Shatner: There Will Be Another Captain Kirk

A few days ago we reported the first part of an interview William Shatner gave to the Massachusetts Republican, but it appears they saved the best stuff for part two. Shatner reveals that he has indeed met with JJ Abrams (something he seemingly denied after we reported it weeks ago) and he apparently has confirmed there will be a new Kirk saying:   

J. J. Abrams is planning a movie. He has talked with me about it, but I don’t know what he has got planned. It’s likely there will be another Captain Kirk for certain.

Click more to see the key excerpts from interview 

Q: Turning to "Star Trek," besides the recent DirectTV commercial, have we seen the last of William Shatner as Captain Kirk?

A: I don’t know. J. J. Abrams is planning a movie. He has talked with me about it, but I don’t know what he has got planned. It’s likely there will be another Captain Kirk for certain. I have a book out in bookstores right now called "Captain’s Glory" and it’s about Captain Kirk.

Q: Have you been asked to appear in the next movie?

A: I have had a meeting with them. They are busy writing, so I don’t know how it will come out.

Q: The rumor mill keeps churning out reports that the next "Star Trek" film will focus on a young James T. Kirk. How do you feel about another actor playing a role you originated?

A: It’s not so much the role, it’s the word "younger."

Q: I suppose it must be like Sean Connery watching Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig playing James Bond?

A: I wonder if he feels, ‘Thank God, I don’t have to do all those stunts (laughs)’.

Q: What characteristic would you want to see in an actor taking on the role of Captain Kirk?

A: He’s got to be handsome. He’s got to be athletic. He’s got to be rich. He’s got to be funny. He’s got to get the girl – the sort of things I do.

Although it is the working assumption, there has never been an official confirmation from JJ Abrams or Paramount that Star Trek XI will feature the character of Kirk. This is the most Shatner has said about it since his ‘gas’ comments a few weeks ago. During the summer Shatner talked up Abrams quite a bit and made it clear he wanted to be in Trek XI. Since saying he was going to meet Abrams he hasn’t said much about Trek XI. If Shatner and Nimoy were to be in as ‘bookends’ (as was suggested by Nimoy), then it would follow that the script would have to be written assuming they would be available. On the other hand, it is possible that Shatner or Nimoy could be slated for new characters that could in the end be cast to others if they don’t sign. Let the speculation continue…



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Shatner and Nimoy are window dressing and being used to draw intrest to the project. It makes more sense to have them on Paramounts side then to bad mouth a new move with their characters. The new movie won’t bomb but It won’t keep the franchise moving forward. Enterprise didn’t work, Trek 11 won’t work either…..

Give it 10 years, new series in the 3rd Generation that nobody knows anything about because it hasen’t happened yet. This going back and rehashing Kirk and Spock is nonsense……

Gene Roddenberry l@@ked foreward, not back…. ?

Darth “The Next Generation” Ballz

It’s too early to speculate as to the overall quality or box-office potential for this movie, seeing how not a single frame has been shot yet.

Anything Abrams can do to undo Kirk’s death from GENERATIONS would be greatly appreciate, but that’s the cherry on top. What we really need is a compelling action/adventure with great actors and kick-ass SFX. And the music needs to be right too. Who should score this movie? Ideas?

Michael Giacchino scored M:I-III for Abrams. Maybe we need someone a little more… grandiose? If John Barry was feeling up to it, I’d love to have him do the score.

Regardless of one’s feelings about the new Star Trek feature… whether or not J.J. Abrams is the “man”… or whether the Star Trek universe should be re-booted… or whether Shatner and Nimoy should be involved… ya’ gotta’ love The Shat. And, by the way, his hair looks “maaaahvelous!”

For anyone, who wants to shine in his brilliance…

This is a clip from the 2005 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to George Lucas show. In it, William Shatner comes on stage and sings to George Lucas.

Too, too funny!

Undoing the death of Kirk is the most important reason to have Shatner in the movie. Otherwise, what’s the point? Kirk getting to ride off into the sunset in search of the next adventure would really put asses in the seats.

Oh good, the “not moving forward” cliché again. THAT never gets old.

It’s the *story*, stupid, not what era it takes place in. It’s ALL forward, from our perspective.

Darth Ballz,

Bringing Kirk back is the best thing for Star Trek right now. As a fan of the original and NOT a fan of anything since TNG. I can say (and I’m sure many people agree) that Star Trek NEEDS to be re-invented with new characters playing Kirk, Spock, etc.

