William Shatner Doesn’t Expect To Return To Star Trek, Accuses Paramount+ Of “Erasing” His Kirk

The big surprise news from last Friday was Patrick Stewart revealing a script was in the works featuring the return of Jean-Luc Picard in a Star Trek movie. We have not yet heard from Stewart with details, but there’s been a reaction from another iconic Star Trek captain (and admiral), William Shatner.

Shatner applauds the return of Picard, says his Kirk is being “erased”

After the news broke about Stewart’s revelation, fans were divided with many feeling that the third season of Picard already wrapped up the story of Jean-Luc Picard. On Twitter/X, William Shatner was asked about this negative reaction and he said he thought “a new movie with Sir Patrick is wonderful news,” adding a “Haters Gonna Hate” GIF.

After a follow-up question asking Shatner if fans will see him play James T. Kirk again, he indicated he didn’t expect that to happen. As proof, he used a screenshot of the “Star Trek Collection” page on Paramount+ which features images of characters from the various shows, but not his James T. Kirk. For Star Trek: The Original Series there is an image of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock.

Shatner continued, pointing out how this lack of Kirk in promotional imagery has been “going on for years,” suggesting that perhaps there are people “threatened by the Kirk character” from the 1960s.

Shater is aware that the character of Kirk is part of the Paramount+ series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds; he even appeared on stage with actor Paul Wesley at last summer’s Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. So he does seem to think there is something specific about his version of Kirk that is at issue. The Star Trek veteran wrapped up this Twitter commentary by saying he wasn’t bothered by all of this, but he still did call out a “bunch of self righteous strangers thinking they are sending a message by erasing the past.”

The consummate pitchman then moved on to promote his next big adventure, a special cruise to Antarctica.



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Hey Bill, maybe you should not have:

1. Accepted that screenplay with your horrible death scene that even your co-star Malcolm McDowell said was unacceptable.

2. Made fun of the character in an international broadcast of the academy awards.

PS: And Kirk has been recast in SNW, so he lives. Nobody’s erasing anybody

PS2: Patrick, you’ve had your closure too — no offense, but I don’t need to see additional Star Trek with you in it at this point. Thank you for an outstanding career in Star Trek

I read about how if shatter would not have accepted Kirk being killed then he would not have been written into the script

Yes but that was Paramount’s demand IIRC.

Apparently, my comment was a touch salty and got stuck in the filter. An opinion is one thing, but a badly abused dog whistle is over the line. There’s no universe where his Kirk is being erased.


Shatner played the scene, but he didn’t seem super “accepting” of it. He’s always made a huge deal out of the Kirk line “I’ve always known I’ll die alone.” He retconned his own death in his “Shatnerverse” Trek books (obviously not canon).

“[Shatner] retconned his own death in his “Shatnerverse” Trek books (obviously not canon).”

“His” Shatnerverse books: Yes, they are his in the sense that they have his name on them. But I have worked as an editor in book publishing for 45 years and know something about the business. Does anyone think he actually wrote those? I don’t believe it for a minute.

That said, I enjoyed them.

it was written by Judy and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, with Shatner dictating ideas and plot points using a tape recorder.

I have to disagree. Shatner may have a massive ego but it is no secret that Paramount and Shatner do not get along. Shatner is not saying that P+ is erasing Kirk, but that they are erasing the OG Kirk. I noticed a problem with the promos long before this article.

I will say tho that Shatner’s Kirk is featured prominently in the video ads for Trek on P+.

I came here to comment on the videos too. Shatner is featured repeatedly in those ads. While he could be featured some of the print ads, his Kirk being featured in the videos promos proves that there is he is overstating things.

Not only is he featured prominently in the video ads, his likeness is the first one I see in those ads.

His likeness as Kirk is still in a bunch of promotions that I’ve been seeing.

Yes I agree. In video ads. But not in these.

So you think this are the reasons for this? Ridicules

No, I don’t think they are trying to ridicule him. As others have said, they’re still using his likeness in some promotions.

It seems to me they just want to heavily promote their new shows rather then being an attempt to erase history.

William Shatner will always be Kirk to me. It’s a shame he is absent from the poster but TOS is available and not going away and will outlive many of the later shows.

What’s TOS?

