Nimoy: Star Trek Sequel Doesn’t Need Me

Ever since Nimoy made an offhand comment to CNN a couple of weeks ago there has been a flurry of speculation about him being in the Star Trek sequel. In yet another interview, the Trek legend responds by saying he isn’t needed for for the sequel. More details below.


Nimoy: Star Trek Doesn’t Need Me + Talks Trek/Fringe ratings struggle

Promoting his appearance in tonight’s season finale of Fringe, Leonard Nimoy has been doing the rounds this week. In the reporters conference call yesterday (via NBC) he was asked about recent reports about his appearance in the Star Trek sequel. Once again, Nimoy tried to tamp down any speculation saying:

“My feeling is they don’t need me. They’ve got a wonderful cast. Zachary Quinto has taken on the character of Spock and I think he is wonderfully suited.  He is a talented guy.  He is a very intelligent actor, very well trained. They’ve got a great company of people replacing all of us. I don’t think they need me, frankly. It’s flattering to be talked about, but I just don’t think they need me. I understand, by the way, that they have just finished shooting and they’ve got a wonderful actor, Mr. [Benedict] Cumberbatch, who has a great reputation in the UK and I think is going to build a reputation here in the United States very quickly. He’s in the movie. I think they’re going to do just fine.”

Nimoy with Quinto in "Star Trek"

Nimoy also discussed similarities of Fringe (always a bubble show – now headed into its final season) and Star Trek (which struggled to get three seasons) (via Collider):

[Star Trek] did very poorly in the ratings, but eventually, the show started to become more and more popular until it became a news story where stations were carrying the show at various hours and various time, and sometimes in marathons on weekends, and 6:00 pm, every night in syndication. The same thing could happen with Fringe. I can tell you that when Star Trek was put on a Friday night, which is a date night and not a good night for a show like this, it did very, very poorly. Fringe has the same kind of audience, which is a very intense and committed, but small audience. I think it’s commendable that the people at FOX decided to honor that commitment. Now, I understand that the show does particularly well in DVR recordings, but I don’t know how that works or how they measure that. What that means is that people who are out on Friday nights, record the show and watch it some other time. That’s a sign of the commitment to the show.

The actor also talked about how Star Trek director (and Fringe co-creator) helped talk him out of retirement one more time (via SFX):

"I’m a sucker for a good role. JJ Abrams is a friend of mine and he calls and I take his call. When I was asked about coming back this season, I said I thought the mystery of William had gone away by the end of last season because it was pretty clear he was a decent guy. I thought where are we going to go now? And it was explained to me that we’re opening up a whole new can of peas, so to speak, and William Bell is being recreated as something else. That intrigued me and I was ready to go back to work."

And for more Nimoy and Fringe, here is part 2 of his chat with John Noble (we posted part 1 yesterday).

Tune in to Fox at 9PM tonight to see Nimoy on the season finale or Fringe.


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I agree

Friday nights killed two great Star Trek shows. It’s like putting a loved one in a hospice.

A better answer would have been “no, those reports are not accurate”.

Sorry. That sounded a little depressing, even for me. But I think it’s an apt comparison. Friday nights are the time when a network or station knows only the hardcore will follow it. Then after a few months, it’s gone. Hopefully it will have a great ending.

Anthony, you seemed to infer in an earlier story that Nimoy was in the sequel. Are you still reasonably confident of that, or are you backing off that a bit now based on this? Thanks!

He just needs to say “I’m not in the movie”. He has danced around it without clearly saying one way or the other.

@6 “He just needs to say “I’m not in the movie”. He has danced around it without clearly saying one way or the other.”

Yea, I would have expected more from Nimoy rather that him using the “Shat-Bufoon Fan Teasing Shtick” that we get with Shat prior to every movie.

This is a spoiler-free article and talkback. We have reported on Nimoy’s on the record comments.

If I feel the need to run a new spoiler article or update to any previous ones, we will do that as a seperate article.

Nimoy has never said. I am not in the movie. Till he or J.J or Bob Orci say for the Record that Nimoy is not in the Movie.
Nimoy is in the Movie.

#6 and 7. You are right. Nimoy and J.J keep dancing around saying that trek does not need me or some other thing’s. But they have not said he is NOT! in the movie.

Bob Orci must love this little Conspiracy with Nimoy. Lol.

No it doesn’t need him, but it would be better with him.

Shat can’t be happy about this — he lives for the attention he gets about whether he will be in each movie. Not being in the conversation at all must be killing the poor guy.

