Shatner Autobiography Excerpt: On New Star Trek Movie [UPDATED]

William Shatner’s new autobiography, "Up Till Now,” is in book stores now. The book covers Shatner’s entire life from childhood, through the Trek years to today. And in a brief mention, it has what may be the last word on the biggest Shatner discussion subject of the last year: will Shatner be in the new Star Trek movie?
Excerpt below.

From the last pages of “Up Till Now” (by William Shatner and David Fisher)


I now wonder if I am working too much. Perhaps I should experience other things? But I am having such a good time it is difficult to say no to anything. In fact, my daughter Lizbeth and her husband play a game: Can they get through an ordinary day without hearing my name mentioned or hearing my voice on the radio or television. Mostly they lose.

Ironically, the one part I might have enjoyed playing I wasn’t even offered. The producers of the movie Star Trek XI – which apparently focuses on the early life of our characters – did not ask me to appear in that film. Spock lives in that film, but I guess that because Kirk had been killed they feel they couldn’t find a place for him. Many people wondered if I was upset or angry not to be offered a role. I wasn’t; I was sad, though, and I was slightly mystified. It just seems like a poor business decision not to bring back Jim Kirk one last time.

I recognize that I’m getting older. And I do think about my own mortality. And what I now know is that there are so many questions to which I am never going to know the answer. We are born into mystery and we leave in mystery. We don’t know what transpired before and we don’t know what’s coming ahead. We don’t know what life is. We don’t even know the truth behind the assassination of JFK. Is there God? What is time? There’s everything we don’t know. 


Excerpts courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books will have a full review of "Up Till Now" later in the week.


Shat was on Reel Talk and spoke on this issue

Up Till Now is available now at Amazon

Up Till Now (Hardcover)


Up Till Now (Audio)


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There’s still a small part of me that believes Shatner is still in the movie and this all one big ruse.

I”m just going to be the first to say this will be a great read

I’ve read Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories.. quite informative and entertaining.. I expect the same from this one.. we all know his other non fiction stories are written by other ghost writers so how much did he actually write we will never know.. be sure it will be from Shatner’s own point of view..

Shat delivers the truth as usual
Interesting ruminations on life and JFK assassination, etc
Boy, the producers are blowing it by not casting him

I have the audio download of this book…and it is quite enjoyable and educational. Shat has lived quite a life…I hope i get to shake the man’s hand one day!

The movie would be mega huge if Shat was in.

Shatner. You just can’t stay mad at the guy.

As one ages, one becomes more philosophical. I hope that in a few years, he will see his way clear to putting all this “feud” business behind him. Maybe it is already and it’s just that the fans are the last to know. If so, it could only be for the publicity.

He’s a sly one, the Shatmeister.

I get where Shatner is coming from about his feelings on not being in the movie, but I really think that it’s time to pass these characters on to a new generation. If Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan and all gone on and on like this for over a year, we’d never hear the end of it! The same goes forMichael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. Sometimes, actors are replaced, a lot of times because they were getting older.

Shatner passed the torch on to Picard and Co. in ‘Generations’ when Kirk was killed off. Was it a bad death? I think so. Was it a bad decision? Probably, but it still happened. This is science fiction, yes, but how can you say this is a poor business decision? How can you base the future of the franchise off of someone who is nearly eighty? Shatner could have been in this entire film, making it “The Search for Kirk” so he could be in further adventures. And then Shatner could have died tomorrow. Grim, yes, but still. The fact remains that he is getting old and Star Trek needs to be revitalized at it’s core, and that core is Kirk, Spock and McCoy. The original Kirk was killed and DeForrest Kelly has passed away. That leaves Spock, and he is in this movie. He will pass the torch into the hands of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban, and I believe Star Trek will continue to endure through the decades because of it.

