ARTICLE UPDATED: Today at Nashville Comic Con, William Shatner revealed that he has spoken to JJ Abrams [who is producing the next Star Trek movie] about how there "might" be "an idea" for him to play a part. We have full transcript of Shatner’s comments and video below.
Shatner: JJ Called me about Star Trek 2016 – There ‘might’ be a part
UPDATED: Article updated with full transcript and video
Today at his panel at Nashville Wizard World Comic Con, William Shatner talked about the recent rumor about a role for him in the 2016 Star Trek movie. It started when he was asked a question which wasn’t actually directly related to the rumor, but only if he had any interest in reprising the role of Kirk. Here is Shatner’s full answer:
The weirdest thing has happened and I think I can tell you because it is so weird. So I’m in Australia a couple of weeks ago…and JJ Abrams calls me. He called me in Los Angeles and I’m not there, so my assistant calls me and says “JJ called and is going to call back.” I said “great” and hung up the phone "I wonder what JJ wants?" Because the last time I talked to JJ was before the first movie came out and I went to meet him at his office and he said "are you interested in being in the Star Trek movie?" "And I would play the captain?" "No, no. Not as Captain Kirk. We have a young, handsome guy to do that." But he handed a script and I read it, and it stunk…It is like telling people “You know that little cute baby you got there. It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen!” So I didn’t say that to JJ. This is the worst script I have ever read and it is the next Star Trek movie and the beginning of the whole thing and it was awful! Turns out it wasn’t the script at all…He was assessing whether people were interested in being in the movie and handing them a dummy script because the final movie was really good, but it wasn’t the script that I read.
So now I get this call and he is going to call me back and a week and a half goes by and he never called me. I wonder if he is going to call me? Maybe it is a trick? Maybe it is TMZ? Could he be that cruel. So he calls and says "I’m calling, Bill, because the director of the Star Trek movie, the next one, has had an idea where you might be involved in it. So I am calling to see if you would be interested." I said "Oh, yeah. If it is meaningful." When Leonard was Spock in that first movie, I said to Leonard "you know when you go back in time you are still old." So it depends on what you do with the character. I said "I would be delighted." And he said "you can’t say anything." And I said "I wont even tell my wife. I wont tell anyone. I wouldn’t do that, JJ."
So I get back from Australia and it is all over the Internet, that the director held an interview and said they wanted Shatner and Nimoy to be in the next movie. I bet JJ is frothing at the mouth. So the news is out that they have an idea that they want Leonard and myself. They might want Leonard and myself . I don’t know what to do with it. How do you get me fifty years later into the movie…I know it’s science fiction, but even I couldn’t come up with an idea.
Here is a clip of that portion of the panel (via Jayson Bumbalough on YouTube)
So where does that leave us?
So Bill seemingly confirms that the team are considering putting him and Leonard Nimoy into the 2016 Star Trek movie. However, he did twice emphasize there only "might" be a part for him in the film and how the team has an "idea." So there still is no confirmation that Orci and Abrams have made a final decision. And of course Shatner and Nimoy have to agree to the roles.
As for why Bill is now spilling the beans (remember four days ago he was denying he had any contact), it appears he thinks that the original rumor reports came from an interview with Roberto Orci, when they were actually all citing an unsourced report. Bob Orci’s only comment about the rumor was that he couldn’t confirm or deny it. So Shatner has seemingly confirmed the rumor under the belief that it was Orci who blabbed first.
As always, TrekMovie will monitor any developments with this story and anything to do with the upcoming movie, so stay tuned.
Full Shatner Panel video
You can watch Bill’s panel below (video via BookGateway.com).