Shatner: Including Old Cast In Trek XI Will Bring Audience ‘In Droves’

While the brain trust behind Trek XI remain mum, William Shatner keeps on talking. This week The Shat talks to Time magazine, where he reveals a tiny bit more about his thoughts on Star Trek XI.

Time: Lost producer J.J. Abrams is working on a Star Trek movie for 2008 about a young Kirk and Spock, and there are rumors you will make an appearance.

Shatner: I did have a talk with J.J., and he outlined what he wanted to do. Getting a character who is supposed to be dead to talk to his younger self is a storytelling problem. But if you want to guarantee the audience will come in droves, one of the things you might do is include some members of the old cast.

Time: You are so indelibly linked to Captain Kirk, how do you pass on the torch to a younger actor?

Shatner: Well, you light a match … No, I really have nothing to offer. I can’t say to some young actor, "Play it this way," because he’s going to play it his way. But I will say, he’s got to be young and good-looking and rich. And charming.

Time: Some people say Star Trek is past its prime, and it’s time to move on. Would you agree?

Shatner: There was something about Star Trek that sustained it all those years. But with so many entities of Star Trek out there all at once, the audience began to leave it. Now there’s a huge experiment going on: Will the audience pick up their love affair? We don’t know. And as talented as J.J. is, this is the real test for him. He’s got to give a known quantity the Abrams twist and yet maintain the Star Trek game.

The meeting of the Kirks?
Of course with Shatner you can’t always read too much into things, but this is now the second time his comments implied that if he were to be in the film he would be playing older (or possibly ‘post-dead’) Kirk and be interacting with the younger Kirk This would mean that the role would be beyond a simple flashback ‘bookend’ and would inovle some means (possibly time travel…again?) to get the two Kirks together. Shatner has previously stated that if Abrams wanted him and Nimoy, then the roles would have to be more than just cameos.  It is all speculative, but hopefully soon we will learn more about if Shatner (and Nimoy) are to be in the film and if so how they will be used.

See Time for their 10 questions for William Shatner 

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I like the idea of the two kirks meeting it could be really interesting if its done well.

When Shatner says “But I will say, he’s got to be young and good-looking and rich. And charming.”

I know he is saying this tongue in cheek but why does he have to be rich?

Surley good looking and charming should do it just fine.?

YIKES! Dueling Kirks? Why? :(

In other news, reports that Matt Damon TURNED DOWN a role in The Dark Knight (to play Harvey Dent). That tells me there *might* be something brewing with Damon and Trek XI. Anthony, what say you kind sir?

I have to wonder if they had to extend the doors in Shatner’s house. With a head as big as his he could hardly walk through normal doorways.

I wonder….is it even possible for the people who do either makeup or computer generated graphics (combined) a job well enough and convincing a job to bring back the major original characters? Of course
I imagine with enough $$ and everything else thrown in – that miracles
are still possible.
BUT….why bring back characters who we all know are too old for their respective jobs? Who wants to look at old people on the Enterprise? Now….IF they were written in to serve or act as consultants at Starfleet Command or some Space Station then maybe it may still make for a worthwhile story and effort but only if its done right….wouldn’t you agree?
Yeah….I know the people in computer graphics did a excellent job on Patrick Stewart in the beginning scenes of XMEN – 3 so who knows?

am I the only one that find this site exceptionally slow, on a consistent basis? I’m actually starting to find it to the point I don’t come as often.
anyone else?

I’ll wait for an ‘official” announcement. Shatner is again, doing what he does best, working the media to his advantage while no one in any position to make such statements remain quiet.

Shatner’s good at getting press, no doubt about that. But until JJA and or Paramount have something official to say it still means more of the same… nothing.

If they bring back Shatner at Kirk, they should go the full risk of getting him “back”, post Generations. None of this “make him pre-Gen, make him the great-grandfather, make him a holodeck character”…. they have to go to the lengths of fixing Trek’s greatest mistake. It would be the greatest gifts to the fans…. if done right.