As great as it would be to see Shatner don the uniform and go where no man has gone before one last time, he has gotten old. He said he has thought about his own mortality, and I would hope that in those thoughts he has come to the conclusion that Star Trek needs fresh blood, not someone who could unfortunately pass at any time now. As unfortunate as it is to say it, I have come to that conclusion, the powers that be have come to that conclusion, a lot of other people have come to that conclusion and I think a lot more people will come to that conclusion.

Given that I’m on the road so much, I may just break down and buy the audio book to pass the time. Even if The Shat’s POV can sometimes be counter to the accepted ‘truth’, he’s still one helluva good entertainer.


I may get the book too but I’m tellin’ ya…the audio read is priceless!

I’ve added to my list of Shatner-isms from it:

and now that I’m almost through it…
“human genome”


It’s worth every penny. Aside from me lightheartedly poking fun…no not really…I’m celebrating Shatner speak really. But aside from that it’s very entertaining and there are some very moving moments read by the man himself. Quite something to listen to as I’m preparing myself on the way to school.

Again priceless. I feel like I know the man himself better and like him all the more for it.

Get it.

So, Shatner’s curious about the Kennedy assassination? Over the past 35 years I’ve invested more than 15,000 hours in research concerning the murder of JFK.

Anthony is welcome to give the Shat my private e-mail address if he’d like to get an overview of the basics!


That’s amazing. I don’t know much about the event itself. I have my own personal opinions about that, but… that’s another story for another time for another internet forum.

Sadly, Morn, I do not believe that the Shatz is in XI. I believe that at this juncture, the most we can do is stop and wait, like Qui Gon Jin before he was viciously mauled by Darth Maul. We have to wait behind the energy forcefield of time before we can rampage into the theaters to watch this beloved movie.

Shat or no, it will be good.


I don’t think there is a more gentle soul walking this earth today than The Shat.

I heard Quinto say once in an interview that there could be another Star Trek after this one. Perhaps then they could find a way to bring back kirk.

Moogie#13- Gentle? You mean the same guy that killed a poor bear out in the wilderness just for the heck of it? I am not a Shatner hater, but that is not a word I would use to describe him. Nimoy – gentle: yes. Shatner – gentle: no.

14, I should hope that there would be a sequel after this next movie, if the box office gods are so willing. And another one — the third in this rumored three-movie deal.

And after that, who knows? After all, the Bond franchise has had far more movies than thus far for Trek.

Harry- I know you have written real estate books, but have you written a book on the JFK subject? With that much time and research invested, you certainly should.

I thought the Shat answered some of these ultimate questions in Trek V…a flawed film, but a film with heart.
Harry Ballz-if you write a book on JFK, I’ll buy it!!

I love this book. It’s meandering, hilarious, sweet and heartfelt. I was laughing hysterically for eight pages and then I read, “Then, in 1973…” I was all like, “What?! We’re only at 1973?!” What a great guy.

I would love to be seated next to him on a long flight. I would say, “Tell me a story, Bill.”

I just started reading the book. Great so far.

Denise-I did write a screenplay entitled The Grassy Knoll….here’s the storyline:

THE GRASSY KNOLL is a “what if” science fiction thriller about a man who, as a boy, personally witnessed John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas that fateful day in 1963. Now a renegade scientist living in his post-apocalyptic world of the 21st century, he is convinced Kennedy’s death was the beginning of a “domino effect” that led to World War III and 240 million dead by the year 2012. He is determined to change history by sending someone back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy before it happens.
As he pursues this objective, the scientist is being hunted down by a man within the government who has his own personal agenda for not wanting the timeline altered. Through circumstance, due to his adversary’s intervention, the scientist is forced to send his only granddaughter back in time to complete the mission. He transports her from 2017 to 1963 where, in a race against time, she must fight alone against the organized forces who would see John F. Kennedy dead.

This story could be described as a cross between Oliver Stone’s “J.F.K.” and James Cameron’s “Terminator 2” with an influence of John Frankenheimer’s “The Manchurian Candidate”.

