Exclusive Video: William Shatner On His (Unseen) ‘Star Trek’ Scene & Appearing In Sequel

Last week at the Epix outdoor screening of The Captains in Los Angeles I had a chance to talk briefly to William Shatner about that Star Trek 2009 scene written for (but never shown to) him. Bill wondered why they never showed him the scene and said that he would consider returning to the role of Kirk, even for a short scene as a recording. Watch the video interview below.


Shatner wonders why never shown his Star Trek scene – but would consider appearing in sequel

Recently William Shatner said that he does not expect to be in the Star Trek sequel. The original Star Trek actor has often said that he doesn’t see how the new Trek team could bring him back as his Capt. Kirk died in Star Trek: Generations. At a recent Epix online Q&A TrekMovie submitted a question about the scene written for Shatner for the 2009 Star Trek movie and he said he didn’t think there was such a scene. At an Epix event in LA last week I had a chance to follow-up.

I described to Mr. Shatner how there indeed was a Star Trek 2009 scene written for him and how they had worked out a way to bring him back as a recording of Kirk. Shatner (wryly) pondered "why didn’t they tell me [about the scene]?" And when I asked that if they used this recording method, would he consider doing a "short scene" for the Star Trek sequel. Shatner would only say (with a smile) "It depends on the short scene." I also had a chance to talk to Bill about his future convention appearances (noting that Leonard Nimoy is retiring from cons in October). Bill talked about his FanAddicts conventions reality show, and revealed that he would be filming for that potential new series at the Star Trek Las Vegas Con in August.

William Shatner introduces "The Captains" at Hollywod Forever screening in Los Angeles (Photo: Rob LaTour)


UPDATE: Video of Shatner introducing Captains


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im sorry but i dont think a scene with the shat will fit…. maybe in trek ’09 but not in the sequel

Here we go again.

Stick a fork in Shatner, it’s done!

Bill, Bill, Bill… remember those books you worked with the Reeves-Stevenses?

Sure, they’re not canon right now. But somebody ought to negotate the rights and make a cartoon series out of ’em.

Ashes of Eden, The Return and Avenger. Voice artists for TOS actors no longer with us, one more round up for those who are. Some TNG in the mix. Everyone’s happy.

Throw your “hologram message” cameo in the next film, as you look now and in a 24th Century uniform. It all ties together I tells yer. :)

It it was offered to him, I don’t think he would have even read it if he wasn’t the star. He’s a bit of a narcissist.

2. Indeed.

Excellent persistence, though, Anthony. What IS the story on that scene (I’ve read here that, I think, JJ, or the team as a whole, felt it didn’t really work)… was it in an early draft or was it written separately and then abandoned… or was it abandoned and then written anyway?

Does the Will-Shatner-be-in-it? spike traffic or something?

It would strain credibility to have Shat-Kirk in the new movie, but his body of work in Prime Trek will always be admirable. He’s got nothing to prove.

I don’t see how they can bring Shatner back if they don’t bring Nimoy’s Spock Prime back, because the only way it works is if Spock Prime shows up again with a recording or something. I think they already confirmed Nimoy won’t be in the second one, so I doubt any kind of scene with Shatner would make it in.

Id love to se his novels made into movie or made for tv they were a good read go shat!

There’s probably a higher chance of Shatner appearing in an episode of Doctor Who with Matt Smith than there is of him doing another Star Trek movie.

“Bill wondered asked why they never showed him the scene and said that he would consider returning to the role of Kirk, even for a short scene as a recording.”

To all those who called the Shatner scene a “cameo” and said Shatner would never do it — how does that taste?

I KNEW they never even approached him with it, never even ASKED if he’d be interested in doing that scene. And now we know he’s open to it. It’s not a case of “no, no matter what,” it’s a case of “how good is it?”

And I knew he’d be open to it because he already DID a cameo for FanBoys, and a rather cornball one at that.

Anthony Pascale, now since you have such a rapport with JJ Abrams, why don’t you ask him if he’d consider shooting that scene for a Special Fan Edition Blueray if Shatner is open to it?

The Shat looking more like Detective Lucerne from that Columbo ep… wearing that cream hat.

“Just one more thing.”

