It’s almost like a ritual now: William Shatner goes out to promote his latest project and inevitably gets asked about returning to the role for which he is best known. Once again, let’s talk Shatner playing Kirk.
Shatner would love to return to Trek, but don’t expect Star Trek: Kirk
William Shatner is promoting the UK launch of the second season of UnXplained, the non-fiction series he hosts that “explores the world’s most fascinating, strange and inexplicable mysteries.” When asked by Metro UK if he would return to his Star Trek role, Shatner replied:
“If they wrote it and it made reasonable sense then I’d love to [revive Captain Kirk], I wouldn’t do a series. If the role was written properly and it wasn’t a cameo or gratuitous; being there just to show my face, I wouldn’t do that.”
While Shatner has previously stated an interest in returning to the role, this new comment stands in contrast to one on Twitter he made in March saying he was not interested in doing a series like Star Trek: Picard, and he felt “Kirk’s story is pretty well played out.” So, while he would return as Kirk, it seems clear he is not down for his own show. This week Shatner did talk briefly with The Guardian about Sir Patrick Stewart returning in Star Trek: Picard:
Patrick Stewart is a great friend of mine, but I haven’t seen Star Trek: Picard. I haven’t watched any Star Trek. I just don’t like watching myself on television.
Talk of William Shatner returning to Star Trek has been a constant since Captain Kirk met his final fate in Star Trek: Generations in 1994. There were some discussions about it during the run of Star Trek: Enterprise, but a deal was never reached. Shatner was very outspoken about his desire to follow Leonard Nimoy and participate in the J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek films, and a scene was actually written that would have included him in 2009’s Star Trek, but he was never approached as the scene was not approved by Abrams.
The subject bubbled up again while Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek concept was in active development at Paramount. Last year Shatner spoke enthusiastically about reprising his role for Tarantino. While the inclusion of Shatner’s Kirk was never confirmed, it was a strong possibility as Tarantino was very open about his love of the character and how Shatner was his entry point to the Star Trek franchise. However, now that Tarantino has “steered away” from that project, the point seems moot.
But with so many Star Trek television projects going on at CBS, and a film being developed at Paramount by Noah Hawley, as Spock would say, “There are always… possibilities.”
As for Shatner himself, he is not waiting around for Star Trek; at 89 he remains active with his own pursuits. He tells The Guardian:
I’m in a ferment of creativity. I’m making music and dreaming up new shows – I’m trying to sell two or three series to the networks right now. I’m finishing up a blues album that I started before coronavirus hit. At the same time, I’ve been working with a poet and a musician in New York. I perform the words on an iPhone and once I email it he writes the accompaniment, so I’ve got another album all ready.
The second season of The UnXplained hosted by William Shatner starts on Sky History on 9 June. See the trailer below.
Keep up with all the Star Trek celebrity news at TrekMovie.com.