Well, they could bring Kirk back in the time, from the 23rd century, by having the events that transpired in “Generations” to have all been a bad dream.

It would certainly be refreshing for the Trek Universe to parallel the real Universe in that respect, it being the best possible alternative to going back in time, in the real Universe, and, aborting the ill-conceived “Generations” in utero.

If they bring back the old cast for XI, they could call it, “Star Trek: Geriatrics.”

#6 Anthony,

Yesterday, sometime in the early evening, I ran into a message on your server saying you exceeded your CPU or some other thing. Look, I’m not a tech guy and I know there are a few of you scoffing at me right now, but the bottom line is your page couldn’t load because of you exceeded your hosting “doo-hickey-thingamagig” Does that help?

IF this speculation about a “time travelling” plot proves true…and yes, it is the second time Bill Shatner has flagged this up now… then I for one say *GROAN*, NOT ANOTHER TIME TRAVEL MOVIE! Sorry, but I would rather have had the less intrusive “bookends” of Bill and Leonard, originally speculated, as a plot device concerning some amazing storyline concerning something or other EXCEPT time travel…It better be VERY good…Be afraid…

Perhaps Kirk never died in Generations…. he could of revived and unburied himself, then went to live in the forrest on Veridian III for 14 years until he either was found, or managed to find a way of contacting Spock to rescue him (he thinking Spock is the most likely survivor from the original crew, and best friend, to contact first). That can account for the natural aging process in the time since. Kirk could be in quite a state when he’s rescued, having been in isolation for all that time, and Spock needs to somehow ‘go back’ to the early days of his career to “re-educate” the older Kirk, and remind him of himelf again. Or something lol.

Basically I just wanna see a dramatic scene of Kirk’s double-fist punching through those rocks haha!

Bottom line is this–whether the two Kirks meet or not is unimportant. Shatner is 100 percent right that including the original actors will increase audience. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. Plus, THAT is the only true way to pass the torch.

At this point, with all the comments Shatner has made, I would be extremely disappointed if he’s not in the movie.

No more cheap time travel BS. Please. I’d rather they just pretend Generations never happened. It works for me. But then I’m in denial about a lot of things.

Maybe something the Enterprise encounters plays mindgames with the crew, including confronting them with their older selves.

I doubt it’ll out and out time travel!

By the way, no probs with accessing the site here! First I’ve heard of it!

Oh, and NO MORE damned KLINGONS either in this Movie please…

Guys you have a interesting site here. All the information I ever got about the movie is from here. Keep up the good work.

Here is my idea about the movie and the plot.

As we all know, Sisko is in the celestial temple with the bajoran “gods”. Because he is such a good friend with them, they do him a favor, and contact “our gods”. Sisko somehow manages to perswade them to revive Kirk. So he is alive now in the 24th century, and they call Picard to chear him up, because he was really bumped because Kirk died helping him. They go to DS9 to celebrate the event, and of course Spock comes to see his old buddy. They normally get very drunk, and the first thing you do when you get drunk is to call some chick. After carefull consideration they message Admiral Janeway. Janeway excited of the gesture, boards her ship, and heads for DS9 with maximum warp. But she gets to excited and she pushes the warp core to the limit resulting with an overload, and the warp field will destabilize, some problems in the subspace will occur and a Time Anomaly will take place. A time hole will open and it will pull her in. But before she enters the Time Hole, she will manage to send a transmission to the gang in Quarks at DS9.
The other end of the Time Hole, is the 22 century. She immediately beams Archer on board (don’t ask why) and they study the anomaly.
In the 24th century upon receving the distress from Janeway the gang (still drunk) runs to their ships to help her. And they got too excited, and they too push the warp engines to the limit which results to an overload and the warp fields will destabilize, some problems in the subspace will occur and a Time Anomaly will take place. But this time it will be a lot bigger because it’s generated from three ships. The anomaly will be so big that they will pull Janeways ship (archer is still on it) and take them all to the 23rd century in the days when Kirk and Spock are at the academy.