You know… Those old scientist

It’s the thing you wouldn’t be here without.

Well, maybe he just needs to accept that Spock is more iconic than Kirk. Actually, even Uhura may be. And Nimoy’s Spock is on that lineup as the representative of TOS, so nobody is trying to eliminate it. While Kirk may be the hero in many stories there, he’s “just” a white male human, while Spock is different and unique and therefore more iconic (and Uhura as a black woman also was esp. for the times).
After all, when people want to symbolize Star Wars by iconic characters, they usually go for Darth Vader, Yoda, or R2-D2, and not Luke – another white human(-looking) male. While he’s the hero of the story, he’s less iconic. Just like Kirk with TOS. There are many other examples. Shatner should just accept that.

They can say or think whatever they want about Bill Shatner but i have no doubt the people in charge of Trek see the Kirk character as “Toxic”

Agreed, 100%. As all leading men from most every show and film from decades past are now. Guess I am to be considered ‘toxic’ as well, at almost 60 years old. And I could care less. Now, back to watching my beloved original Twilight Zone episodes :)

Based on your comments, I would definitely label you as toxic, yes, Danpaine.

 And I could care less.

That means you care.

Sorry, but that’s an overreaction at best and sheer revisionism at worst. I have five years on you, and can perceive TOS as being the product of its time while still revering the character of James Kirk as a hero of my childhood and young adulthood. For all of Shatner’s legendary narcissism, no one is trying to “erase” anything.

“…and can perceive TOS as being the product of its time while still revering the character of James Kirk as a hero of my childhood and young adulthood.”

I’m not getting your point. I do the exact same thing you do, and never said I agreed anyone is trying to erase him. My point is that more often than not, the traits of leading men from decades past are now often considered ‘toxic’ in today’s society, by what are considered today’s norms. I’m not interested in arguing, just making an observation.

If you want to label TOS and the character of Kirk as, say, sexist by today’s standards — well, sorry to say, that’s just a fact. ‘Toxic,’ on the other hand, is at once a much vaguer yet more emotionally loaded descriptor. Who do you see using it, specifically? As you said, not trying to argue, but I haven’t previously seen that term used, in fandom or outside of it, and I do keep in touch.

I’ve never heard Kirk called toxic anywhere either — and I don’t think he is. And while there are arguably sexist elements of TOS (although women are generally treated as professional equals, despite the miniskirts), I’ve never heard Kirk called sexist, either.

My instincts tell me I should stay out of this, but some of the “sexist 60s stuff” from TOS can be a real deal breaker for some modern viewers. I’m not wild about it myself, but I’m the kind of fan that likes to go to the beginning of things and observe the process of world building.

Not everybody loves vintage television.

It’s an interesting question for anyone like myself who grew up with TOS, can see how much the world has changed (and been reflected in various iterations of the franchise as it did so), yet still probably takes much of the sexism of those “Mad Men” years for granted, even now. Truth be told, even TOS itself was affected by those enormous cultural shifts during its run: there’s a world of difference in attitudes between “Mudd’s Women” in 1966 and “Is There in Truth no Beauty” in 1969.

Correct! He wouldn’t be written that way today. If these people were intellectually consistent, they wouldn’t be saying how progressive TOS was in its day.. they’d be trashing it for their views of it through a modern lens.. instead of mining it constantly for material to rehash in their own show.

Well, what part of “for its day” did you not understand? Or so led you tout the values of, say, “Turnabout Intruder” as an example of how progressive TOS was by modern standards?

Sure, that’s why they’re using the character on SNW when it’d be so easy not to do that.

Which of course explains why he’s in strange new worlds.

WHOOPS! :-)) LOL^2

Do you have a citation for that? If not, then it’s nothing more than speculation on your part.

But they shouldn’t. Kirk is not the womanizer, shoot first ask questions later type character he has been demonized as over the years. That’s just the ultimate Trek cliche.

Agreed. He nevertheless is still very much a ‘60s TV action-adventure hero, though. Seriously, what else could he have been?

Yep, it was simply a sign of the times.

Really? You think Kurtzman sees Kirk as toxic?


Lmao what an absolute herb.

Grow the hell up.

Don’t you have an intellectual pillowfight to start with that Upper Decks dude?

