beloved ST universe.