Shatner Jokes Kirk is ‘Uncastable’, Dismisses Cameo For Trek XI

William Shatner has told that he has had ‘a long talk’ with Trek XI producer JJ Abrams, although he provides no detail on what they talked about. When asked who he thought should be the new Captain Kirk, he joked "I think it’s uncastable." also reports that Shatner dismisses the suggestion for a cameo in Abrams Star Trek XI. This is a bit surprising since recently  Shatner seemed to be chomping at the bit for a role in Trek XI. Of course with Shatner it is always hard to get a straight answer on anything. The actor does spill the beans on his new DirecTV commercial where he reprises his role as Kirk, saying "They’ve got me CGI’d…they’ve got a computer program trying vainly to make me look younger." promisses a complete Q&A with the first Captain Kirk soon; will keep an eye out for that.

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Hi, Anthony, how are you? Thanks for the news. Well, I doubt DirecTV used the Image-metrics technology I wrote about elsewhere on this forum; again, if WETA Digital, now doing Fantastic Four: Silver Surfer created Shatner and Nimoy “avatars”, it would be a go.

In the past, I’ve written the ideal film would wait to use such technology, use the original cast (did you see how they did Fred & Ethel Mertz for the TV commercial) and use a director such as Alfonso Cuarón or Peter Weir, with A list SF writers for the script or Darin Morgan and the Batman Begins writer, who worked on something together.

Thank heavens for Star Trek: Remastered is all I can say.

Have a great weekend, Tony! Hang in there. Whatever the films, it will be an entertainment!

Anyone considered the possibility that Shatner is playing word games with us?

That he dismisses a cameo because he’s planning/been promised a larger role than just a cameo? Depends on your definition of cameo, I suppose.

Jeff, you may be on to something. I clicked and opened up the link above and the exact quote is:

So who is Shatner’s pick to originate Kirk’s bravado? “I think it’s essentially uncastable,” he answers with a wink.

Wink of An Eye — an upcoming Star Trek Remastered…

I hope you’re right! And may I add– ;)

Oh, I garbled “Whatever the film ends up being, it will be entertaining” — at least, I hope so!

I think that if we can have actor’s play characters such as Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Willy Loman amongst others for the decades and centuries since they have been created then we can have another actor play Kirk. It’s just a matter of doing what every accomplished director who cast the previous roles have had to do……….get the RIGHT actor for the job and not just one that u feel will “mathmatically equate to a 75+ million dollar percentage on the open market.”

Pirates of the Caribbean is hot , so why not cast Orlando Bloom as the young James T. Kirk?


Really, if there are good adult actors, I’m for it. But in this age of “pretty” boy leads, who knows?

I guess it’s gonna be a big role or a younger cgi kirk. Just imagine the possibilities!

It’s just a matter of looking for them Sybok. My prime example is Christopher Reeve for the first Superman. He could be considered a “pretty boy,” he was only 25 when he did the first film, but the most important thing (at least considering the studio frame of mind) was that he was both of those plus he talented and his age and looks equating to Superman’s. The same can be done for Kirk, there are plenty of unknown actors out there who can be tested who will met the possible criteria of the studio of being young and “pretty boy” (cause face it so was Shatner at that age too) u just need to find the handful with the talent as well.

The only issue with the studio will be whether they have the guts to go and actually search for the actor or whether they will take a selection of only 35 actors and then judge from them who fits those 3 three previous criteria. For a role that has already left an impression, with the hopes of invigurating the series, it just wont work to do it that way. It will make money to a degree, but I can guarantee u it would make 2; even possible 3 times; as much if the right unknown is given the role.

Let me get this straight….
Some of you advocate CGI-ing Kirk and the rest?
Maybe in a perfect world.
But first…you know they won’t.
Second… none of you could agree if the CGI people got his chin right or is the color of his eyes too orange? I am just thinking of the Remastered TOS and the disagreements on the FX there.
This is not an attack on anyone… just a statement of facts the way I see them.
Thanks for the good work, Anthony.

CGI Young Kirk????