Why start over AGAIN with a new cast of characters totally new to the Star Trek Universe?? People would be saying,”Who the Hell are these guys??” Why would I want to go see this?? When you bring Kirk and company into the picture it changes everything. James Bond movies have done just fine recasting agent 007. If done right it can work and if Abrams casts Kirk and co. correctly it will appeal to the entire generation that grew up watching Kirk kick ass in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s. Those people just might bring their kids to the movie too.

I thought Kirk was revived by Shatner in his new book, right?

I agree 47, I think Roddenberry’s comments are being taken for the literal connotation and not what seems more and more to be the metaphorical one he more than likely meant. “Look forward” does not neccessarily mean foreward in time, but more in the idea of foreward in human thought, understanding, and empathy.

For me I would love to see Shatner and Nimoy playing Kirk and Spock again. They could set up the story. It would be cool if the story started with Kirk being revived by Spock from his grave on Veridian III.

Maybe Spock could take Kirk to a planet they came across on there first mission together, somewhere they was a machine/creature or something else that had the ability to bring people back from the grave, But there is a price to pay of some sort for using it. After Kirk is brought back to life, they are trapped by whatever it is that Spock has used to bring him back to life and must find a way out and off the planet.

While together again they start to talk about how they first came across this thing and how they agreed never to go back there. Then it could flash back between the first time they were there, their first mission together and what happened and go forward ever now again and have Shatner and Nimoy trying to get out of there situation.

That’s just a crazy idea I had. But for me if they aren’t in it as their older selves its going to be hard to accept the new guys whoever they maybe.
It would Just be great to see them together on the big screen playing Kirk and Spock again one last time.

Personally I like what J. Michael Straczynski wanted to do to reboot the franchise. He worked with another gentleman (whose name escapes me) and presented a proposal to Paramount which would reboot the franchise and fix all the inconsistencies over the years. JMS did okay with B5 which is my favorite series after TOS and I think he would have been an amazing choice to take over. But that’s in the past with his current slate of TV and movie projects.

Here’s a link to the proposal that appears online as a PDM file. This document was verified as an official proposal by JMS on an online website that archives his postings from usenet.

Darth Ballz #1
Darth man, I know it’s your opinion, but HOW do you know it will not move Star Trek forward? Insider info? You said this before. I believe we don’t need a decade and it will be years since ST:E and Nemesis when it finally premieres anyway. And as to the why of Kirk and Spock… call it… rebirth. A reintroduction to this age… a refresh. The Trek must start again and it should start with it’s most powerful icons.

Fortyseven #6.
I don’t agree with Darth on this thread…but I’ve not insulted him. We’ve had enough name calling on the threads. Using “stupid” in your thread doesn’t move us forward either. I’ve said it before, it’s not my site, but I like it and we can all have good conversations without degrading the other posters and Anthony’s work. Thanks

I think a “real” reboot as in rendering the original TOS and the subsequent series “non-existant” would be a grave mistake.
This would certainly split the fandom and is totally unnecessary.
Just because of ENT’s and Nemesis’ failure, people are acting as if Star Trek in general is too bad to be continued.

Personally I like the idea of Kirk being “resurrected” again and/or XI being an adventure of a younger Kirk, but for the love of God, make it consistent with the Trek that millions have come to love in the past 40years.
especially now, when a younger audience (and us old Trekkers) are rediscovering the glory of the original series in the wonderful remastered project.
the thought of two parallel Star Treks that contradict each other is AWFUL imo.

Has anyone speculated why they’re doing a spring 2007 start for a movie that comes out in summer 2008? Previous Trek films have started in January to be out in the holiday season of the same year.

Here’s an idea — what if the “new” Kirk and Spock actors will have the old Shatner and Nimoy faces CGI’d over their regular faces? Perhaps THAT’S what is going to take so long.

Or maybe the whole thing will be advanced CGI. The old set designs and costumes could look good rendered that way. I’ve wondered how Abrams or anybody could make them look good on the big screen otherwise.

I see no point in concocting some “young
Kirk and Spock” story and having other actors playing the parts. Kirk is Shatner – Shatner is Kirk…same with Nimoy/Spock…
No interest in seeing that…….none

#14 DerbyDave
That idea of yours has been discussed on at least one other thread here… at least the “old face” part. In my opinion a complete CGI effort would be costly, possibly too costly for a restart film. But that’s my uninformed opinion. In regard to the “old faces”… neither actor could match the body they had in the 60’s, especially Shatner. I don’t have answers, just my own opinions.

Tiberius, does that mean you wouldn’t watch? If it’s an Kirk/Spock story which seems likely from circumstancial evidence…. you could actually be missing a good movie. Should we call you if it is?