From this point JJA will explain to you what will happen.

But I can tell what happens in the end. This movie will have a happy ending, everyone will be back in there respective time (still drunk offcourse).
The following and ending scene is as follows.
Sisko wakes up with a terrible hangover. His head is like a bajoran wormhole ready to open, in his stomach the Dominion war tooks place again, his hands are shaking like the Borg Queen has suddenly appeared in front of him. His throat is so messed up, as he was singing Klingon Opera all night.
He heads to the bathroom, and looks him self in the mirror. He can’t remember almost nothing from the previous night.
He looks again in the mirror and says:
Sisko: Captain Kirk??? Jonathan Archer??? Temporal Anomalies??? Time Holes???
(beat, while he washes his face)
Sisko: I have to stop drinking.

What about something where old Chekov talks to young Chekov…. ;-)

Now I know there will probably be some fans out there of any possible “time travel” or “Klingon” storyline for this upcoming Star Trek Movie, but I am personally absolutely NOT one of them for the following reasons:

I don’t think that a “time travelling” plot is GOOD ENOUGH for THIS hopefully franchise-rejuvenating Movie…it certainly doesn’t ENTHUSE me IF it turns out to be so…It is an OVERUSED idea in too many Movies these days I belive…SURELY the writers will give us something more original than this?

I know that “Klingons” are also a part of popular Trek culture that has entered the lexicon of mass media, but I think this is because they were an OVERUSED feature of various Trek series and Movies in the past…and again SURELY the writers will give us something more original than this?… Somewhere down the line again by all means, but AFTER and IF this Movie franchise restart hopefully gives us an entertaining WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE plot…Just my own humble wishes folks.

Lastly, while I’m here, IF as is seeming more and more likely now, that Bill and Leonard will be wanting to “mix” it up more with their “younger” characters, rather than brief “bookends” to any kind of storyline…then I also wonder how a NEW and currently young demographic will “appreciate” these fine people being contrasted with the eventual new cast. IF they are now to be “more heavily involved” in this Movie, there is more of a pressure to cast actors that “quite resemble” them surely, or another suspension of disbelief may just be one TOO many…I wonder.
Happily it seems that “reasonably big name” Matt Damon is now said to be quite open to the role of Kirk IF the script is good. Whether this pans out EITHER way, I just hope that WHOEVER eventually is lucky enough to be given that iconic role ( and Spock’s role ) will COMMIT to sequels for the benefit of CONTINUITY for the benefit of fans of this 1st Movie…

If this is indeed a time travel story, this would be the second time Kirk tried to save a whale, this time it’s himself! ZING!

But seriously, if this is Young and Old Kirk interacting in some substantial way, then the premise is screwy. I won’t say the movie is a disaster because of it, but I would be skeptical of its prospects given a plot that puts these two versions of Kirk in the same room. However, if its something more ethereal, like young kirk coming across the Nexus and seeing a shadow or an impression of his older self, seeing him alone and “married to his ship” then that sort of a moment would explain Kirk’s choices in life throughout TOS and movies- he’s fatalistic, he knows his ship is his life. He knows he’ll never settle down or give up his love of being “out there.”

But as it stands, it sounds like bringing in older Kirk, and by extension older Spock, is a gimmick. That would be unforunate if true.

I agree with Shatner.

If they bring back Shatner and Nimoy as Kirk and Spock the audience that left the series will return.

