William Shatner Explains Why He Has Not Seen The New Star Trek Movie

spockFor over two years while the Star Trek movie was in development and production, much of the debate, news and gossip about the film was about whether or not William Shatner would be in it, something he contended would benefit the film. So it is a bit surprising that two months after its release, Bill has yet to see it. While co-hosting Live with Regis and Kelly last Friday he explains why, details below.


Shatner concerned over ‘ridicule’
On the show during the ‘host chat’, Regis asked Bill if he had seen the new Star Trek movie, and Bill said he had not. Regis then asked him if he ‘cared’, to which Bill replied:

I do care, but here is the problem. If I go to the theater, it’s like, ‘there is the guy who thinks he is captain Kirk’ or something like that. Some ridicule is going to happen. So I have sort of avoided that. I don’t want to wear a hat and glasses and and a cane and a beard…just to see a movie. That is a lot of effort, I could stay at home to watch a movie.

(Select third video down w/ Shatner – Star Trek discussion around 7:00 mark)

Later in the show (video not available online), Ray Romano came on to promote Ice Age 3, but also talked about the Star Trek movie, saying he loved it, and also was surprised that Bill had not seen it.

Other Trek celebs have talked about seeing the film, including Nichelle Nichols who says she has seen it multiple times. Star Trek’s other movie captain, Patrick Stewart, also recently talked about going to see the film (with the general public). Mr. Shatner was invited to the Hollywood premiere of the film, but apparently he had a conflict and he sold his unused tickets on Ebay (for charity) after the event. There were also multiple showings of the Star Trek film on the Paramount lot, including the week when JJ Abrams and many of the cast and crew took time time out from their publicity tour to attend Shatner’s charity horse show in late April. Bill has recently said he would like to be in the sequel, so hopefully he catches the movie sometime soon to find out what it is all about. If Bill can’t arrange a screening on the lot, here is a list of theaters still showing the movie in the LA area.


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Mr. Shatner, there is no “thinking” about it. You have been, are, and always will be Captain Kirk.

The movie would have been a lot better with you in it, in my humble opinion.


He had nothing to do with the new movie and he’ll have nothing to do with the sequel so why doesn’t everyone just move on from THE SHAT.

Yes you are The Kirk.

Remember they cast someone who had to look like YOU.
He did a good job too.

They could have made him something completely different all they really wanted to do was reboot.

meant to say “If” all they really wanted to do was reboot . . .

#2 – agreed 100%

We all appreciate Bill Shatner for his epic role in the franchise, but if he didn’t go see the new movie because he was afraid of ridicule, – come on, I mean that’s asking to be ridiculed right there!

I can just imagine if he was caught out at a screening with the public by the media….the whole drama would begin anew about not being in it and he’d be criticized for anything he said no doubt.

It is so sad to see that someone blessed with such a rich acting career has let it make him unreasonable. Life goes on. Seems pretty lame to blame others for his not seeing it. The Shat is to blame for this one. Too bad he cannot be honest with himself and us.

Hes’ not the star, he is not going to see it! Simple as that! Also, in the ent. business, when your gig is done, that is it! You dont care about sequels, etc. which you are not involved in. He was done with trek 15 years ago! Think, that is the space between the end of TOS and Trek III or TMP and Generations. It was long ago now…


One Word…….AMEN!!!!!!!

Here’s to the one and only, the Original KIRK!

Poor me.
That’s what he has become.
Some captain.

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Cut him some slack. He’s pissed that he wasn’t in the movie.

Maybe he has seen the film and is pretending that he hasn’t? Maybe he doesn’t care about the film and just wanted a big paycheck?

In the end who really careS?

P.S. I hope they can find a way to get the Shat in the next film.

#2,7,8,10 — God, all the venom against the guy. It really gets disgusting. If you don’t like, don’t read about him. How difficult can that possibly be?

He is THE Star Trek icon. Without him, there would have been no movie and no reboot. That is the fact.