Years ago I registered the script with the WGA and Library Of Congress. If anyone is interested please let me know.

Harry (21) what do you think of the E. Howard Hunt deathbed tape where he says he was one of the 3 tramps and was a gunman? I believe he also claimed that LBJ was involved….

I love the idea for your screenplay. I also think that Kennedy’s death was the beginning of a terrible decline….


OTG, thanks for your feedback on the script!

The answer to your question in the first paragraph is also contained within your first paragraph…’s scary as to how much L.B.J. was involved.

1. MORN SPEAKS – May 19, 2008

There’s still a small part of me that believes Shatner is still in the movie and this all one big ruse.

I cant agree more, though It will only let us down…..

I guess if you want to continue to believe conspiracy theories, go right ahead. I am satisfied that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone nut job that killed him.
The final nail for me was the doc on History channel about Oswald. Well written and very well documented and as our favorite Vulcan would say “logical”.
Conspiracies of this magnitude are just far too complex and would’ve fallen apart at least 40 years ago.


There are plenty of superbly documented books about the Kennedy assassination that prove you wrong……you might want to read a dozen of them!

a multitude of books saying there was was more then one guman is SPECULATION not PROOF

#19–If I saw next to Mr. Shatner on a plane, I’d find a new seat. I’d be so star struck that I’d start seeing creatures on the wing of the plane!

But that would be AFTER I look deep into his eyes and see if they are crazy hazel like mine (They change from green to blue to grey depending on what I wear!), or if they are just brown-green. I’ve always wanted to see those orbs live. TV and films just distort the color.

And #10–I wholeheartedly agree. I LOVED my audio book read by Bill (Don’t remember which one.). Actually. he doesn’t just read it. He acts it out–passionately! I plugged in his book while I was recovering from pneumonia. I had started to nod off (from the drugs,not from the book!) and ended up jumping out of my skin when he started shouting dialogue. Wowsa!

I feel this should really put the ‘is he or isn’t he’ business to rest. I don’t believe William Shatner would write that last excerpt unless he was really, truly not in the movie. I don’t think he would alter the facts of his autobiography to throw us off the trail somehow, though I suppose it isn’t 100% impossible.

Question: Are there any old, interesting photographs in the new Shatner bio? Like in the very first bio? *inquiring mind wants to know*

(P.S: I’m a little bit addicted to THE MAN, but when I hear about the new movie once more, I’m going to throw out my collection ;)

Well, it’s called “Up Till Now”, isn’t it? There may be a sequel… ;-)

Anyway, there’s no denying that Bill’s a great storyteller. I highly enjoyed the excerpts I’ve read so far.

Here’s still hoping that he may show up in XI. But if he doesn’t, it won’t minimize the legacy one bit – Shatner and Kirk will be forever tied together as a cultural phenomenon and an iconic unity.

For god’s sake! How many times have we heard from EVERYBODY that Shatner is not in this film. It’s not a ruse. It is just as simple as Kirk is dead and putting him in the movie would be insane.

It is a bad decision not to include him into the movie. Shatner and Nimoy together, come on that would be great, that would be marketing, that would bring the people to the cinemas.

And I still do not believe that it is a story issue not to include him. This is science fiction. If they wanted to find a way to include him, they would have found it.

Just think about the TNG episode Yesterdays Enterprise. Tasha Yar was suddenly there, although she was dead because of a rift in the space-time-continuum and some changes in the timeline.
This would also be possible with old Kirk.

I imagine old Kirk suddenly being there and Spock realizing that someone must have altered the timeline. They travel to some kind of time-space-rift together on the warship Enterprise-F when they are attacked by Romulans. The captain of the Enterprise-F dies in the battle and Kirk assumes command of the ship. He tells Spock to take a shuttle to go through the rift alone as he fights off the Romulans. Spock doesn’t want to lose his friend a second time, but Kirk tells him: “Then see to it that you don’t…” As Spock enters the rift, he sees the Enterprise explode. When he returns to his timeline, an alive Kirk is greeting him (as Spock changed something in the past for his friend to be alive in the future).

