Although JJ Abrams and Paramount aren’t confirming that Star Trek XI takes place before the Original Series and features a young James Kirk, William Shatner has no problem talking about it. In a brief interview with SciFi Wire, William Shatner repeated previous comments that he and producer JJ Abrams have met and that Abrams wants him in Star Trek XI. The Shat also told SciFi Wire "Yes, we know the story is based on young Kirk." The original Captain Kirk still seems fixated on how this will all work, but in this case he implies that he expects to be interacting with the young Kirk:
They need to figure out how to put the dead captain in with the young captain…It’s a very complex, technical problem of how to write the character in, and I’m not sure how they will solve it.
The article does mention the Academy storyline again, but it isn’t clear if Shatner said that or if the author added that (we are trying to find that out). TrekMovie.com has reported that the film may include elements at the Academy, but the bulk of the film will take place later in Kirk’s life between the Academy and becoming Captain of the Enterprise. In the above quotes Shatner only states that there will be a young Kirk, and also notes that he will be a ‘young captain‘. This seems to imply more of Kirk’s time on the Enterprise than at Starfleet Academy. See SciFi Wire for original article.