Thank you for elevating my posts to the intellectual level, but I sense sarcasm… I’m taking a break. The poor guy is fragile and others have taken my place.

I’m happy to use whatever adjective you feel suits your interactions, as long as we’re clear that they (were) pillow fights.

On that we’re clear and I never intended them to be otherwise.

You boy’s little playdate doesn’t need my involvement.

Behave now, kids, and please share your Hi-C sippy cup with each other.

You guys remember each other from thread to thread? I sure don’t lol.

Honestly, I’m not keeping track of who likes or doesn’t like my posts. Most of you kind of blur together.

As a rule, I don’t either. Those two go at it so often they should go halfsies on an OF.

Now now, children, no need to fight. Let’s just all agree that Shatner is a bloated gasbag and move on.


A little strong, but I agree with the jist of your point

What a melodramatic and childish response.

Good for you if you think calling Shatner a “herb” is more appropriate and mature. I don’t need or care for your approval.

Did you want a treatise on why I think the man’s a clown?

It’s absolutely possible to love a thing and not treat it like it’s sacrosanct.

Did I ask for one? Do you feel the need to justify yourself? No. You’re entitled to your opinion and I don’t need to know the who’s and why’s of it. My only issue is your disrespect. I’m well aware of Shatner’s persona and that he has his naysayers. This doesn’t mean he deserves insults from anonymous forum posters.

Why do you spend all your time fighting with and yelling at people here, Comic Book Guy? Take a breath, kid.

I’m neither fat, bald, a kid, read comics or speak with a lisp. Keep your condescending attitude to yourself, girl.

Damn. You are so freakin’ toxic.

You think I was going to let your disgusting insult pass? If you can’t take it don’t dish it. Why are you involved in this anyway? I was replying to Amok, this doesn’t concern you. You’re the one who had to put her two cents in this. This became toxic once you involved yourself. Go away and stay there.

This is the kind of stuff I just find weird if I’m being honest.
Shatner is never gonna see these posts, and in the unlikely event that he did he wouldn’t give two shits, but here you are getting offended on his behalf.
You do get how that’s kind of unhinged, right?
Why give it the energy?
You could be doing something productive with your time.
In fact I’m gonna go do that right now.
Peace out!

What kills me is that he has this “holier than thou” routine he uses on me when I get a little unhinged like this. What a hypocrite!

Translation: I absolutely do need and care about your approval.

Stick to fashion. You’re not a psychologist.

What a melodramatic and childish response.

Yes, and you’re not being childish. It’s obvious you don’t like Shatner and got upset because I defended him. Don’t project your misdirected anger at me.

I love Shatner, so I have no idea what “obvious” thing you’re talking about. Also, nothing that happens here has ever made me upset or angry, since this is an anonymous message board, not something I ever have emotional reactions to. You sound unhinged right now, so I wish you well.

Well from past posts I thought you didn’t like Shatner. My mistake then. What you say is true, I’ve never seen you angry and you’ve always been level headed. This is why I was surprised how you reacted to my post to Amok. They were being rude… I concede that I can be impulsive. Some behaviors set me off but I need to calm down. Unhinged is not a good look and this is just an Internet board… I do apologize for my earlier comments.

OMG, can you imagine how hard you would come down on me if I posted like you are doing today?

Double standard!

I’m just replying to bullshit. And I’ve held back. There are a few of your recent posts that I could have commented on… I can admit that sometimes I go too far but if people want to be in my face with attitude they’ll get it back. Tough. And if they want to insult Shatner behind their keyboards and others are getting in a huff about it, well no that’s not acceptable and I’ll push back. If this makes people unhappy I don’t give a rat’s ass. Deal with it.

Lol, noted

Geez just my $0.02 but this entire thread needs to be moderated, me included.

Yeah. I find it pretty funny though that way that dude constantly slams me when I get a tad unhinged and start “fighting” numerous people here…lol

Some people have a different set of rules for themselves versus others.

You seem awfully upset for someone who isn’t bothered. Just like Shatner.

Granted I’m upset. I’ll always call out bullies or unwarranted rudeness. People think they can get away with bullshit just because they’re behind a keyboard. What can I say, this behavior triggers me. And then people are in my face giving me attitude because of it? No, it doesn’t work that way.

It very much appears to work that way.