Bill Shatner States that the producers of the new movie did not ask him to appear in their new movie.I must admit that I am quite curious as to why J.J,Abrams had a meeting with him, presumably about his movie.Abrams comments about not wanting to appeal to fanboys and Shatners apparent lack of desire to simply have a cameo appearance sounds somewhat like the irrisistable force and the immovable object. However Shatners recent comments appear to suggest that he would settle for a smaller role.Of course the film in now shot and is in post production so what is done is done,but isn’t science fiction about possibilities! One last appearance of old Jim Kirk is surely not beyond those possibilities!

It would have been fun to see Shat in the film simply because of the fact that none of the two may not be around for a sequel. It could have been their last time together as Kirk and Spock in a Star Trek film. I’m almost certain this was the very last chance.

Given this, the last film with both of them will instead be ST6 and I guess there’s nothing wrong with that but that was 17 years ago. It would have been fun to see them together in their current age.

True to the Shat really, and it mystifies me why he’s not been brought back to be in this film – fan boy decision or not, it is a money maker having the original Kirk actor passing the torch to the new. It’s hardly difficult to bring Kirk back if your doing a time travel story anyway. big mistake i feel and one that could cost this movie greatly.

Lets hope the story is decent enough and as epic as everyone seems to be saying. I do feel they are cocking the marketing up, i mean i love Trek, I’m looking forward to this movie but i’ve kinda forgotten about it now, just hope my interest in it isn’t dented when they do start advertising it in a bigger way.

Yo some guy on Youtube claims to be making a Star Trek fan series set in the tos time but dark like DS9. BLASPHEMY!

Sorry Im an idiot the link is in my name.

also, all credit to Orci and Kurtzman but Star Trek really does need a Science Fiction writer writing the stories again – yeah sure i think Orci and Kurtzman will do a bang up job but they are action adventure writers and whilst that is a big part of Trek, Science Fiction is as well and i feel their missing a lot of the Sci-fi in these types of movie’s because they don’t employ any real Science Fiction writers – i think thats what made TOS great.

There is a very simple way to put Shatner into the movie:

At the end of the movie, Spock dies nobly. His spirit meets up with Captain Kirk’s (Shatner) and they walk off into the Galactic sunset, not a dry eye in the house.

Hey, it worked in “Return on the Jedi.”

If the movie would be better with him in it, JJ would put him in it. If the movie will be worse by his presence, JJ would not include him. So I’m not going to demand JJ force him into the plot.

There is copious bogus reasons listed while Shatner is not in the movie.
Mistake not to capitilze on his and Nimoys viability to star in it.
Once the new movie is premiered, the sequel is inevitably penned without the original Kirk. Heck why do you take away from what you tried to do by recasting the original cast. You cannot do yet another time piece as it where in the sequel to explain why Shatner’s Kirk is in it. The producers will run with the new cast and forget Shatner.
Again, I say MISTAKE for the old Trekkers out there who supported paramount and Star trek for over 40 years. They just threw us out to pasture.

Mistake not to capitilze on his and Nimoys viability to star in it.

This movie and era of the franchise is not about Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelly’s characters. The reins are now passed to Pine, Quinto, and Urban. Let it go. If you put Shatner and Nimoy in it, you take away from Pine and Quinto who are now the new actors for the characters. Shatner’s Kirk is dead and has been for 14 years. Can we please let it go?

