The UK’s Daily Mail caught up with the original Captain Kirk, where he chatted about the prospect of returning to do a Star Trek movie, possibly the one currently in development with producer J.J. Abrams, pitched by Quentin Tarantino. William Shatner made it clear he doesn’t know if the team is considering his involvement, but he suggested technology may be the way to make it happen:
J.J. has never indicated bringing Captain Kirk back and I don’t know how you would do that fifty years later. How do you rationalize my present appearance with what I was like fifty years ago? On the other hand, I have recently connected with a virtual reality company – Ziva – and they virtual realized me [with] 240 cameras all around shooting me. So, they now can produce my body and my face in any way, shape or form, including what I was like 50 years ago.
When asked if he would be interested in returning to the role of Kirk, Shatner made it clear he is ready.
Oh, lord yes. What an interesting role that was, and what it could be 50 years later. Captain Kirk is caught somewhere in the byways of the universe.
Tarantino is a great director and I would love to work with him. [To appear] would be a wonderful thing. The fans have been so supportive.
This isn’t the first time Shatner has held his hand up to let the powers that be know he is interested; just a few weeks ago he noted he would “absolutely” return to the franchise for Tarantino’s Trek.
Check out the full video interview over at The DailyMail.co.uk.
Using computer technology to de-age actors has been used a number of times in feature films in recent years, even going back to 2006 when Patrick Stewart was made younger in X-Men: The Last Stand. More recently we have also seen characters based on younger actors that were entirely computer generated, such as Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin in 2016’s Rogue One.
This idea of tech being the solution to bring Shatner’s Kirk back to Star Trek is something the actor has been talking about more and more recently. In August 2017 at Star Trek Las Vegas, Shatner made a comment about virtual reality, and we followed up with him in a November TrekMovie interview, in which Shatner first mentioned he was working with Ziva Dynamics, which is a Vancouver, Canada-based company that specializes in rendering realistic humans and animals for VR, animation for film, and more.
A spokesperson for Ziva confirmed that the company is working with Shatner, telling TrekMovie:
The concept of virtual humans is central to our business. We have had some very positive discussions with Mr. Shatner and a number of other potential partners in this field, but currently do not have anything specific to announce.
The process of scanning and building a character model for VR is shown in this video from Ziva:
There is still no indication that Abrams or Tarantino are considering using Shatner’s Kirk (of any era) for the film currently in development. But based on his recent statements, William Shatner wants it to be clear that he is ready to play at any age they need.
Keep up with all the news regarding the next Star Trek feature film at TrekMovie.com.