Agreed. Uncalled for.

Not really necessary to call him that, surely? It’s just about Star Trek, nothing more serious.

From his POV he’s not been offered a substantial return engagement to the franchise since Rick Berman improbably asked if he wanted to play the danged chef on Enterprise 20 years ago. Since then, his cameo in the 2009 film was cut before he was ever approached, Nimoy, Stewart and Mulgrew have gotten high profile returns and his castmates Takei and Koenig have done voiceover cameos. Two different younger versions of the character he played have been cast as well. I don’t blame him for feeling pushed out as the franchise keeps chugging along to great success, even though his Kirk is still central to its marketing and there’s no concerted effort to put any distance between them.

He did agree to kill off Kirk and he’s festering and running his mouth a little too much and of course he’s always had an ego, but I am happy to cut him some slack, and he’s brought me too much joy to just disrespect him out of the blue like this for something so trivial.

Shatner’s Kirk has been and continues to be an inspiration for me my entire life for a number of important reasons, and the standard by which all who have and will portray the character will be measured.. I still enjoy watching TOS, often. However, he chose to accept the terms of ‘his’ Kirk dying over 30 years ago, and the way they took him out in GEN was abysmal. He’s in his 90’s and has had an extremely successful career. Respectfully, maybe he should take his exit and place in the franchise a little more gracefully. I for one have no desire to see him in the role anymore, but nonetheless he’ll always be ‘my’ Kirk. Time moves on.

Exactly my thoughts! Whenever I’m in doubt I ask myself “What would Captain Kirk do?” and I got the answer!

Me too. I love classic Kirk, and so glad that he’s back!

But I don’t connect Shatner to Kirk. Shatner is a fraud and a conceited, overinflated drudge peddler. Glad he’ll never be back.

Him never coming back has nothing to do with his Kirk being excluded from the promos tho. Leonard Nimoy’s Spock literally can never come back and he is there (as he should be)

His Kirk died in canon and I totally agree with you that it was a mistake on his part. Him wanting to be in one last movie and his ego about TNG taking over the movies got in the way IMHO.

But this isn’t about that. His Kirk DOES live on in reruns and he is right that the promos should reflect that and don’t. But as I said above, the video promos do feature him prominently.

I have no problem with it, but here’s a post about why I’m upset. Yawn. Very over Shatner.

He has a point, but I think they just don’t see the value in promoting a past show that has no value to their new brand of Star Trek. Which is hilarious when you consider how much they mine it. That will change after he passes. Then they’ll include his image on everything and talk about how important he is. Paramount+ Trek is extremely superficial.

I think they just don’t see the value in promoting a past show that has no value to their new brand of Star Trek.”

They are promoting it in that image, they just didn’t use Kirk.

I didn’t mean that it was all or nothing… but they don’t do much to promote anything from that era. Nichelle Nichols, Leonard Nimoy are the only two featured. Both are main ensemble characters in their own current shows.

But that makes it even more weird. They are promoting the OG versions instead of their own.

Actually, I have wondered personally why Kirk seemed to be more limited in recent Star Trek advertising. I understand that Spock is an important character, almost synonymous for many with Trek, but Kirk was as well.

It did seem like they were perhaps setting something up with Daystrom Station containing Kirk’s body.

I think somehow, it has been easier to recast Spock, which is…. fascinating. So that’s how they shape the legacy of Star Trek. And it makes sense too.

Because Kirk is not a main character in any present show.

Neither is Picard anymore (unless that movie becomes a thing) but I promise you the image promotions for him will never go away just like Spock.

Matalas talked about it like that was an easter egg that took on a life of its own.

They might do something someday, but it doesn’t appear anything is planned.

But the Daystrom thing was Terry Matalas’ idea. I don’t think Paramount knew anything about it TBH. Certainly no one else did. I know I didn’t but who am I lol

Maybe Kurtzman should be the one to ask about the omission of Kirk from the promotional materials, since he is currently in charge of Star Trek.

As far as Shatner’s Kirk being brought back, Terry Matalas set it up in Picard S3. Again, it would be a question for Kurtzman. If he wanted Shatner back, I am sure it would happen.

Somehow, I doubt that Kurtzman personally oversees the day to day at Paramount Global’s advertising agencies.