Sheesh, hasn’t the Shat-in-Abrams-Trek issue been put to bed finally…why continue stoking this fire???

JJ should give an interview stating no chance in hell

Aww, the Shat is NOT done! Who knows who is being honest? This is Hollywood! With all the excrement that flies around in Hollywood, there’s no frigging way to tell who is telling the truth? Was Abrams, Orci, and Lindlehof truthful about there being a scene like this in one of the final versions of the script? Who knows for sure. Maybe there was. Maybe there wasn’t. It’s easy to cover your ass when hindsight is invovled. Especially in Hollywood. The bullshit gets so thick, who can breath?

I think that it would have been a great scene. If it were true.

And if the Shat had actually known that this scene of him in the final part of Star Trek ’09 truly existed, I think that he would have done it. It’s a wonderful scene with his voice-over during the final part of the movie.

Not a single actor in Hollywood would miss out on how great a scene this is at the end of a great movie.

I feel that if Shatner knew that this was what Abrams wanted, he would have jumped at the chance.

I think that the part for Shatner was written AFTER the fact. After the movie was made. AFTER it was a hit. I NEVER heard of this scene until well after the release of the film. It makes a great story.

We heard all of the crap about the Shat not wanting to do a “cameo”.

As written and presented to the public, this final scene is more than a cameo or a bit part.

It’s a great scene!

So what if he died in Generations. Spock died in Kahn and came back when Nimoy found out that he was in a huge hit. History was changed in ST 09. Totally different timeline! Was Scotty ever banished to some frozen wasteland for a transporter accident involving Admiral Archer’s dog?

Not that I ever heard of. And I started watching the original Trek with my dad whe I was 3.

Alernate timeline.

And as much as I HATED seeing Vulcan implode, I got it. I didn’t like it, but I got it.

Spock played by Nimoy died in the original Star Trek universe ( I got that present for my high school graduation in the summer of ’82 with the Wrath of Kahn ). And came back in ’84 with the Search for Spock.

And in Star Trek ’09.

Why can’t Shatner’s Kirk?

Nimoy wants to retire forever (which saddens me to no end). William Shatner is ready to roll for more. Let him.

I can’t be the only 48yo Star Trek fan to feel this way.

@10. It tastes fine, because he is lying about not knowing about that scene, just like he is lying about never having seen Trek 09. He says things that are calculated to be in the best interests of his career, and the truth need not apply.

In other words, there is no way he would have done that minor scene — unless there was a seven figure payment involved, which wasn’t going to happen.

Interesting idea, Shatner wants to do a documentary about a fan’s perspective at a convention.

He could have a part in it where a fan pays $200.00 to get their picture taken with him, and stands in line for an hour, and then Shatner blows him off.

They should shoot the scene now, and insert it into a “Special Edition” DVD release of Star Trek 2009. I bet they would sell enough of those DVDs, even to people who already bought the first DVD, to justify the expense of hiring W.S., and creating the scene. If they do it while in production for the next movie, the additional expense could probably be minimized…

Goshdarn, here we go…

The scene had an air of (I first wrote ‘reeked’ and thought it made me look like a dick) fanboy desperation. I still don’t think it would have worked. I know a bunch of folks disagree with me.

DM, are you suggesting a conspiracy?

Here we go again. Hang on to your hats. It’s Shat Time. Will he or won’t he. Should he or Shouldn’t he.

Anthony, why don’t you just propose the idea (post # 10) to JJ next time you interview him just to see what he says? Asking harms nobody and nothing.

@20. DM, you illustrate the entire problem with this Shatatopia scenario. It is being created the media — Anthony asked these questions to Shat after Shat himself already announced he would not be in the sequel. So it is the media, including Trekmovie.com, that is still stoking this fire on this tired old issue. Shat plays along because its good for business, not becuase he wants to do something to make the legions of his fans happy.

You really need to get your special order in of the “They Live” sunglasses my friend — Shat looks much more real when you use them to view him! :-)

Hopefully Bill’s keeping something under his hat. I’m not exactly going to be disappointed if he isn’t. Every character’s story has to have an ending and we had his… although the books soon got round that, just like they did with Enterprise’s awful series finale. Sometimes fans are their own worst enemy with rules about what’s canon and what isn’t. It has to be onscreen only? Well, there’s world of different media that’s visual. Find a way and use that to put mistakes right.