Oh please let them bring back Shatner AND Ninmoy one last time…justo rightiously say goodbye…and hello to the the new actors, playing their (but not ever replacing their parts).

Shatner , Nimoy?…you are foever and totaly iraplaceable!


I just don’t understand why some of you guys just can’t let go of “TOS”. We all love the first Trek but come on, let it go…. Bringing back Kirk, recasting and kicking a DEAD horse is only going to make the casual viewer roll their eyes and move on yet again. I’m not trying to pick a fight but please….
Accept Trek for what it was, not what you can make it again and again……

Shatner is Kirk, Nimoy is Spock, etc.

Move ahead, the future is there………..

Darth “not living in the past” Ballz

Darth, I respect your opinion, but can’t go along with it.
An extension into the future of Trek… call it “The Next Next Generation” … I’d watch, but will it drive the bulk of the Trek fan base…let alone the casual movie-going public to the theater? After all… this is a money making proposition…

And I am not picking fights either… but I have a question. If in your opinion Trek should go into mothballs for a decade, why do you come to

I have no intrest in seeing a Kirk/Spock film w/out Shatner and Nimoy.

I kinda stumbled on this site and a reason to come to this site is that I’m a fan of Trek. Also to keep up on the news…..

I do want something good come from Trek but I wish that was something to add to Trek, not rehash it. I would put money that this re-boot will put Trek out for a long time.

Thanks for your respect……….

Darth “sans-reboot “Ballz

To those unsure how Bill Shatner and Leonard Nimoy could successfully be integrated into this latest movie reboot…

For a viable way that could HOPEFULLY satisfy everyone involved, may I suggest you read these fairly recent posts, in this order…

Posts #8 and #17 on the November 2nd thread: Abrams Talks Kirk And Spock With

Then posts #15, #25, and #26 from the November 3rd thread: Shatner Jokes Kirk Is “Uncastable”, Dismisses Cameo For Trek XI

I’d be very interested to hear any ALTERNATIVE set-ups…

Oh yeah, I meant to say, that Kirk’s supposed “death” scenario is covered in those posts too…

Adam Cohen, I too would love a John Barry score by the way… his original Bond scores, and many others are tremendous…if only that could happen.
At the end of the day, even if it’s a relatively unknown “jobbing” composer, if he can perhaps reference some of the fantastic Fred Steiner bursts of dramatic cues from the Original Series, along with an Alexander Main / End Theme homage, then this soundtrack already has a chance of being a classic.

Why would a new story featuring familiar characters constitute a reboot or ‘not going forward?’

Surely a story featuring these characters, addressing modern day issues is going forward?

If not, why do people buy Trek novels? Why did they watch the animated series? Why do they read comics and buy the DVDs?

A story about Kirk and Spock should be just that. Would a new film damage the ‘precious’ continuity (the importance of which is given a little too much attention, frankly!) any more than any other story?

I mean, unless something sets out to contradict the show’s continuity (like changing characters’ genders, ethnic or species background or killing off a character like McCoy when he’s young) it should slot in pretty seamlessly!

Er… I meant Alexander COURAGE Main / End Theme of course.

What if? A rehash isn’t going to work. Look what happened to Enterprise? Knowing what will happen takes all the drama out of the story. Do a story about characters that knowbody knows anything about? That journey is far more intresting than what we already know. I don’t need to know when Kirk lost his cherry or Spocks first fight with his dad. Some things need to stay unknown and that’s what makes me still enjoy the first Trek. Filling in the story holes 40 years later just seems pointless.

And yes this would be a re-boot if the movie does enough to warrant sequels.

I remember watching the Matrix and thinking how cool it was until the next 2 movies explained everything that made the first cool. Dumb…….

Star Trek XI: The Dead Horse

Darth ” let it be” Ballz

I remember watching the

Knowing what’s going to happen is the problem? ummmm… the bad guys lose, the good guys win… this is drama? It’s what happens between the opening score and the final credits that counts. We rarely kill a lead, or a co-star (Data, Spock) off completely. (Ignore Kirk’s death, that was just a stupid plot point…)
And I like continuity… but there is room for drama and good stories. What was there…79 episodes of TOS? Out of a 5 year mission that’s not alot.

But, you know what… despite what you and I disagree about…. someone else is writing it and making it. I look forward to the surprise.
And Darth, maybe you’ll miss a good movie and maybe I’ll see a bad one. Either way, I’ll take the chance.

Let’s all be surprised and ENJOY the possibilities… beside’s… Shat’s going to be too busy being a game show host to play Kirk.

(the theme to Footloose rises over the credits… as Shat shakes his Shat…)

Shatner Star Trek = Greasy, fat, delicious double Quarter Pounder with cheese, large size fries, and a caramel sundae with no nuts.