Insanity! But it sounds interesting…

But seriously, to take Shatner’s comments seriously this early in the game is a bit rash. If anything, Bill is posturing for negotiations. Paramount is spending a lot of money on this movie, no doubt. And to have Kirk and Spock there to give it their blessing would be a huge part of that “enterprise.” As far as I can tell, Shatner will do anything so long as a paycheck is attached. He’s playing hard to get at the moment. Wait and see… they’ll get him and Nimoy on board (for cameos). As for CGing these actors, I am not terribly keen on that for multiple reasons. What’s good for a :30 commercial is not necessarily acceptable for a full-length feature. And what should they do with a yopung McCoy or Scotty? Speculating about it is fun, but in reality, I doubt it can (nor should it) be done.

Let’s add more speculation.
There’s nothing out there to support this… just theorizing.
Just suppose that the studio likes the story-line well enough that they see the option of this being a 2 or 3 movie arc? Similar to “Pirates of the Caribbean” it could film all of them together, tie the cast’s contracts to do all the movies and make a grand sweeping 6 to 8 hour story line to be viewed over a 3 to 4 year period.
Let’s throw that ‘enterprise” out here and see what ya’ll think.

And regarding Shatner… Cameo or large part… at some point he needs to actually take a bow and hang up his space boots. Then he should pass the torch… before it’s too late. I’d rather his legacy was one that he played the part to the hilt and knew when it was time to let the next man become James T. Kirk.

Having Shatner and Nimoy do a bookend scene would be cool IMHO. But they would have to make them look the way they did before Generations. Could be done. Have them sitting in Shat’s SF pad with some romulan ale and remembering…

Don’t overthink or overanalyze this.

Shatner’s being coy about a cameo simply because no one’s yet offered to pony up the kind of money he wants.

If they do, he’ll change his tune again.

I suppose it’d be cute to have him in the movie somewhere, but they can get along just fine without him.

Shatner/Kirk is to Quarterhouse steak as successor series/Captain is to Grade E Taco Bell soy beef.

Anyone interested may wish to refer to post #8 on the previous thread, which has a warm, respectful way of including William ( he didn’t REALLY die…he’s happily esconced in an alternate universe somewhere thanks to being swept up by that damn “Ribbon”… ) and Leonard in this reboot which would introduce us to new actors without overwhelming them.

I’m just hoping that if any new/newish actors are given a big career boost if this movie proves a hit, that they will have the grace to CONTINUE in the roles for the benefit of audiences.

#11 story arc reference

I was thinking the same thing Mike. I think they should go with them in the final months at the academy and leaving on their first assignments.

The 2nd film should take place a few years later while kirk and spock are still moving up in the ranks (spock now on the enterprise with Pike). I think u could wrap a film around the idea of how Kirk went on planey surveys for this film. Perhaps having a planet (forest or jungle like in nature) ready to join the federation and Kirk and other officers are sent for the final precedings only to find mass genocide being carried out on the planet between the race that is in control onto another race. The ship that Kirk and the officers arrive on is destroyed and Kirk and company have to survive til help arrives (from Pike, Spock and the Enterprise). Just kind of picture the trailer to “The New World” mixed with the scene from “King Kong” were the inhabitants of the island come out and kill some of the crew with tweaks here and there. Touch on the darkness, just to show why Starfleet and what it stands for are so important.

Then the 3rd film should show what leads Kirk to command the Enterprise. Have the incident from the 2nd film be the reason that Pike chooses Kirk to command the ship when he goes to exit, because of Kirks actions in the second film. Then end the film once Kirk comes on board and it can blend in with the first episode of the TOS where Kirk and Spock are on the enterprise. Now that would be nice………….if they actually do it.

My final thoughts on William Shatner, James T. Kirk, and the new Star Trek film.

First, the studio will do what it wants, but I hope the screenplay is well written, and does have humor, action, and drama.

Second, and most important, Kirk is not a character out of literature; he is a composite from many creative minds, most importantly from the “two Genes”, Roddenberry and Coon, and the actor William Shatner.

Perhaps re-casting the key characters with new actors will work. I’ll keep an open mind.

As to CGI, Michael T:

Read the New York Times article/video from the above link. Shatner could perform as Kirk, and Nimoy as Spock. I know Paramount will not use this technology this for the film. Nevertheless, Paramount should consider this, perhaps working with Sony Imageworks and/or ILM and/or Weta Digital.

Perhaps CBS Paramount would consider a “mini-series” after the film?

At any rate, I do wish everyone involved well, and I hope the movie is good.

I was comparing it on par with the notion of role representation Sybok. If i was comparing Kirk as a “character,” then it would be in the manner of portrayl that an actor takes when portraying well known figure (historical or otherwise) when it comes to how it should be looked at for recreating.