Show some respect or just don’t show up. We won’t miss you Shatner haters.

i love the SHAT,he’s my first hero,i was 3 years old when i first saw star trek in 1969,but…it’s time for something new….i don’t want to see him in the sequels….let’s move on!!!

His behavior during the production of this film, and since it’s release, has tarnished his image for many, including myself. I wish Bill had reconciled the fact that he agreed to kill Kirk in “Generations” with the idea that the new movie would have a hard time giving him an appearance. The new franchise needs no further appearances from former cast members. The torch has been passed to a new generation of actors playing these iconic roles. Shame that Shatner couldn’t “get onboard” and support the new cast and crew, despite not being in the movie. Following the classy examples of Nichelle, Walter, et al, would have stood Mr. Shatner in better stead. Now he appears juvenile and even more egotistical than ever. It’s sad, but he made the bed, he must now lie in it.

What a dick.

Not sure I buy Shat’s explanation. Paramount has several screening rooms and he could have asked for a private showing. I am sure Paramount would have honored his request.

Spock embraced Quinto, Nichelle embraced Zoe etc. All the other actors seemed to have nice things to say about their counterparts. Shat needs to get on the bandwagon. Not sure this is the way to JJ’s heart or a part in the sequal.

Trekkie16 – he’s also the only actor you mentioned that doesn’t need a job. *cringe* Sorry – but it’s true.

I don’t believe him, to be honest. There are ways to see the movie privately, especially for a well known actor. Heck, some of my friends have seen quality bootlegs in their homes.
I really do not like this man, but boy I love Captain Kirk.

#13 It’s not hate at all. I would love to see a sensible reaction to this whole thing. Shatner is not giving us that.

He’s also said he’s not a Trekkie, and he has a lot of other things going on in his life besides Star Trek — unlike most everyone who posts here.

William Shatner will always be the one and only Captain Kirk, even after he’s gone!

Hey Shat…go see the movie now before your fans at the Star Trek convention August in Las Vegas BURY you for not seeing it!!

I’m afraid I have to agree with “Spock’s Uncle” and “Trekkie16”. Mister Shatner of all people should understand that in his universe, Kirk died, and trying to overcome that in plot form only degrades the courageous memory that is Kirk.

There are many avenues that Shatner could have engaged to see the movie, and it seems rather incongruiteous for him to keep avoiding it when Abrams and cast took the time to attend HIS affair.

I did read however in an interview with Leonard Nimoy that Shatner has a long standing habit of “playing with” the media, in terms of acting outlandish or leading them on. However, while that makes sense with things that he said when asked about he and Abrams and whatever “tuff” might be between them, it doesn’t justify his “it’s just too much bother!” attitude in seeing the movie.

Like your work, Bill, but gotta work on your courtesy a little more.

#15 – Very well said and I could not agree more.

Shatner’s excuse for not seeing the new movie is about as convincing as his explanations for why he agreed to do Generations. His arguments don’t hold any water; Abrams held plenty of screenings that he could have attended if he really wanted to. And I’m sure Paramount would have given him a private screening if he had just asked.

The real reason he hasn’t seen the new movie is the same as why he never saw an episode of TNG or hardly ever appeared with other cast members at public events like the unveiling of the first Space Shuttle: because it didn’t benefit him.

You guys- I can’t believe how lacking in compassion some of you are. Do you understand that he has had to live with the responsibility of being Kirk, and now suddenly he’s almost being “replaced”?

Put yourself in those shoes, and tell me you wouldn’t understand.

William Shatner was/is Kirk.( Although William has played several other characters in his lifetime and is known for those parts also.) He played it better than Pine,IMO. If you don’t like The Shat then you are missing out on a whole lotta fun. I think they should have given him something in the film. I hope they do give him something in the next one. He created Kirk he deserves to be in the film somewhere,so what if Kirk died.


Yes. Shatner is Kirk. I’m like Decker in “Doomsday Machine” on this matter…I don’t recognize the new person’s authority. Except I’m not going to get booted off the bridge. And I seem to remember that ship having a brig.

What a load of horse malarkey Bill. I will always admire you for living life to the max but this doesn’t float or fly.