In my humble opinion, It be great if the Shatner novels were to be recognized as canon and that his appearance in either Trek 2009 0r 2012, where he is older than Kirk – Generations, the resurected Kirk from the Shatner novels re-connected with Spock, to give him that final farewell, their friendship having truly spanned the test of time.

They did give credence to the novels as we never saw mention of Kirk’s father in anything screened, but did in at least two of the novels.

No doubt, it’s all a money thing . . . .

I was at that screening of “The Captain’s” and found it to be very intriguing, both as a fan and as someone working in the film industry. Some funny and slightly awkward moments, but definitely one of the better “Insider” pieces.

I still think the recording is a glorious idea.

It would’ve been the perfect way to end ST09, especially with a Shatner “Space…” leading to those intro-music credits. Bad call to pass up on it.

There’s still a billion ways to add it to a script for the sequel. Do it, dammit! Everyone loves the Shat except some Star Trek fans (and actors)


18. Jack – August 1, 2011

No, no conspiracy! But as a one time filmmaker myself, I am absolutely certain that the scene would have worked. I can envision its fit into the whole and I find it fitting perfectly. I know it will work. I can see it clearly. Including that scene certainly will not HARM anything that came before it. It’s what — two minutes? Minute and a half? — at the end of the movie. The ride is over and things are being tidied up, which is what that scene really does.

If nothing else, what that scene does is it provides an excellent IN FILM emphasis of the Kirk Prime/Spock Prime friendship that those who are new to the franchise have no or only a vague idea about, which contrasts against the rocky relationship the younger set of those characters has in the film they are watching.

Anthony should have moved that jackass with the other microphone butting into his interview out of the way. If he can’t do it, he needs to hire an assistant who could have handled that kind of crap efficiently.



Mr shatner let it rest all-ready sick & tired of hearing this over & over again, tired of hearing about whos the blame for your not in a trek movie .

in your own words” get a life”, your time in trek is over, it seems to me the other cast members dont complane about being in another movie as much as you do.

enjoy your life ok.

William Shatner will ALWAYS be Captain Kirk… no matter how well Chris Pine grows into the role, or whoever may play the stalwart Captain in the future. That is no slap at Pine or anyone else. Shatner defined the character, created the man and the myth. It was a mistake (acknowledged by almost everyone involved) to kill Kirk off in “Generations”… Gratuitous, unnecessary, and poorly executed (pardon the pun)…

We should remove “Generations” from the framework of “Canon”, and allow Kirk to show up whenever might be appropriate…. which is to say, any damn time he feels like. He’s William f—ing Shatner!

Ugh… Shat, I don’t care. You’re too late, it would’ve been better in trek ’09. This film wouldn’t work. You blew it.

@29 “He’s William f—ing Shatner!”


Well, I will always admire William Shatner and appreciate his time as Captain Kirk, but I think the “Star Trek” franchise really needs to move on. Leonard Nimoy’s appearance in the reboot was required to give it a send off and lend some credibility. The hologram scene would have been perfect. But J.J Abrams decided against it and now what’s done is done. The first J.J Abrams film saw Chris Pine’s Kirk taking command of the Enterprise after defeating Nero and saving Earth. The sequel is going to follow the journey of Pine’s Kirk as he grows into the role of Captain and matures into the leader that William Shatner originally depicted so well during TOS and the original movies.

If William Shatner appears in the sequel, then who will it be for the third? Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, or Walter Koenig? Will any of those actors feel left out and demand to be in it?

Anyway, I’m kind of sick and tired of the “passing the torch” moments of nostalgia that has been sprinkled throughout Trek in the last 25 years or so.

Time to leave the past in the past and set a course for the future of strange new worlds.

That is all.

It would be great if Leonard would do something with him. However you could still do the scene by establishing that Spock Prime gave the pendant to Quinto. We just wouldn’t see it unless Leonard unretires


A one time filmmaker? What movie did you make?

This has become such a yawn. I am sure that JJ Abrams and co. will do what is best for the movie. It is ultimately their decision. Out of our hands – been there, done that with this issue. Starting to nod off…

can’t we just let it be? Just forget it ?