And that image-metrics is crap guys; at least to the means of actually recreating a performance on caliber with a live actor. Its kind of disturbing how everyone is so afraid of anything “new” that we try to grasp on to the more familiar no matter how poor its representation will be.

nice ideas acb

ABC, it seems “afraid of anything new” is exemplified by bringing back the characters of Kirk and Spock.

As to Image-Metrics being crap, no one has yet seen the Grawp character in the new Harry Potter film, nor the “mapping” technology used with a state of the art Avatar.

For all we know, the Direct TV commercial may have been Image-metrics.

But you’re entitled to your opinion.

My own is that lacking a first rate script, it will not matter one bit if A list actors are cast.

Sybok, I totally agree with u on the idea of needing a first rate script for this piece. But what i was trying to argue against was the idea that Kirk and Spock can not be played by any one other than Shatner and Nimoy and that presenting the idea of working within the realms of cgi recreation is a notion of that fear of the new.

At this point I think it might really be needed to bring back these characters just so people can understand what made Star Trek so great. And it is absolutely true that u need a very solid script along with actors who both visually and performance wise can be associated with the actors who came before. By the way, what are your thoughts on the 3 film synopsis i laid out previously?

#23 Ensign Ro,
I am one of Those people that believe new actors HAVE to portray the classic charactors. Why?
First….Despite what Sybok and I discussed above, CGI actors for this feature are not likely. If that comes to pass and the effects look like real people, I will apologize and enjoy the film.
Second…If you check the Obits, you will see that two of the beloved TOS series actors are no longer with us. Additionally Shatner and Nimoy are not immortal and look their age. If you have looked at the preproduction release poster… the colors and old style chevron (the arrowhead shape, in case you didn’t know.) indicate a TOS era flick.
I would LOVE to see an original cast TOS movie. But I do not see how.

And Ro, if you haven’t been reading the threads lately, we are trying to be at peace in the discussions. Most of the enlightened here are done with the personal attacks. Get with the program and confine your remarks to the topic, not the people commenting, or you will likely displaying your superior intellect on a different site.

oh…look’s like the axe fell already…

Yeah, they took that one off quick. I agree Mike and i compare Ro’s reaction and a few others who are stuck on the “impossible” to recast idea to the notion of falling in love the first time. When u fall in love the first time, u feel that that love is special and once it is over that no other love can compare. Of course, we all fall in love again once a “new” right person comes along. But at the time, since we are not aware of the existence of said other we feel that there is no one actually out there.

Star Trek is the same way, we all fell in love with the characters and once they left the screen we had to acknowledge their time had ended. Now the idea that someone else may come along brings about the knee jerk reaction to not accept it. But if the right person comes along that will change everything. Now all Abrams and Paramount have to do is bring the right “new” person(s) around to capture the fans love again.

Just to clarify my own position on this…in my ideal movie set-up, as described in post #8 on the previous thread…when I suggested that after the initial introductory William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy cameo, that we then “cut-away” into the action of an ALL-NEW cast mid-adventure…I intended that this ALL-NEW cast were playing the ORIGINAL SERIES crew ( as in “flashback” mode as in Kirk and Spock reflecting on their past missions together ), as opposed to any NEW crew of characters!

And yes, it would be nice if these younger, hopefully relatively new to audiences, actors and actresses somewhat remind us of the original thespians, but it isn’t a deal breaker for them to be, for the following reasons:

a) IF the movie is well directed and entertaining, and the plot, effects, sets, music, and acting is good, then word of mouth, reviews, etc. will ensure a smash hit.

b) IF that proves the case, audiences old and new alike will embrace the fresh casting.

A-listers in my opinion will DETRACT from this effort due to their financial demands taking away from the budget that could be better utilised onscreen. Apart from casting SLIM, as opposed to MUSCLEBOUND ( the original crew were slim and looked terrific in the original uniforms! ) actors, I have a preference where the Spock character is concerned… I would really like to see someone cast who is TALLER ( I always thought this emphasised Leonard Nimoy’s otherworldlyness ) than the rest, and who has a voice with reasonable GRAVITAS.

acb, as to your story treatment, it doesn\’t matter what I think, because Orci, Kurtzman et al. will write what they want.