Once the public has “bonded” with the new incarnations of Kirk-Spock and McCoy these arguments will end. Shatner was really lucky to have so much screen time as Kirk and he will be loved forever for it. At his current age-weight etc… I don’t really know how they could have squeezed him in without it being seen as really “hokey”

Let him live forever in his prime on the silver screen

I hate to throw cold water on you #6 et al (and Shat as well) but Big Bill has never been a top draw at the motion picture box office. Of his films, only four have crossed the magic $100 million mark: STIV, Miss Congeniality, Dodgeball and Over the Hedge (and he was a supporting player in the last three and only a voice in the latter). And taking into account his appearances in box office duds like Osmosis Jones and Loaded Weapon 1, it is tough to make the case that JJ and company are making a bad business decision.

Bottom line–he cashed his Generations paycheck and now he has to live with that decision. I am way up on the list of people who wish he had been in this movie because he is so central to why Star Trek became what it is. But I understand why he is not and accept that.

You’re dead, Jim.

#45 ” hate to throw cold water on you #6 et al (and Shat as well) but Big Bill has never been a top draw at the motion picture box office. Of his films, only four have crossed the magic $100 million mark: STIV, Miss Congeniality, Dodgeball and Over the Hedge ”

You can’t put run-of-the-mill Hollywood movies like Loaded Weapon 1 and Star Trek movies in the same bag. This would be William Shatner as the “Jim Kirk” that pop culture, in general, is familiar with, in a HUGE-epic “Star Trek” movie. It’s not hard to do the math. His presence could only help the film, it could never hurt it.

Let’s take a step back for a minute and think about this.

To those who believe sci-fi writers need to be writing Star Trek – Trek has always been an action-adventure series within a sci-fi framework. The producers and writers of the original series never relied on technobabble or deus ex machina (well, not often, anyway) to wrap up a story. (And before you go citing “The Doomsday Machine” or “The Enemy Within”, let’s remember that the transporter difficulties were set up well in advance – in fact, the transporter was arguably the central character of TEW.) The writers need to be people who have a good grasp of exciting action, tense drama, humor, and tragedy, but who can also make a 23rd century starship sound believable without resorting to a physics course.

To those who believe Shatner should be/is in the movie: I would like to quote the Shat-man myself – “Get a life!” He’s a 78-year-old actor, nothing more, nothing less. Because he was originally cast as Kirk in 1965, and because he poured so much of himself into the role, does not mean that the role is his for all eternity. Want more Shat/Kirk? Watch TOS. He’s not in the new movie. Move on.

To those who believe Star Trek will be irrevocably harmed by this new movie: The concept of Trek is timeless (Roddenberry even referred to the original concept as “Wagon Train to the stars”, referring to an old 1950s-era TV show), and the beliefs presented within that framework are just as timeless. Humanity has a future – we should all work to see that it comes to pass. Star Trek has a future – regardless of who produces it, stars in it, directs it, or watches it, Trek will always be around. The Enterprise lives, and the human adventure continues.

…if we can keep from killing each other over a silly movie.

#47 “The concept of Trek is timeless (Roddenberry even referred to the original concept as “Wagon Train to the stars”, referring to an old 1950s-era TV show), and the beliefs presented within that framework are just as timeless. ”

..well, I would call it exactly timeless. Witness the failure of Nemesis and Enterprise to draw interest.

And yet, witness the incredible buzz and interest surrounding JJ’s return to TOS. Hopefully this new movie, under this new direction, WILL get back to the basics that made TOS the respected classic it is, and get that Wagon Train back on the trail.

OH NO! The Shattites have come out of the woodwork again. Please, no more. He’s not in it. He’s ok with that. It’s time to move on. Even Shatner would agree that the one constant in life is change.


Looking forward to reading this book, I really enjoyed Star Trek Memories and Star Trek Movie Memories. I’m personally not to upset that Shatner isn’t in this movie, I respect his work and will treasure my TOS episodes forever but his time has passed. Lonard Nimoy has given this movie his seal of approval and that’s good enough for me. Can’t wait!

Oh and Harry, have you read Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi? Makes a pretty compelling case, IMO, for Oswald being the lone gunman.