Stewart Star Trek = greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray chased with ammonia mixed with bleach- followed by a bag of doritos that have sat on the shelf 17 years and hot beer.

No comparison.

No one said it was to be a TNG Film. I think you are saved for now, Josh…. BTW… back from double secret probation?

“I think a “real” reboot as in rendering the original TOS and the subsequent series “non-existant” would be a grave mistake.”

You should go and read the PDF file I linked to again. It doesn’t render them non-existant. It branches out into an alternate universe with something more going on than random adventures. The five-year mission arc that is described in that document holds more than just a passing intrest for me regardless of who is playing the roles. The storyline has more than a little bit of intrigue.

If Paramount WAS really intrested in keeping Trek fresh AND alive this proposal would have been the best way of doing it based on some of the other proposals that had been floating around.

Yeah MichealIT, I’m back from “double secret probation”, Tool and troll much do you?

That’s actually rather unoriginal, I’m assuming someone said it to you just prior to your posting. I may have expected a bit too much I guess from you.

Oh BTW, mom says hi and hopes the alimony checks are still arriving?

“Has anyone speculated why they’re doing a spring 2007 start for a movie that comes out in summer 2008? Previous Trek films have started in January to be out in the holiday season of the same year.”

Because, as you pointed out, the movie is coming out in summer 2008, not during the holiday season.

If they started the film in January 2008 with a target release date of summer 2008, that would be half the production schedule of previous Trek films.

If you look at your statement again closely, you will see that the production schedule for Trex XI is approximately the same as that of the previous films; only the seasons are shifted.

“Shatner Star Trek = Greasy, fat, delicious double Quarter Pounder with cheese, large size fries, and a caramel sundae with no nuts.

Stewart Star Trek = greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray chased with ammonia mixed with bleach- followed by a bag of doritos that have sat on the shelf 17 years and hot beer.”

I would have thought that the Stewart Star Trek would be the caramel sundae “with no nuts.”

Shatner Star Trek had plenty of nuts, if you know what I mean.

I think the importance of resurrecting Kirk from his death in Generations is entirely overblown. Yeah, Kirk’s death sucked and was probably inserted by the producers to get butts in seats, but I have to agree with Ronald D. Moore’s sentiment: Kirk has to die at some point to remain a human character. Otherwise, he turns into some kind of comic book cliche where he keeps defying death time after time to fight the forces of evil once again (and, incidentally, make more money for the studio). Bringing back Kirk would ultimately undermine the character, although there’d be a very few diehard TOS fans loving it. But Star Trek was always about the human journey through the cosmos, and changing it to center around Kirk’s resurrection and action-hero exploits would throw all of that right out the window. The Shatnerverse novels bear this out.

A movie about young Kirk is a somewhat different consideration. The obvious objection is in recasting the characters. Sure, Kirk and Spock are “iconic characters,” for whatever that phrase is worth. But I can’t think of any other characters that originated in a video medium that are so widely popular and have been defined by the same actors for such a long period of time. Obviously, you guys here don’t really care about it, but I can’t help but think that a significant portion of the old-time TOS fanbase that forms the core audience for this movie would balk at a recasting. Plus, if they pick popular young actors, will the middle-aged (or older) audience necessarily connect? I don’t think you’ll get a lot of the all-important 18-35 demographic to come out unless the movie has actors they recognize.

Even then, what will the story tell us about the characters that we don’t already know? We already know that young Kirk was brash and unafraid to take risks, since that was his later command style; if this takes place at the Academy, it’ll likely show us Kirk rigging the Kobayashi Maru simulator. But that’s all just details. Either show us a side of the character we haven’t seen before (Kirk’s fear of aging in TWOK) or grow the character in a new direction (death of David Marcus in TSFS, getting over hatred of the Klingons in TUC). I don’t see how very much can be done with the character of Kirk at that point in his life besides filling in spurious details that non-fans and casual fans wouldn’t care much about. On the other hand, there’s a wealth of material for Spock. Perhaps him dealing with his half-human heritage, his father’s disapproval (although that’s been done to extent), or even openly exhibiting emotions as was hinted at in “The Cage.” But if that has to share time with Kirk acting like a rebellious badass, then I don’t think it will work as well. Plus, I’m going to go so far as to say that Spock is a deeper character than Kirk, and Nimoy lent him a lot of that depth. Thus, Nimoy would be a lot harder to replace than Shatner. And the most important question, if they wish to resurrect Star Trek as a marketable franchise: where do you go from there? You can’t tell too many “Young Kirk and Spock” stories before you’re running up against the series itself.