#27 – In my view, Shatner pretty much gave up all rights to the character on screen when he agreed to have Kirk killed off in Generations, especially after Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley declined to participate. He seemed fine with his responsibility back then and didn’t show much compassion for Kirk when he took the paycheck and did such a disservice to the character.

#28 – Shatner has repeatedly said that he would not do a cameo; he wants a significant part and quite frankly, I don’t think he’s up to it anymore. The fact that he’s put on so much weight and looks so different physically doesn’t help either. Besides, the new cast and creative team have shown that they can carry this franchise; they deserve a chance to stand on their own.

Thank goodness Shatner wasn’t in the movie!!! Please, please, please, no Shatner in future Star Trek films.

Bill, I’m disappointed in you. I can’t believe that you’re chicken to go to a theater. That’s a stupid excuse for not seeing it.

For those that are saying that “The Shat” always has been and always will be Kirk–Yes, he is the original Kirk, but now it’s time for “The Shat” to step back.

#1. Brett Campbell

well said.

34 – Thank you.

I wonder if Sean Connery gets asked if he bothers to continue to watch James Bond movies.

Maybe Mr. Shatner is simply tired of stupid questions.

So you’re not in the film? How does that make you feel? Are you going to watch it anyway?

And incidentally, he gave Pine his blessings in a letter and physically embraced him and Abrams at the charity auction just a little while back.

He’s handled all this more graciously than I would have if I had ever had the good fortune of being in his position.

He’s a busy man and has said he doesn’t like to watch himself on screen. He’s so busy making TV and film appearances that he probably doesn’t have much time to watch movies at all.

And he seemed pretty genuine to me about his feeling ridiculed about not being Kirk anymore. Boy, I hope I have half his energy and youthful looks when I’m pushing eighty, and his sense of humor.

I understand Shat’s problem. I work in the industry and it’s hard when the media go all out for that expected comment. You can’t just go along and enjoy. Sometimes it’s all just gets to hard.

I’m surprised JJ hasn’t snent him a preliminary Blu-Ray or DVD. Given Shat is continually being asked these questions to comment on the movie, I would be making sure he saw it.

Hell I’d pick him up in my a limo and take him to my place to watch it …JJ please take note!

It would be good publicity to get Shatner up to speed now!

Shatner’s just been annoying me the past few years. What I don’t get is his boycotting the film. Sure, he’s a bit bitter for not being in it, but heck, other than Nimoy (who’s only in less than 10 of the film’s 126 minute runtime), no one else from Trek’s past is in the film, and yet they all have seen it and loved it.

The way I see, and my friends have agreed with me, is Shatner being bitter about not being in the new Star Trek is like if Adam West was upset about not being in The Dark Knight.

How is it that the studio wouldn’t have honored all of the original cast by sending them screeners??? That doesn’t make any sense.

Dear William:

I have watched you portray Captain Kirk for 40-something years and redicule would be the last thing I would think of doing to a great thespian as yourself.

I just don’t know what to think of this article…I am stumped. It’s perplexing to even think of William Shatner concerned about redicule to keep him out of a theater…I could see people ridiculing you if you jumped in front of the screen screaming ” I AM CAPTAIN KIRK,” as your alter-ego did in “The Enemy Within,” but other than that, I doubt anyone would say much. They would probably respect your privacy and let you enjoy the movie.

I am sure a PR campaign could be organized to fill the theater with Star Trek Fans (serious-minded who support both the film and William Shatner,) for this purpose. Would be a great PR event to say the least plus go along way to show the world how big a person William Shatner. After all, William Shatner made Captain Kirk the icon he is today.

I have always looked-up to William Shatner, who happens to portray, Captain Kirk, one of my role-models past and present.

If you decide to go or not, I will understand, but I wouldn’t let worrying about how people decide it for me.

“The answer is no, therefore we are going anyway!”

Much Respect and Admiration, as always!

Despite the foot stomping by some people, the man doesn’t have to see the new movie if he doesn’t want to. He’s William Shatner.