Nimoy’s current comments are spoken like a politician. Answers the question without answering the question. Or, as they say, if you blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bulls**t!

Oh, Mr. Nimoy. You sneaky little Vulcan.

I have a growing suspicion that this crew will experience different facets of time, and in one facet Kirk Prime is alive, and he is with Spock Prime…
It would not surprise me in the slightest to see a scene with William Shatner…
We will see…

He says a lot of words but says nothing. We’re still at the same stage. No new info either way. This is getting ridiculous.

C’mon guys, let’s cut the crap already!

I want you to want me…
I need you to need me…
I’d love you to love me..
I’m beggin you to beg me…

I LOVE FRINGE! Great show! It will be sad to see it go. I’m not a fan of shows running until they’re desiccated facsimiles of their former selves but this show still has plenty to mine. Certainly more than 13 episodes more. Oh well, at least Bad Robot will be able to wrap things up the way they want to – with a bang and not a whimper, I imagine.

star trek:11 is on the FX channel this sunday-monday for anyone who intrested check your local listings. watching fringe right now…

Is casting a spoiler? I mean really? A spoiler is “Spock Prime dies in the sequel”, not “Nimoy cast as Spock Prime again”. The marketing department will make it clear if he’s in it or not well before we see it. Casting isn’t a spoiler. A plot point is. Surely! Are we living in such a bubble of non-information because of JJ’s top secrecy that we consider an actors involvement to be a spoiler? Even Fringe, who kept William Bell’s return a brilliantly hidden secret in the last episode, put “Special Guest Star Leonard Nimoy” in the credits well before his appearance.

I wonder who is going to do the voice of the computers????

The Shat’s still kicking ass and Nimoy’s still doing Spock after all these years. Who would’ve guessed?

Sherlock is the Villain and he could be great at it.

There is evidence that early speculation (of the 5 possibilities from the 1st OSTs) by Orci is perhaps not possible.

The photos show no makeup to indicate is anything but a human being. So that rules out Talosians or Klingons.

He probably is not Gary Mitchell or Trulane either because they had superpowers that allowed them to attack without the use of hand to hand combat. Mitchell however could have had his powers temporarily subdued as it was in Menagerie but doesn’t seem likely.

There aren’t any known cast members who might fit the Cyrano Jones (or Harry Mudd) fit but you never know but Cumberbach isn’t playing him.

So hey the really big clue was that Benecio was wanted for the role. And the makeup for Cumberbach shows him with really dark hair and he as a human being supposedly can measure up to Spock in a fight which a normal man normally cannot.

So Khan speculation is well founded.

Nimoy has already filmed his scenes…TRUST ME!

Marvelous FRINGE tonight, made all the better by Nimoy’s performance as this alt version of Bell. Love the last scene with “Bell”! ;)

25 You seem reliable; let’s do trust falls!

Nimoy really doesn’t need to be in the new movie.

He gave ST09 such a beautiful bon voyage…. now they should sail on their own. I admire Nimoy’s contribution and talents very much (and meeting him three years ago was a tremendous thrill), but I really don’t wish to see him serve as the new movie’s ‘training wheels’ again. It felt appropriate the first time. Twice would be redundant. I’m also glad he recognizes the need for the new cast to stake their own claim.

Good for him. ;-)

it seems to me that ignoring the fact that there are two Spocks in this parallel universe would be a cop out for a Star Trek film. It would be the sort of writing challenge those putting the story together would welcome, I would think? Has nothing to do with whether the film needs him, maybe he’s making those statements because he’s afraid it’ll be taken as him trying to steal the spotlight from the other actors of the film? I don’t buy the smoke and mirrors act, I believe Spock prime will poke his head in the movie even if it’s ever so brief.

“Fringe” didn’t need Mr. Nimoy, either. It sure was a better show for having him, though!

agreed it doesn’t need him. the transition between the old and new crew in star trek generation was perfectly smooth, while spock’s role in star trek xi was painfully awkward and made little sense. it felt so forced like they had to create an entire movie plot just based around bringing spock on screen for 5 minutes.

26… It was a great episode, but it would have been better if “Letters of Transit” a few episodes ago hadn’t spoiled the suspense about Astrid and about Olivia’s condition.

What’s this about Fringe going into it’s final season? What??