Just to clarify…When I say I’m hoping for a WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE plot, I don’t mean a rehash of the original series episode of that title! But I DO mean a plot that is ORIGINAL, INVENTIVE, EXCITING, AND UNKNOWN, and echos the promise of that original series “voiceover” at the start…

I agree with Shatner that including himself and Nimoy in the film would definitely boost its profile into a “can’t miss” movie for a lot of people. I also think that making the movie’s plot in any way about “rescuing Kirk from the Nexus” or “bringing Kirk back to life post-Generations” is a terrible mistake. The whole point of this film is to jump start the franchise fresh with new people with hopes of broadening the audience. I don’t think basing your plot around loose threads from a 13 year old movie nobody really liked in the first place is the way to do that. You don’t want people to have to refer back to events in 1994 in order to enjoy the film. Its counterproductive and I don’t think that’s the direction they’re going to go in. Abrams is smarter than that.

Having Shatner and Nimoy in the film will defintely generate some initial buzz, and may even translate into getting people into the theatre initially.

However, if all that the audience is greeted with is ANOTHER time-travel/ temporal nexus/ “bend the plot whichever which way we can so that the torch is passed” gimmick, then that same buzz may just as likely turn right around and kill the movie.

Do we all suffer from short-term memory? How many of you liked the “passing of the torch” concept in Generations? And for those of you who liked TNG (Josh, please refrain), how much of that depended on episodes like “The Naked Now”, or even having McCoy, Scotty, or Spock show up?

Why, why, WHY do we need another “passing of the torch”? All this talk of rejuvinating the franchise, and they are still afraid to take off the training wheels! Too unsure of their own talent to strike out on their own without holding onto the coat tails of what has come before.

Even those of you who hate BSG must have SOME degree of respect that they didn’t have the pilot episode with Richard Hatch’s Apollo coming through some sub-space rift into an alternate galxy to pass the torch on to Jamie Bamber’s Apollo.

Since I have absolutely no control over which way they go, I can only hope that this doesn’t translate into another sub-par movie.

This movie should be “Citizen Kirk” and from what Anthony has described, that seems to be the case– flashing forward and backwards in time (narratively speaking) to see the evolution of James Kirk into a Starfleet Captain. So, “Kirk Begins” to beg another movie’s title sounds great to me. But Kirk meeting himself and interacting… that’s a stretch,

Please not the rest of the cast just Nimoy & Shatner. I would add Kelley if he were alive.

Shatner: Including Old Cast In Trek XI Will Bring Audience ‘In Droves’

The way it did for STV?

I would love to see TOSers involved in this movie but it will succeed or fail on th strength of the new cast.

Why does JJ and the gang even have to deal with how Kirk survived Generations? They could simply leave it to our imaginations (or tell the story another day) and go on with the main plot of the film without having to deal with “loose threads from a 13-year old movie.” Just throw Kirk and Spock in there, post Generations, and let ‘er go…

The real Kirk was in the Nexus the Kirk who died it turns out was a copy. They just didn’t understand how the Nexus really worked until recently. They could give us a 5min brief to catch up the audience with whats going on.

Matt Damon might be great in a Trek film. He’s certainly a serious and talented actor. But, having him play a young Kirk is not a good idea.

Firstly, Shatner was in his mid-thirties when he played Kirk. How much younger could the captain of a galaxy class starship be? (and, Damon is already the age Shatner was when he played Kirk in TOS.) And, the whole look-alike, suspension-of-disbelief idea is just a big disappointment waiting to happen. I mean, hello…does everyone remember a little film called “Nemesis,” that broke all of our hearts just a few years ago?

The first thing that the audience would notice about Matt Damon would be that he doesn’t look enough like Shatner. And, the second thing that the audience would notice about Damon is that he doesn’t act like Shatner. And, to both their credit, who COULD act like Shatner, without seeming like an impresonator?

Damon’s a fine actor, but Shatner’s a one-of-a-kind, walking idiosyncrasy, and, asking Damon to play Shatner would not be doing Damon, nor the film, a favor. And, asking Damon to play Kirk totally differently from Shatner would be weird, if not suicidal.

