It’s Star Trek Day, and what better way to celebrate than with a TrekMovie.com tradition: discussing William Shatner’s possible return in a Star Trek movie.
Shatner agrees it’s time for Kirk Prime
In April, Paramount Pictures announced they plan to release a Star Trek movie in June 2023, and earlier this summer we learned the “top secret” movie already had a script and producer JJ Abrams had tapped WandaVision’s Matt Shackman to direct.
William Shatner last appeared in a Star Trek film as James T. Kirk in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations, but his return has been a topic of conversation ever since. In a new interview with USA Today in honor of Star Trek Day, William Shatner was asked about the 2023 Paramount Star Trek project. He admitted he didn’t know anything about it, but said he is ready if called to service…
Question: First, the new Star Trek movie. No cast details. Is Prime Kirk making his first appearance in the new movie timeline? It’s time.
William Shatner: I agree with you. We need to see a Prime Kirk 55 years after the fact, and maybe 20 pounds heavier. How would you explain that? That’s their dilemma.
What you’ve just said (about the movie) is news to me and I’m delighted to hear it. But my (studio) connection is frayed. Not afraid. Although I’m a little afraid of being frayed.
This flirtation with a return to the franchise has become a regularly occurring thing ever since it was announced J.J. Abrams would be reviving the franchise with a new movie over a decade ago. Shatner has remained consistent for the most part, saying he would be open to a return as long as it wasn’t just for a cameo. It’s not clear what would qualify as not just being a cameo, as the actor said he felt even Leonard Nimoy’s inclusion in the 2009 Star Trek movie was “totally gratuitous.”
Star Trek cancellation was a low point
Shatner was also asked about a track on his new autobiographical album Bill that focuses on where he found himself in the summer of 1969.
Q: On your new album, you discuss watching coverage of the historic 1969 Apollo moon landing one month after the “Star Trek” cancellation. How was that?
Shatner: I had been to Cape Canaveral as Captain Kirk, with the red carpet treatment. I had signed something saying, “See you on the moon.” When our Star Trek ratings went up, they appropriated more money for the space program. So I felt a part of this. And there was Neil Armstrong, walking on the moon. This incredible moment for humanity.
And I’m lying on a bed in an RV, looking through a window at the moon, watching this on a little four-inch black-and-white television set on my belly. I’m in a pasture on Long Island doing summer stock theater. I’m at a very low point watching this high point.
The final episode of Star Trek (“Turnabout Intruder”) aired on June 3rd, 1969. The Apollo 11 moon landing occurred just a few weeks later on July 20, 1969.
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