Fridays killed two great Star Trek shows, a great sci-fi/western called Firefly, a great show based off of Terminator, and a great Stargate show (I believe the damage was done before they moved it to Tuesdays though moving it certainly didn’t help). Oh yeah, and they may have killed Sanctuary on Fridays to. I’m sure there are going to be other shows I’ve forgotten, and many great sci-fi shows after Fringe that air on Fridays will probably get canned early to.

Here’s my opinion. Sci-fi just doesn’t work well when put up against the heavy hitters during fall/spring – reality shows, crime dramas, medical dramas, etc. If you continue with the model you’ve been using, it’ll always be just that core audience, with a few minor exceptions like Once Upon a Time and LOST that find a bigger footing, a small, core audience yes, but an extremely loyal audience.

In my opinion, networks should air most sci-fi shows in summer/winter. That way you don’t have to worry about major competition. Nothing else is on thus people are looking for good stuff to air.

Just look at how well Sci-fi Fridays did for the Sci-fi network in the past when it was in the summer. Look how well their Powerful Mondays did for them last summer (though it didn’t stop Eureka from getting the can, it didn’t have to do with ratings), look how well Falling Skies did for TNT, their FIRST sci-fi show in YEARS!

I guarantee you that if networks try this strategy, airing sci-fi in winter/summer instead of fall/spring that ratings will be better and fans be happier.

Otherwise networks can just forget about sci-fi because more shows will get canceled and people will stop watching. Just look at how many genre shows were canceled this year already that were new shows.

Still, I think Fringe will have a great ending and I’m glad that Fringe, like Chuck, got a final season.

No spoiler, but Fringe tonight was amazing. It wasn’t difficult to figure out what was different from the way the episode would have run had it not been picked up for the final 13—- and it would have been a very satisfying ending.
Glad we get to go a little further on the ride with this group.

22 my guess is that there is enough recorded dialogue of Majel as the computer that they can reuse recordings done for prior series and movies. I mean its not like the computer is having a heartfelt emotionally charged interactions with the crew.
So re using computer dialouge previously recorded of Majel wouldnt be that much of a stretch

FRINGE – such a waste of an excellent story concept that could sustain many more seasons easily if given proper attention by the writers and producers. The season finale was obviously cobbled together and written as a possible series finale. Nimoy was a welcome addition, as always, but his character was once again wasted with almost no meaningful interplay with the great John Noble character. Noble was wasted as well. Shame. Nimoy has always portrayed a sinister theme well and seems to relish it. If Fox had not moved the show to the dead zone airing schedule and the owners of the show weren’t so busy developing other projects and thinning the talent pool, FRINGE could have delivered some top quality SF. Instead, we got “freak of the weak” episodes to fill in the gaps in the central storyline of the main characters, which was meaty enough to fill an entire episode every week if given proper attention and anyone cared enough.

Yeah, Leonard is definitely dodging the question. “They don’t need me” is not the same as “I’m not in the movie.”

I love Leonard to death, and I’m OK with Abrams, Orci and the bunch (so far) but I honestly don’t think these ambiguities are very nice or respectful. I feel a bit manipuated, and I don’t really care for that.

I don’t think these guys are trying to be disrespectful, but it sometimes feels like the aristocrats are tossing the peasants bread crumbs. Yes, guys, we know you’re in charge and we’re just slobbing fanboys. We get it.

So offer something up. It’s just getting sadistic at this point. Instead of getting me excited about the film, I’m just getting annoyed.

But we’re talking annoyance on an internet Star Trek movie site. Once I’m not present on this URL, I’m really not thinking about it much. Luckily, I have a very busy life. But I’ve been coming here more often lately and thus, been more annoyed lately.

And the trolls!!! Good Lord! Go ahead and express the fact you don’t like what you think might be happening in the next film, but until you really know, until you ACTUALLY SEE THE MOVIE, how can you judge it? Sorry, there’s some disconnect there that I don’t understand.

So between being jerked around by silly rumors and people who know better dodging around them, and the hating trolls, I find it difficult to stick around for serious talk. Some jerk always wants to hijack the topic and make it about their inappropriate rage.

Aye aye aye!

Oh, as for Fringe, I really like the show, though I think it has strayed often and blown some really good possibilities. Still, it’s usually a very fun show and the cast is great. Anna Torv is so cute I want to give her fatherly advice and protect her from creeps. Yeah, sorry, I’m so old I feel paternal toward her. She’s an utter babe, no doubt, but she really brings out the father in me. I don’t know why. I think it’s her vulnerability.