Having a fine actor, like Damon, in the film is a fantastic idea. Trek films CAN actually be good, serious films, if the makers so wish. The only reason that they’re identified with campiness, is that the makers too often haven’t sufficiently respect their own work. And, of course, having Shatner as the star of a film, tips it precariously toward campiness, from which precipice the film must then work to not plummet (unless, it’s a deliberately funny film, as was ST IV). But, nevertheless, we can all point to Wrath of Khan as an exemplar of what a Trek film has the potential to be.

So, have Damon in the film – I think he’s great. But, give him a fresh role, for this fresh, new film. And, you might even consider giving Damon a bit of creative license with his character, as well as with the story. If he decides to get involved, he’ll be the only person in the history of Trek to have won an Acadamy Award for writing, and, he might even teach the new franchise HNIC a thing or two about how to write and produce an outstanding movie that makes tons of dough.

An afterthought…how about making Matt Damon the protagonist and Ben Affleck the villain? How great would THAT be?!! Affleck may be an inconsistent actor in leading roles, but, as a deeply flawed character, I think he’d be great!! Remember Affleck’s early, promising work, as the heavy/bad-guy in “Dazed and Confused” and, then, in “Dogma?” I’d love to see Ben Affleck as a sadistic, fundamentally twisted love-to-hate villain in a Trek film!!!

#26 Adam Cohen

Now “Citizen Kirk” I could handle! Good call about how this Movie could have a “younger/older Kirk” storyline flashing forwards and backwards in time only in a NARRATIVE sense, as opposed to some lame “time travelling” tale where they actually PHYSICALLY interact with each other.

THAT would satisfy egos AS WELL as allowing some kind of INTERESTING plot idea. I LIKE… A LOT.

#31 – Cygnus-X1

“who COULD act like Shatner, without seeming like an impresonator?”

I couldn’t agree more. Having Shatner in this film as “old Kirk” basically forces the actor playing “young Kirk” to play Shatner playing Kirk. Would Daniel Craig’s “Bond” fit into a flash-forward scene with Sean Connery playing an older “Bond”? Absolutely not… so there’s no room for interpretation… you essentially HAVE to have the new actor performing Shatner performing Kirk.

I’m sure some people on this thread will LOVE that, since it cuddles up so nice to cannon. So, having said that, ask yourselves this…would Joaquin Phoenix be as convincing as a young Johnny Cash, if the real Johnny Cash had a substantial role in the film as an older man? Maybe… maybe not. Now what if the two SHARED a scene, interacting with one another extensively? Joaquin would have to be a pretty darned perfect imitation of Cash to have the audience buy-in.

IMHO, with Shatner and Nimoy in this film, particularly interacting with younger actos playing the same parts, we’re setting ourselves up for a disappointment.

#31 – Cygnus-X1

By the way… I’m normally not a big fan of Affleck, but I just saw “Hollywoodland” the other night, and he was excellent as (the very flawed) George Reeves.

Shatner’s pitch to include the old cast sounds like an insurance policy for jitterey movie execs.

Anything with “The Shat” in it will pull in an audience. I can see Trek fans, Boston Legal fans, and more checking him out in this movie. Then, if you add a good story and decent young actors, you may pull in the younger crowd. In some ways, it seems they are gonna try to make this a movie for all ages and types. The question is, can they pull it off? I hope so. If it ends up being an “across the generations” movie like “Generations” was, we are in big trouble. Oops, I forgot, repeat after me…”It’s JJ, not Rick, it’s JJ, not Rick, it’s JJ, not…” I wonder if “Lost” fans may check into JJ’s work here, too? LOL

Okay… love Shatner & Nimoy in the movie (not as a cameo) -i also agree with cervantes… for goodness sakes let’s have some new life and new civilizationa and BOLDLY GO! –Also agree about the Klingons –The soviet union doesn’t exist anymore and that’s what they were a metaphore for… mention the klingon empire in passing and let it go. How about orion pirates as a metaphore for Al Quaida or some such?

