‘Star Trek’ Writers Talk Shatner, Kirk, Spock & Terrorism

In a new interview with MTV, ‘Star Trek’ writers (and executive producers) Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman respond to the recent rumors that William Shatner is upset that he will not appear in the film. "We were very surprised about that" said Kurtzman. Orci followed up saying "We’re certainly hoping to include him in the shoot, because we have nothing but reverence and awe for the man." If true and if ‘in the shoot’ means ‘in front of the camera,’ then it could be inferred that the final draft of the script has a part for Shatner (although that does not mean it would be playing Kirk necessarily). With regards to the casting of the new Kirk and if he should….speak….like…..Shatner, Orci replied:

It’s tough, because so many of the people that portrayed the characters in ‘Star Trek’ were distinctive. A lot of the writing created Shakespearean-type characters, such that you could imagine it going both ways. You could imagine it being open to interpretation, or you can imagine it being really faithful. We’re trying to figure out how to do it.

Kirk and Spock
In the interview Orci and Kurtzman again confirmed the film will be about Kirk and Spock’s first adventures. Regarding the Kirk and Spock relationship, Kurtzman said "Alien races are coming together and forming odd bonds of friendship and family. That’s the core of the spirit of Star Trek."

Terrorism replacing the Cold War?
The article talks about how The Original Series was a product of it’s day, and that they will try and do the same with the new film. Kurtzman notes:

[Roddenberry] created a side of ‘Star Trek’ as a response to the Cold War. In a way, he made a fantasy of finding a way for everyone to come together — and that has managed to stick through all the versions of ‘Star Trek.’

The world’s changed, but it also hasn’t.  We live in a world where it’s about ultra-paranoia of others, and that is as it was back when Roddenberry invented ‘Trek.’ In a way, it’s more timely now than ever to be doing this. … There was paranoia about the Cold War. That was their version of terrorism. We’re living in a very parallel environment right now.

 Full interview available at MTV.


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I bet the problems with Shatner are money problems…

oh, and FIRST!

He probably won’t be in the film unless he’s Kirk and it is a big part. If it is a big part, he’s probably got his price jacked way up, as stated above.

“You could imagine it being open to interpretation, or you can imagine it being really faithful. We’re trying to figure out how to do it.”

Again… PLEASE don’t have the new Kirk do a Shatner impression throughout the film. Ewan McGregor did a passable Alec Guinness, but the performance was still more distracting than engrossing… through 3 films! A Shatner impression would be deadly. It would be on a par with Gary Oldman’s homage to Jonathan Harris in Lost In Space (one of the many reasons that film sucked like a black hole.)

If Shatner himself is in it – he surely has to play either Jim Kirk himself in older age or Goerge Samuel Kirk Snr telling off his son for staring up at the stars and not doing his farm chores in Iowa. Any other role and he’d stand up the actor playing the new Kirk.

And. He. Must. Taaaalk. Like… the Shat.

Oh, and 2 is the cuddliest number.

Of course, if by the time the browser refreshes I turn out to be fourth…. that can be interesting too.

Ewan McGregor did a good job as Ben Kenobi. We can only be so lucky for Star Trek!

“good job as..” Hey, what the…are you kidding? The last 3 Star Wars films SUCKED CANAL WATER!!! PEEYOOOOO!!!

If I were Mr. Shatner, I would have no interest in being in the movie. But again, nothing said above really says anything or means anything.

sounds a little like Enterprise how theyve described it there…fine by men as i dug it especially season 3&4. shats will b playin pre generations kirk or his pops i bet – more than likely the latter

Iceland… Shatner… I’m beginning to get a bad feeling about this film. I’d previously been very hopeful.

With apologies to Mazzer…..

Iceland… Shatner… I’m beginning to get a good feeling about this film. I continue to be very hopeful.

being the huge fan that I am of all things Star Trek…i dont know how comfortable i am if the people who are in charge of doing this film are still trying to “figure out how to do it.” they really need to get that part down first before they make an awful film.