OK, that’s it. If you click on my name you can download one of the coolest Star Trek posters known to humankind ;-) Click on the link to the large size and you’ll get something you can probably print decently. The high res version was too big to post though.

Jessica’s eyes.
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr cold shrills as my late wife would have said…

Nimoy’s eyebrows showed no cuttage on his Fringe appearances, dropping the odds a bit…

Here we go again with Mr. Nimoy pussy-footing all around a very simple question. We went through this before with the question:
Does Spock die in Star Trek II? And he did the same thing then.
The answer to this simple question this time around is:
NO. I’m not in the next movie. Period.
Ohhhhhh, Mr. Nimoy, you are such a poor liar. I’d love to play poker with you.

As for the Friday-night-Nielsen-ratings-curse thing, I’m not so sure about the conventional wisdom. There have been many shows which were hits on Friday nights, and Wikipedia has a list of them.

Star Trek and Fringe did two things that ensured a winnowing out of their audience. One, is that they moved their time shot at least TWICE. Star Trek moved first to Fridays at 8:00, then to 10:00.

I don’t know why, but for TV audiences, this produces anger and confusion. Even today in the era of Tivo and IO digital cable and DVR’s, it annoys the heck out of fans used to “tuning in” at a certain time. I was talking to a bunch of sci-fi fans about another sci-fi show that had changed it’s time slot and the fans were livid. For me, I really don’t care, but I have not been as diligent about following Fringe into it’s various time slots as I was with Star Trek.

The other thing is to get so buried into storyline and canon and trivia, that new fans cannot possibly join the party because they don’t know the back-story. I’ve tried to get other fans interested in Fringe, but they just find it boring because they don’t know what’s going on.

The seeds of Star Trek’s demise were being sown at the BEGINNING of the second season, not the end of the second season. Instead of re-introducing the characters with some kind of origins show or going back to their home port of San Franciso (as Hornblower used to do) the second season led off with Mr. Spock’s wedding. Now if you weren’t a regular viewer, you would have no idea what to make of “Amok Time.” Sure they threw some red meat to the fans, and it was a great episode that should have aired, but it must have been very confusing to any new fans wanting to get into Star Trek.

It might have been more interesting to show what the world of tomorrow was like in San Francisco. After all, the 1965 World’s Fair and Expo ’67 were all about the future. People were in love with “the future,” their future, not Starfleet’s future. It might have been a way to get new fans into Star Trek. Show what the 23rd Century would be like and our heros’ places in it. Instead, we headed off to some strange planet for an obscure mating rite, involving a character that nobody but the fans really understood.

Syndication is a different bag. Often the shows were shown in random order and all chopped up. You just didn’t expect very much from such shows, as compared to a first run show, so Star Trek did OK in that format.

TV producers need to understand that the top of the season is a good time to re-introduce the characters in a way that builds an audience. A simple re-cap, like, “…last season on Fringe…” does little to bring in outworlders.

I guess this is why sci-fi anthology shows and shows with very simple concepts have always done better than continuing cast sci-fi shows.
The danger is always that you are creating a “cult” audience.

Wow nice wall of text!

Good grief, you guys! Did your parents answer your simple questions, such as, “Are you getting me a bike for my birthday?”: If not, were they pussy foots, politicians, attention starved neurotics? After all, it’s not like they’d have to have told you how many wheels it had, or what color it was.

If Nimoy says, “I’m in the film,” what then? JJ’s pissed, secrets are out, and you’ll pose the next line of simple questions. When he doesn’t answer them, he’s again an uncooperative whatever.

If he says “I’m not in the film,” it’s a let-down to some, well before they even see the film, and many will decry JJ’s idiocy for missing another great opportunity.

Consider the possibility that JJ wants leeway to still add or cut a scene with Nimoy.

Trek fans excel at posing no-win situations.

I’d rather watch the movie wondering if he’ll turn up, and be delighted when he does. If he doesn’t, I’m sure the film will keep me engaged, anyway.


What some of us have a problem with is the teasing “will-I-or-won’t-I” remarks by Leonard Nimoy. He could have easily have come out and said something like:

“I have no comment”, “I am not at liberty to say”, “I have signed J.J Abrams’ letter of secrecy”.

The fact that he’s been visiting the set recently numerous times and talking to J.J Abrams and the cast leads me to believe he filmed a short cameo.

Because if he wasn’t in the movie, he could have easily have said he wasn’t in it.

39: The eyeball thing was neat for sure. Somebody remembered Marty Feldman. Cool beans.