Also agree about old & young interacting? Not to cross franchises but what about Doc Brown’s time paradox destroying the universe… “Be sure not to bump into your “other self!” I thought you couldn’t exist in the same place at the same time…

Also.. don’t make the mistake the Bewitched movie made…besides messing up the what the original show was that is.. Steve Carell did a great impersonation of Paul Lynde playing Uncle Arthur… and then they showed the real Paul Lynde on Will Ferrellls TV and ruined the illusion.

So I’m a little doubtful about them side by side

another thought – they could have several actors play kirk at different ages as the did for spock in ST III

Howabout shatner voicing over whoever plays him? or better yet Kevin Pollock??? – LOL

I think to some degree bringing back the old cast brings some baggage,it…invites comparison,destroys or hampers the illusion that the new cast are indeed the characters,muddles or limits the storyline with old threads that need to be addressed(such as Kirk’s death).Those are just a few that I can think of that will bind or distract from this movie .I’m all for a new vision.Trek’s funny,so many people are invested in either the characters or the actors.Seems like this movie will be a bit of a compromise.

#17 Q
Whoa, I don’t know what this guy’s been smoking, but I wouldn’t mind getting some! Why not throw in a poker game with a Gorn as dealer just to make it really interesting?

Bringing back the old cast = bringing back the fans.


Bringing back the old cast = bringing back only the old fans


Bringing back the old cast and a new cast=bringing back the old fans plus new ones


(if the new cast is made up of the right stuff)

Bringing back only the old fans>Rick Berman driving away the old fans.

DO IT!!!

Bottom line is that the familiar characters appeal to the main stream. And the original actors are proven winners in those roles. Nostalgia brings in cash.

I agree with brining back Shatner and Nimoy – THAT IS IT!!!! And wile a huge fan of time travel stories, in this case, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!! Lets see the “early adventures” with Kirk, Spock, Pike and Mitchell. And PLEASE…..NO Matt Damon!!!!! If this movie is done right it has a chance to be the best film since STIIWOK!!!! Again — Abrams and crew must DO THIS RIGHT!!!!!!

Old Cast = Baggage

Baggage New Ideas

New Ideas = Exciting Movie

Exciting movie = Bringing in Old and New Fans

Therefore, when we balance out the equation:

Bringing in Old and New Fans Old Cast

It’s science…. ;)

Awww… should have known that HTML would mistake my “” (does not equal sign as HTML tags…

Bad BAD HTML! ;)

Awww… screw it… Anthony… just delete those posts… it doesn’t work if you have to imagine the mathematical operators… :(

Yanno, I’m in camp of ERASING the Generations debacle as much as anyone, but when you start pointing out the possiblity of Old Kirk meeting Young Kirk, it does start to seem a very tricky proposition. The only “out” I can think of, really, as if instead of de-aging Kirk & Spock, they actually age them more and smudge’em up a bit. ;-). Seriously, though, it is a great consideration. Frankly, if anything, if it was me, if the old Kirk and young Kirk had to meet, the lesson might be that young Kirk might have to make up his own damn mind and NOT listen to old Kirk’s advice… especially if it results in an openendness, a possiblity of change, which doesn’t therefore negate canon, but accepts wiggle room. By the end of the movie, we should be excited about joining the “new” crew on “new” adventures, and content that O.G. TOS Kirk & Spock have been retired respectfully and for good!

Who does Shatner expect to come out in DROVES, new viewers? Unlikely…it would be the core Trek crowd…the same folks who are likely going to go see this movie anyway. It makes absolutely no difference to me if Shatner is in it, I’ve stated before…I don’t want him in it. If they have to use stupid gimmicks, then I’ll wait for it to come out on DVD…I’m not wasting my money on another ‘time travel’ crap story. Do something original, do something fresh. If they’re going to be brave and start over, they should pull up their pants and bloody well do it. Enough of this ‘half way’ shite.