Shatner has a lot of interest in this film. No one has a clue about money issues. It’s not like he’s expecting a $20 million payday.

Let’s not pretend anyone is in on negotiations.

As for Shatner, this makes me cautiously optimistic. That’s all.

Hey, I know $20 million sounds outrageous but think about it; if the Shat (with his iconic stature) helps this film become a blockbuster by making one final significant appearance, which leads to the franchise being relaunched for the next ten years, thereby bringing another BILLION into the studio’s coffers, then, hey….pay the man and consider yourself LUCKY!!!

If the problem is finding a solution that plausibly brings the “Shatner/Kirk” back from that stupid Nexus incident, and the writers are stymied, I wish they’d open it up for the fans to take a crack at it. I know I have some ideas. Shatner deserves to bow out of this role with dignity, not the way Berman & Co. disposed of him. Don’t let the Shat out of your grasp guys! I saw him last year in Secaucus, the crowd went crazy over the idea of his return!

I’m confident these guys can find a good reason to make a post-Generations Kirk appear.

And yes, it will add to the grosses.

He’s too big a name.

It would have to be a pregenerations-Kirk.

No it wouldnt John Gill. Do you have no imagination? Its fiction. Anything is possible. And dont say “it wont be plausible”. Its Star Trek. NOTHING they have ever put to film is plausible, thats why anything can happen its NOT real and never conceivably could be or will be.


I hope if “the Shat” is in this next movie..he doesn’t end up in a costume that makes him look like he’s wearing a “girdle” again, like in Generations! Please no more spandex for Captain Kirk!!

I do hope Nimoy and Shatner have small roles in this movie, but I’m not sure if their egos will allow that. Nimoy has been on record saying that any part he plays in a Trek film has to be more than just minor role. So would he or Shatner agree to be in small cameos, or as Kirk and Spock with very little screen time? Time will tell…

This will be the Star Trek film that passes the torch to a brand new generation of characters, actors and hopefully new fans too. If it bombs, I’m afraid the future of Trek is bleak for the near future…

Mike :o

#15 John
Shatner had every bit as much to do with Kirk’s death as Berman. He say the script, acted the part and took the check. He didn’t balk or back out.

ANyway.. It’s nice to the information fountain starting to spit a little. Thanks Anthony.
Oh, and for the record… I WILL be seeing this regardless of who is acting the parts. I don’t feel the need for a Shatner-fest, but I won’t be stomping my feet and making demands like others if he appears.

regarding #21
I meant “saw the script”
Dyslexic fingers tonight

18. Gavin Harris – June 28, 2007

To be “plausable” is one thing, to be cliche is another.

John Gill. What is the cliche? You didnt specify. To make statements is one thing. To back them up is another.

Im Gavin Harris.

First off, I didn’t say it wasn’t plausible, I wondered if the writers found it hard to make it plausible. Next being completely aware that anything is possible in STAR TREK, that makes me all the more perplexed why there is such a problem in sealing the deal. Shatner is hot now, but that doesn’t mean it would be that astronomical, until recently Paramount was willing to flush money down the toilet for Tom Cruise. As for “Generations”, Shat agreed to appear in a movie with a script far different than the shooting script of the final cut. Kirk’s death scene was even different. Almost immediately, he was pitching a Kirk/resurrection script to Paramount, the property turning into “Ashes of Eden”. I hope it is all posturing, because Shatner/Kirk’s return will be the film to see Christmas2008!

#3 I think you’re the first person I ever heard say they found Ewan’s performance distracting. I thought it was a great performance myself.

As for impersonating Kirk that’s tuff. I think the actor’s performance should incorporate certain Shatnerisms, but at the same time it can’t be an over the top impersonation like comedians are fond of doing. It’s actually not an easy thing to do b/c Shatner’s always had so much energy (even now at his age) that you always want to take it further until you sound more like Jim Carrey doing Shatner than Shatner doing James Kirk. Personally, I hope they pull it off.