@34 A French bicycle film?

@36 “can’t we just let it be? Just forget it ?”

I agree. Not sure why Trekmovie.com is stoking the flames on this one still? It is time to move on and stop messing with this issue, that Shat himself has put to bed, and that we are all completely fatigued with. Enough!

34. red dead ryan – August 1, 2011

I made short films, funny man. 5 of my own and crewed on about 10 that others directed at NYU.

so freaking what hes is William F-ing shatner & he played Captain James T. kirk in the 60s series & movies ..ok
F.Y.I. Jack lord & Lloyd bridges were also up for the role of kirk, what would have been if one of those actor had gotten the role instead of William F-ing Shatner & where would have it left Mr.shatner …out in the cold.
well lucky for Mr Shatner the other two actors went to other show that left the role open for Mr.Shatner to play Captain Kirk.


That “funny man” comment should be directed at MJ. I was just curious what you made, that’s all.


“…and that we are all completely fatigued with. Enough!”

And yet here you are posting multiple comments on the very topic you claim people are tired of!

Take this for what it’s worth (which may not be much)

I was told by someone who should know (I can absolutely not confirm what this person told me was correct so take this as a nothing more than a rumor from a trusted source) that Shatner was in fact offered that scene in the film and he declinded because he wanted a role and a paycheck at least as big as Leonard Nimoy’s.

Remember Shatner’s “I don’t do cameo’s” mantra of 2008? How would he even know it was a cameo if the scene wasn’t offered to him? He was also found of saying how “he was worth the investment” and several other self agrandizing statments on his I want a major part in Star Trek 09
tour…I think he may have overvalued his importance to the film and they moved on without him. Didn’t he go as far as saying at one point that he was going to be in the film on the Jay Leno program?

Shatner’s tone has changed considerably since the days of “I don’t do cameo’s” of a couple of years ago. I met him a few weeks ago and he said that he would love to be in the new film. Infact I asked him point blank if he would be in the new film and he said “stranger things have happened” which gave me a little hope that we will see him one last time as Kirk.

By the way, it would be fairly easy to work him into a ST film that is based on an alt universe and shifting time frames. My money says they return Spock to the Prime universe at some point (maybe the third film?)and there is Shatner as Kirk with a smile on his face…Then the scene fades to black with no explanation…That would be pretty cool if anybody is out there listening : )

Shatner’s just being gracious/networking.

He’s not going to say he’s not open to a job; the workaholic, that he is. And he’s not going to anger fans by saying he wouldn’t do it.

Still, that horse is dead, rotted, and well-picked over by vultures.

Unless it’s a photo in the background, basically an easter egg, then no Shat.

41: “That ‘funny man’ comment should be directed at MJ. I was just curious what you made, that’s all.”

No worries. I thought you were making a play on my words, i.e., “one time filmmaker” to mean I made one film.

@39. “I made short films, funny man. 5 of my own and crewed on about 10 that others directed at NYU.”

That is pretty cool, DM. Seriously!

#16 that made me laugh sooo hard, darn creation are rip off artists arent they.

Gotta admire non-Hollywood folks who have made their own movies.


Have you ever thought about a career in filmmaking? Maybe you could film Harry Ballz’ script? I hear he’s still looking for a producer! ;-)

48. We should get together and write/film a Trek movie to compete with the next one. Musical?

“Fanboys” settles the question of whether or not Shatner will do a cameo, and it was released, ironically, in 2009, the same year in which Star Trek was released. Perhaps he was so worn out by his two minute appearance in Fanboys that he didn’t have the strength to show up for another two minutes in Star Trek.

He just confirmed above once more what was already obvious by his appearance in Fanboys which was not, by the way, a big budget film, and only grossed $688,000+ domestically. So, he’ll do a cameo in a low budget film but not in a big budget film? Mmm hmmm.

Shatner is a rational business man who will go where the paid work is. They never offered the Shatner scene to him, they never began any negotiation, and they should have.

I still feel that if they remade the epsiode the deadly years they could include all the surviving original cast who wished to be invovled.
from shatner to Takei to nichols koenig and nimoy even though he has retired.
or not even a remake of the deadly years but some sort of situation like that.