However, if you\’re a published SF writer, get your agent to deal with Simon & Shuster on a book! ;)

Image-Metrics technology most likely will not be used in this new film; however, this is what they say, which I quote below. If the avatars are good, then the image mapping technology should work. Unfortunately, there is no CGA — A for “Audio”. In theory, De Kelley could be recreated, using the performance of another actor. But there is no realistic way, now, I think, to duplicate this voice.

I think Image-Metrics and its competition shall be feasible, creating totally convincing “actors”, but perhaps not for a few years. On the other hand, they are being “hush hush” on their web site.

So, let Abrams have a go, but Paramount should keep all options open. Shatner, Nimoy and the surviving cast could act, and thier performances be “mapped” using this technology or a competitor.

Now, is Image-metrics “hyping” their work? If so, the studios won\’t use it.

My only issue with the idea of image-metrics is that:

1. It will only deal with stereotypical portrayls of said actors/actresses to which their images are being created.

2. No one can say how any actor will play a role on the basis of how they created another one. Now, an actor can play or embody another actor of well known individual as has been seen in bio pics. But no actor can create a role under the guise of saying “this is how so and so would have played this next to so and so.”

Such a notion is simply a selling tool for image-metrics, as well as the very obvious gap that seems to be growing between those that create digital effects and actors/actresses who create characters. Those who create the effects believe they know everything already to what makes a good character, when most that are created always end up being very stereotypical in portrayl and characterization.

Sybok, I understand what you are saying and I too like that technology can help with movies, TV and much more. You can almost create people.
What does this do for acting as a profession… let alone an art form? Suddenly I can walk through a set and be anyone… from JT kirk to Dr. Who. Some actors are very overpaid, but most are not. This means I can hire anyone to walk about talk and gesture at the right spots and *Po0F!* cgi them to become my favorite charactor.
IMO this really cheapens the whole thing.

Personally, I have no fear of CGI clones of our fave characters being used; it just won’t happen, and even if it was, it would be likely limited and not very important to the overall experience.
The most important factors of this reboot attempt will be STORY, CHARACTERIZATION, and CHEMISTRY. In other words, the whole damn package will have to work. We’ll have to be convinced that it’s not a piece of crap one off that will be here today and gone tomorrow. If it feels shallow, temporary, and out for an easy buck… it will fail. As lately, I’m feeling let down by LOST, and ALIAS, I was an early adopter, and dropper… I don’t think Abrams will have a problem with casting if he stays within the needs of the character, but lately, I’m wondering if Abrams can chart a long term course without losing cohesion.

MichaelIT, and acb: did you have problems with Andy Serkis’ performance as Gollum in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers , or since it’s not Trek you didn’t see it?

Of course, Isaac Asimov or Clarke SF stories notwithstanding, acting won’t disappear.

I would love to see Shatner, Nimoy, Takei re-create their TOS characters again, and this or equivalent technology would allow it. The actor’s performance would be “mapped” on to the avatar.

But I know we’ll probably end up with Calvin Klein models cast as Kirk & Spock.

C’est la vie! Au revoir, I have a ship to tend to!

Actually i was not head over heels for the digital work of gollum in lotr. It was good but if u see Serkis’s performance video from when he was being recorded into the computer it is far more interesting than the cgi model ended up being.

And there is a very stark difference between seeing a computer generated image recreating a person’s emotion than watching an actor actually experience them.

Sybok #31,
First, don’t presume to know me or what I watch. I don’t appreciate the attempt at the low blow you tried. I’ve not insulted you.
Secondly, I like Gollum and was impressed with the technology that created him and did allow the character to emote. However, It didn’t have to look completely human and he (Gollum) certainly wasn’t. So the effect worked. We are discussing mapping well-known faces that need to look human and real. And my comments were also intended to apply beyond Trek. I can, with this technology, take anyone with the right size and shape, have them act and paste a well-known on their less than famous mug and call it art or acting. They may give a world-class performance… but should they ask for more than a pittance of $$ they are easily replaced with another wannabe.
And I agree with TomBot2006 on this point… “The most important factors of this reboot attempt will be STORY, CHARACTERIZATION, and CHEMISTRY. In other words, the whole damn package will have to work. We’ll have to be convinced that it’s not a piece of crap one off that will be here today and gone tomorrow. If it feels shallow, temporary, and out for an easy buck… it will fail.”
I do not look forward to “The works of Shakespere as performed by the Sims”. IMHO
Michael “Gotta be Real” T