It definitely won’t be a reboot, though. That would be at least 86 different kinds of stupid. JMS’s reboot proposal that Dave linked didn’t really have anything other than “OMG ICONIC CHARACTERS!” (completely ignoring the nigh-unbreakable link between those characters and their actors) and the promise of the search for the “Progenitor Race,” which is a concept ripped straight out of TNG: “The Chase.” Perhaps JMS’s attempted revenge for Deep Space Nine? It’s an interesting plot idea, but it was already set up in the TNG era, if somebody wanted to pick it up and run with it. And it wouldn’t be burdened by the need to live up to the original version of the show. Just as an aside, didn’t that article about the TNG comics imply they had done a survey and found that TNG had the largest fanbase out of all the series? I see plenty of people on other message boards jonesing for a Titan series with Riker as captain.

manpage, you apparently thought long and hard on your opinion. I am in the middle age audience you refer to. If undertand you correct, you would question a recast…correct? I would welcome the TOS era movie (which seems likely) and highly desire the original cast to play their parts, but I know it’s impossible, so I have been vocal in the recast area. It’s my hope that JJ can find a way to make them acceptable to the people who grew up watching TOS. I see your point about depth of charactor and after some thought, I agree. Interesting thought on the adventures of Titan and her crew..

Wow, touchy. You just don’t go for humor, do you?
Besides,I just figured it was a a phrase you’d understand.

Absolutely, I’d question a recast. Like I say, the link between characters and actors in this case is incredibly strong. Shatner’s only just now starting to come out from under the “oh hey, you’re Captain Kirk!” typecasting, and the rest of the TOS crew never really escaped. (Nimoy probably could’ve, but he’s doing what he loves now. And arguably the same thing goes for the TNG cast, Patrick Stewart is the only one to have a really substantive career since then.)

That’s not because they just happened to get the right part with mediocre acting skills, either. If Star Trek hadn’t had good actors, it would’ve been dead on arrival. So who do you get to replace them? Matt Damon was already rumored for Kirk, but he’s on record as saying that he doesn’t want to play characters that already have a strong interpretation. I would generalize this to all big-name actors… they want, and can get, the leeway to play the character however they want. And if they brought in somebody who didn’t play Kirk like Kirk or Spock like Spock, there’d be a minority that would praise the “bold new interpretation,” but most people who grew up watching TOS would be pissed.

So they basically have to go out and find somebody who’s willing and capable of doing a Shatner or Nimoy impression. They have to strike a precarious balance between the old and the new, since you’re not going to get a general audience in the doors without telling a compelling story, and a compelling story means conflict and character development. But we already know where these characters develop, and deviating from that for the sake of spicing the story up will piss off the core fanbase (and rightfully so). There are possibilities, but there are also more fertile areas for story development than the immediately pre-TOS era.

I would welcome a prequel story about Captains April or Pike, where recasting is less of a minefield and there’s plenty of new interpretation for the actors to do, or even the long-overdue Captain Sulu story, where the actors are still available and might reasonably look convincing in their roles. Even beyond that, the “forward not backward” crowd is becoming something of a cliche on Trek message boards, but it would blow the possibilties for storylines wide open (so long as a few established characters are kept on hand so we don’t have to be introduced to a whole new crew… not going to be possible in a movie).

But a TOS era movie with Kirk and Spock is by far the easiest concept for the marketing department to hype. The Internet controversy alone is enough to raise significant awareness for such a movie. I honestly think that’s why Abrams hasn’t said anything more than he has. The basic details of the story in the original Variety press release were probably correct, and he’s relying on fevered speculation and discussion to build buzz. Free marketing. It’s not like he’s unfamiliar with the power of the Internet, either. Part of the reason “Lost’s” complicated story arc is so successful is because it is well-documented and discussed on the Internet, so if you miss an episode, it’s easy to catch up. That wasn’t so even 10 years ago.

But I am pessimistic enough to think that it would be a one-shot deal. It will be very, very hard to please the diehard TOS fans with new versions of their beloved characters, and even if that works out, the real potential for an ongoing story lies elsewhere anyway. Perhaps they’re not even considering that, since the TV rights are still with CBS. But it’s a shame, because part of Star Trek’s strength is that it has managed to be mostly a continuous story over the course of 40 years, only derailing just recently when comparatively few people were watching. It’s kind of a catch-22: In order to really reinvigorate Star Trek, it would be best to follow a top-notch film up with a new TV series that continues the same plotline. But the film they presumably find easiest to market already had its follow-on TV series… 40 years ago.