Very interesting news. So far, this thing is pointing me towards optimistic. Which I really wasn’t at first, given Hollywood’s downward spiral in creativity as of late. Reboots/Remakes are all they have seem capable of lately.

Of course Shatner agreed to kill Kirk and picked up a paycheck. It was either that or he wouldn’t be in the movie at all. Shortly there after was when he started pitching ideas about bringing him back. It’s Trek! How often have characters in Trek stayed dead?

24. Gavin Harris – June 28, 2007

We take enough heat from everyone for “the Spock Incident” that I care to mention in full detail. To have Kirk regenerated plays right into the “that’s why I don’t watch Star Trek” crowd.

It also mean that Kirk’s death was, just to get people to see the movie, Generations.

No, it has to be another route or not at all.

John Gill.

No one takes any flack for “the Spock incident”. Who do you know in the world of anything that has ever had a problem with Spock being back. That movie was made because people had a problem with Spock being dead. Even Roddenberry said he recognised the movie was necessary because they needed Spock back.

Too many numbers have fled Trek since Kirk died.

If we are talking plausibility…. Kirk’s characteristic was cheating death. As Spock once said “human beings have characteristics just as inanimate objects do….”

Im gavin harris. You are NOT John Gill — he is a fictional character.

Gavin (#28),

I think you need to relax a little, and take some account of the facts surrounding the TOS films. First, ST:TWOK wasn’t necessarily supoosed to have a sequel. That was decided after the film was successful. Second, Star Trek III didn’t have to be about Spock’s resurrection; it was written that way after Nimoy stated that he wanted to return and direct the film. Star Trek III wasn’t made because “people had a problem with Spock being dead.” It was made because TWOK was a success and Paramount wanted to continue the franchise. It would have been made even if Nimoy hadn’t returned.

Next, we as Star Trek fans have to get off this “fix Generations” and “bring back Kirk” thing. Frankly, it makes us seem terribly self-absorbed and more than a little immature. The character of Kirk died a hero in Generations. he saved everyone on the Enterprise-D and the inhabitants of Veridian II. Furthermore, he didn’t die alone, as he always feared he would. Some of us may not be completely satisfied with his death as it was shown to us, but it was a worthy one. Kirk is DEAD. Let Trek move on from it.

Additionally, Kirk’s death had nothing to do with people leaving the franchise. It was diluted from overexposure, the weak performances of Voyager and Enterprise on TV, and lackluster returns from Insurrection and Nemesis at the movies. Trek was stretched too thinly, that’s all.

Finally, what’s the purpose of attacking John Gill because he’s using a call-sign? Lots of us do here, for various reasons. Just because you choose to use your real name here(and, of course, we don’t have any proof of that), doesn’t mean you’re any better than the rest of us, or that your opinion means anything more. Anyway, how do you know John Gill isn’t his real name? It could just be an astounding coincidence.

Your remarks make it sound like you’re standing on a soapbox. You may want to be careful, lest it be kicked out from under you.

I’m Buckaroohawk…and you’re not.

and I’m Stanky McFibberich…some of the time….


I am relaxed. Because i differ in opinion from someone does not make me less relaxed than anyone else.

Who attacked anyone? Where was the attack? Is a difference in opinion now considered an attack? All i said was my name was real and his was fake — its a trek character from the German TOS episode. I suppose pointing that out now equates as to attacking him.

Your name is also fake. (oops apologies for the “attack”)

You can not talk “we as star trek fans” you are one person. you are not “we” you are not anything other than “i”.

“I’m Buckaroohawk…and you’re not. ” oh my GOD i see NO reason to attack me????? you see my point? exactly!

Kirk didnt die a hero. If Kirk had survived that fall veridian 3 still would have been saved. If Kirk hadnt have falled Veridian 3 still would have been saved because him and Picard would have been zapped straight back in the nexus and given a 3rd chance.

Im Gavin Harris (sorry to attack people by pointing that out)

I really don’t care who any of you are.
I agree with Buck in #29.
To have more characters return to life just takes the drama out of “life and death” situations. We need a good story, not more excuses to revive Kirk, post-Generations.

and Gavin, be calm..it’s not worth it.