I remember he regularly told the press he couldn’t comment on “Next Generation” because he hadn’t seen it. It all boils down to he’s not getting paid to associated with the film in any way, so he’s not going to promote it in any way. That’s how he operates.

@ #36

I agree, it would be a VERY COOL PR move to take William Shatner in hand, even if JJ and company went as a group. That would be cool and hopefully, might even be a productive evening, minus the media in a closed theater, to go and enjoy the movie.

I would do it.


Ummmmmm…the simple reason Shatner hasn’t seen the film… He’s busy!!!! Shatner has an active acting career, a huge family, breeds horses, hosts several charity events, oversees a new comic book line (which just launched and is trying to get traction…not an easy thing to do nowadays), co-authors books, has a talk show, etc. etc. etc. etc.

More than being a celebrity, Shatner is a work-a-day laborer who has to get up and earn a living each day. I think those of us outside of the entertainment industry tend to assume that these people live magical lives. They really don’t. They have to work the same 12-14 hour days that the rest of us do, and when you’ve been around entertainment all day long, I highly doubt that the first thing you want to do as soon as you get done for the day is go see a movie, especially one with which you were not involved. (In many cases, going to premieres is “work” for actors.)

I’m an ordinary joe, and I never get to the movies. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Apart from my full-time job, I work in local theater, do stuff for my church, have family responsibilities, etc. etc. etc. Heck, in order to see “Star Trek,” I had to go to a 9:30 p.m. showing on a Sunday night.

Give the man some slack. Entertainment isn’t a priority for all of us. And besides…what’s he’s going to say other than what he’s supposed to say, “Gee, it was great. Chris Pine really impressed me.” In fact…Shatner could save himself some controversy and just say that now…and still never see the movie!!!

Damn him for being so honest!!!!!!

Excuses!,,excuses!,,,,I’ve always been a fan of shatners,,,but he’s handled this situation like a spoiled child,,and made himself look like an ass in the process,,he hasn’t seen the movie cause he’s pissed he wasn’t included,,,,he doesn’t deserve to be in the sequel,,,

One of Shatner’s arguments that Abrams should have had him in the film no matter the story line is that it was a good business decision. Hmmm… Star Trek seems to have made plenty of money without the Shat. Don’t think him being in the film would have upped the booty. Maybe he’s peeved that they can make a successful, entertaining film with Kirk and Spock without William Shatner.

Personal note to William Shatner:

I know I write too much, but I don’t care about prime or alternate universes, you are still the TOS Captain Kirk to me, and always will be so. If I were the big players at the studio or anyway connected to the old and the new films, I would try every effort to incorporate both the old and new while they are here. Tomorrow is not ours.

In STAR TREK, no one is left behind or forgotten. That is one of the most important points of the philosophy. I wouldn’t tread too harshly on it.

@ #45

Jeff, maybe William is not ready for it (Star Trek) to be over with from his perspective. I would feel the same way, to some extent. It’s not an easy thing to do or confront.

No one wants to feel or think they are obsolete. It’s a painful thing. The best course of action would be one of compassion.

So stupid. He looks like a crybaby this way.

@ #43

Indeed, honesty is brutal. I took it to mean he is really interested in seeing the new film. But you have to acknowledge the “hint” and allow for respect by not making the man ask. After all, this guy (William Shatner) did make Kirk who he is today.

Are people in the industry really THAT busy to stop for a minute and realize what people are “really” saying even in the media?

I don’t blame him. While he states he is interested, he is not a fan in the same way that we are. In addition to that, by all accounts, he is incredibly busy all the time between work, and probably wants to give his wife and his grandkids as much time as possible.

Plus at my age, 41, sitting through a movie is not the most comfortable thing. I would rather have my own refreshments, my own bathroom, and my own recliner – I am sure at 78, he feels even more like that as well.

Additionally- even if he is not recognized (and there is zero chance of that) – the audience is often annoying – on phones and talking and standing up to go to the bathroom and such.

What is surprising is that Leonard Nimoy or JJ Abrahms haven’t had a Blu-Ray already sent to him so he could watch it in his home theater.