I love it. I hope Nimoy never let’s this cat out of the bag. Its quite entertaining, all these people, with this bizzare sense of entitlement, getting all pissy and bent out of shape about it. Pass the popcorn!

@46 Jonboc.

1. We pay their salaries.
2. We always show up. We’ve always shown up.
3. We showed up when no one else wanted them.
Of course we have a sense of entitlement.

It’s not whether they spill the beans or fess up or whatever. As #44 Red Dead Ryan says, it’s the way we are treated. We are (for the most part) adults, despite the juvenile analogy proffered by #43, NCM.

Frankly, I don’t get what all the secrecy is about. If a few spoilers reach the fan-boys, so what? The rest of the greater audience couldn’t care less. If it’s a good film, they’ll show up. If it’s a bad film, they won’t. At least a few sugar plums now and then might pique my interest between now and summer of 2013.

You naysayers are probably too young to remember open sets. On the show, the fans were actually allowed on the set to watch the filming of Star Trek TOS. And some fans even made it to the set of ST:TMP. Remember how fans were even invited to be extras in ST: TMP?

Jerry Lewis, in his really great book “The Total Film-Maker” states that
“all of my sets whether on location, or in the studio, are open to the people.”
Of course today, I guess there are more concerns about theft of intellectual property (and real property) and security concerns, but what strikes me is the gracious attitude towards his fans.

I don’t know if you sat through all of the credits of “The Lord of the Rings.”
they go on and on for ever, set to the lush music of the score, because Peter Jackson wanted all of the fans of the LOTR fan club to be NAMED at the end of the film.

There is an ocean of difference in the way the fans of Star Trek are treated today. We are treated as if we had some kind of infectious disease.

@47. VulcanFilmCritic – May 12, 2012

I fell in love with Trek, as a kid, in ’76. I’m no youngin’, but you’ve obviously been longer, more thoroughly steeped in Trek fan culture and, given your comparisons, I do appreciate your perspective. Yet, I just don’t know how you make the argument without sounding entitled, etc…

RDR, as with VFC, I better understand your point, but I’m not convinced Nimoy’s trying to play with anyone. He’s probably guilty of not taking ‘all of this’ as seriously as we do; but that’s not to say that he doesn’t take fans seriously. In interviews, he seems genuinely respectful and appreciative of our ilk. Perhaps he doesn’t know the effect he has on some of us.

@44. Red Dead Ryan – May 12, 2012 “The fact that he’s been visiting the set recently numerous times and talking to J.J Abrams and the cast leads me to believe he filmed a short cameo.”

RDR, did I miss some news? I was only aware that he’d visited the set once.


I’d bet my bottom dollar Mr. Nimoy visited the set more than once. He loves the cast and crew, and I think he knows that he doesn’t have many years left in this world and he wants to remain involved in Trek in some fashion, even if he doesn’t put on the pointed ears again.

Anyway, I didn’t mean he was DELIBERATELY playing us. I think he was being diplomatic to a fault. I just think he could have said what he said in fewer words and straight to the point.

Well, as usual, I sit firmly between the factions. The annoying rumor game won’t keep me from seeing the film, of course. Maybe they filmed a scene and are waiting for fan reaction so see if they should include it.

If that’s the case, I agree with Nimoy in that they don’t need him. That being said, IF he is in it, I hope it’s not just gratuitous, but a scene with some significance. There must be a good reason to have Spock Prime back again. Anything less than that would be a cinematic stubbing of the toe.

47. We don’t pay their salaries. If every single one of us managed to stay home and not go see a new Trek movie (which would probably involve heavy doses of tranquilizers), the movie would do just fine. It would probably still break records.

And even if they did rely on us, it doesn’t mean they owe us anything except a quality product.

“Frankly, I don’t get what all the secrecy is about. If a few spoilers reach the fan-boys, so what? The rest of the greater audience couldn’t care less.”

Thing is, the spoilers don’t just reach the fan boys. This Nimoy story was on the Guardian’s website soon after it first appeared here. The Khan stuff was all over the place. The movie’s out in a year — if they’re still not telling us anything a week before it’s in theatres, well, then I’d be a little concerned about what that might mean.

The thing about the secrecy is that, while they’re filming, they can’t just pick and choose which spoilers leak out — either you keep everything locked down or you don’t.

And I still don’t think the secrecy on Trek is any different than the secrecy on other big genre movie shoots. People point to the Avengers, but the actors had PR people with them during pre-release interviews, telling them which questions they could and couldn’t answer…