I wasn’t not being calm. Why is everyone on my case about relaxing and being calm? I haven’t lost my temper. I’ve not called anyone a name. I’ve not used any swear words. I’ve not attacked. I’ve merely stated an opinion, defended myself, and said that the right honourable gentlemans handle was a fake.

You can not say “We need”. Again you are one person. You can only say “I”. You don’t speak for me, you don’t speak for anyone else other than Xai.

Im Gavin Harris.

re: #3, I loved Ewan MacGregor’s Alec Guinness impersonation. It was so well-crafted that it drew me right into the character, and kept me believing him.

re: #29, It’s odd reading your appraisal of Shatner’s role in Generations. That film was so bad that, it seems, my mind has blocked out the specifics of it. I don’t associate Kirk’s death with saving the Enterprise…or, with anything other than an übercampy scene. Honestly, I don’t even consider Generations a “real” film. It’s on the list with Plan 9 from Outer Space. Making lemonade out of that lemon is an alluring prospect.

I’m Brian Fellow!

#33 Gavin
If you want to be particular, fine. I didn’t say you attacked anyone, but I can see why someone would tense up after you make an out-of-the blue statement like…”Im gavin harris. You are NOT John Gill — he is a fictional character.”
I need a good story, and you don’t?
Please keep us appraised if we get our possessives and tenses wrong.

In my opinion, Shatner has already passed the torch. That was ST:6 and 7. I don’t need to see him in another Trek film. It’s not that I dislike him, I just feel that this story and cast must carry itself and not be mired down with old Kirk compared to young Kirk, rifts, time travel or a parallel universes. THAT”S why WE, in my opinion, need a good story. Reviving Kirk, just for the sake of doing it is pointless.

Xai, not my real name.
(“Fake, fake, fake, FAKE, fake… ” Elaine Venice, -Seinfeld)

Gavin (#31),

Here is the attack:

“Im gavin harris. You are NOT John Gill — he is a fictional character.”

This remark implies that John Gill’s position is somehow less-than-valid because he’s using a call sign on this site. You specifically point out that he isn’t John Gill, a fact that has absolutely nothing to do with your difference of opinion with him. That IS an attack.

Why exactly did you bother mentioning it? What purpose did it serve? How does his using a call sign figure into your debate with him? How does it further your opinion or negate his? Where does the value of your statement lie?

If you can’t answer these questions, then you aren’t engaging in a debate or even an argument; you lobbed the first volley in a personal attack against him. You may not have been aware that you did it, but you did. All I did was point that out to you. This was your response:

” ‘I’m Buckaroohawk…and you’re not. ‘ oh my GOD i see NO reason to attack me????? you see my point? exactly!”

For me to see your point, you have to make one first.

Listen, Gavin, I’m not trying to pick a fight with you. I’m simply saying that if you’re going to engage in debate on this site, or even state your opinion, you must be prepared to back up your position critically and responsibly. What you said about John Gill sounded like an attack and I called you on it. You responded by jumping down my throat and becoming defensive. I’m asking you to set that aside and support your statements effectively. If you can do that we’ll all get along just fine, even if we don’t agree on something.

Boy, I go away for one day, come back, and it’s “go for the jugular” time! Sounds like somebody, if not everbody, needs a HUG!!!

36. Xai – June 28, 2007 – After reading the thread I agree with Xai, on everything. I have never realy been a fan of Shatners, but admire his Cpt. Kirk as he plaid it well and with great passion. Xai is right, he passed the Torch is ST:TUC and Generations, why does Trek need him again? He would more than likely distract from the New Generation of actors that are going to appear in any future film (if there is any).

I chose the call sign “John Gill” as a device when I read that people migth be toying with the HISTORY of the STAR TREK UNIVERSE.

Would it help to know my real name…

Major Joe Ely Carrales, CAP

Yes, I’m a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and have posted with my own name and rank before. If it means so much to people…I will now go back to Major Carrales.

John Gill ist tot!!!

Such a shame that Star Trek fans cannot engage in Civil Discourse with out ah hominem attacks. Was it so bad that one could not attack a screen name, but had to have the real name to do so.

No one has commented yet that it sounds like we may get an alien planet landscape visual we really havent seen before on Trek, which would be awesome. We had ice fields in VI, but since half of it has melted it should provide a dynamic visual seeing retreating ice and newly revealed earth.

There should be no explanation to Shatner’s Kirk apperance in the movie. One part of the fan base can rationalize that it’s pre-generations Kirk. Aother part can say he’s post-the return. The other 99% of the viewers probably wouldn’t care, and just be happy to see him…

re: 36. Xai
“(”Fake, fake, fake, FAKE, fake… ” Elaine Venice, -Seinfeld)”

A.That was very funny. I am a big Seinfeld fan.
2. I appreciate the use of the word, “fake.” Thank you, Doctor X.

C. Why would I care if people don’t use their real names here?
D. Generations does not exist. We need fewer references to Generations.

and not to nitpick, but it is Elaine “Benes”, not “Venice” (Unless you are writing that in the spirit of not using real names here) ;)

Well, Shatner is bigger now than he’s ever been, both in a very real way and fame wise, Boston Legal has really pushed up his TVQ numbers and there is a lot of people who don’t even know him from Trek, I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true. I would imagine the riders for Shatner to be in this film would be a huge laundry list of things that would include but not be limited to:
Script approval, lighting approval, he get more lines than Nimoy, the he not be killed off AGAIN, etc, etc, etc.

Other than a payday, and a HUGE one at that, there is nothing for these actors to gain by being in this film. From a fan point of view I’m on the fence, I remember in Generations, all I kept repeating to myself over and over, about the first part, was… That’s suppose to be McCoy, not Chekov, that’s suppose to be Spock, not Scotty. They made virtually no attempt to re-write the roles for Jimmy and Walter.

So while I would enjoy seeing Kirk on last time, I also know that whatever actors they get to play these parts, they are going to have to be DAMN good to make me forget about their older counterparts. If this IS a reboot of the franchise, then leave older Kirk and Spock out of it, let us have a memories. Even Lucas wasn’t stupid enough to put Young and Old Obi-wan together. Let’s just hope JJ isn’t either.

Man oh man, please don’t let this film get political. I cringe when I hear talk about the Cold War and terrorism. I know GR had some very definite political opinions, but often times it resulted in scenes like the last 15 minutes of Omega Glory or the entire episode of The Cloud Minders.

Please, please, please. Think Khan, not Cloud William.

“”Here is the attack:

“Im gavin harris. You are NOT John Gill — he is a fictional character.””

That is not an attack. Calling you a name is an attack. I made a point. And it still stands. He is not John Gill. He is major Joe Ely Carrales. Some people are so quick to make out they’ve been injured by something so silly.

Im still Gavin Harris. Do a google search on me. You might be surprised.

Nobody will ever be as good in the role as Shatner. Period. Because Kirk IS Shatner. Or vice versa.

But it might be fun pretending that the person on the screen is a young Captain Kirk. :)

I AM THX-1138.

BTW, I thought that we all chose anonymous screen names for the sole purpose of making baseless personal attacks against one another.

You’re all stupid and ugly! What the hell is this thread about again?

The terrorist angle sounds great so long as they portray it TOS style… that there are indeed some bad terrorists Kirk has to flying drop kick while at the same time offering some lesson and hope that in the future the terrorists will learn to work with the Federation….. after of course Kirk overloads his phaser in their ammo dump, takes their leader hostage and of course unites with some locals to take them out.

The TNG take on terrorism of course would be to negotate, allow them to board the Enterprise and kidnap some key offers, with the morale of the story being some sort of morale equivalence – that peace is the way in the nice 24th century. (as was previously done in a rather good episode of TNG)