All Matalas set up was that Section 31 retrieved Kirks (severely dehydrated) corpse and stored it on a space station. How that could be reanimated to explain thirty years of aging is a head scratcher; setting that aside, if a decision was made today to shoehorn Shatner in somewhere, that would take years to come to fruition, years Shat likely doesn’t have.

Honestly and I may be wrong but I don’t think Kurtzman has anything to do with it. I know there are lots of ppl on here that don’t like him and I don’t like some of his work but he comes off to be as a very kind and sincere man.

I wasn’t placing any blame with Kurtzman. I just think he would be a much more appropriate person to ask about the return of a character, or certain version of a character or even how a certain version of a character is promoted or not, than an actor who has zero say in those decisions.

That’s totally fair too. I just mean, and again I may be wrong, but even tho Kurtzman is the new Berman I’m not sure he has anything to do with the promotions department. Again, I don’t work there or in the industry so I could be totally wrong. Maybe he does get final approval on this stuff? I guess that would make sense. :)


Genuinely thankful for all versions of STAR TREK shows, but outstandingly so for the Original with William Shatner’s James T. Kirk as the lead.


Shatner will always be Kirk. No matter how badly the IP gets mismanaged by the studio.

But he’ll be dead soon. He won’t be Kirk then.

Yep. And plus. Shatner has never been Kirk. He was an actor who played him.

Kirk is cool. Shatner is the opposite.

That’s an opinion and Shatner had more to do with the formation of Kirk than Roddenberry did IMHO

Neither is Nimoy but he is present in the ads.

Erasing, Bill?? Sorry, but not sorry, enough be being such a f**king snowflake. When you latch onto a dog whistle that gets tossed around be people imagining the confederacy or christianity is being erased, you’d better buckle up for some blowback. Google JTK, and literally millions of hits come back, most of you, so there’s no godd**m universe where you’re being erased. I know it’s not fashionable for those tossing around “erased” to actually take any responsibility for their actions, but it was your fat ass that cashed the check for Generations, and you’ve been more than happy to take a piss on the occasional Trek hand that has generously fed you these last few decades.

Yeah, this struck a nerve. I know you’ll never see this, but just shut the f**k up, and enjoy your cruise.

Glad to see more fans coming around to see him for what he really is. Meanwhile, he and a lot of fans here are starting to sound like the alt-right, “Trek is woke now” crowd. Those people need to take a hike.

This isn’t the same thing at all as what you are describing. Kirk’s image is literally being erased from promotional material. He is stating a matter of fact, not a dog whistle.

Incorrect. It’s not being erased. As I pointed out, a quick Google search reveals numerous images of Shatner in promotional material through the decades. Not one single piece of it has been “erased”. Shatner arguing that his image should be on current promotional materials is simply his enormous ego talking. He’s been running his mouth about that for a long time now. His inclusion, or lack of it, is not evidence he’s being erased.

If you’re going to try and defend dog whistles, try harder. I’ve had this conversation elsewhere where people are defending the confederacy by claiming American history is being erased (the dog whistle example). It’s grievance arguments, or a defense of racism, and easily shredded. Your opinion isn’t evidence. How strongly you may feel about Shat’s imaginary grievance isn’t evidence, it’s just your opinion.

“Through the decades”

We aren’t talking about through the decades. We are talking about now. That is the difference. I don’t work there so I can’t back this up, but promotional material isn’t created once and done. It goes through numerous versions and I have to believe that at least one of those would have had Shatner’s Kirk in it. That is what I mean by literally being erased.

Exactly this. Boohoo, he’s not in a couple of posters and he’s claiming he’s being erased and hinting that wokeness is the culprit? (note: Nimoy is also a white dude).

He’s said a few things in recent years that have subtly pointed in this same direction.

I’ve sided with Shatner over the years in most things – including his refusal to take the high road with Takei – but this is truly disappointing.

Exactly this. Boohoo, he’s not in a couple of posters and he’s claiming he’s being erased and hinting that w***ness is the culprit? (note: Nimoy is also a white dude).

He’s said a few things in recent years that have subtly pointed in this same direction.

I’ve sided with Shatner over the years in most things – including his refusal to take the high road with Takei – but this is truly disappointing.

(Sorry — I reposted because the word w***ness got caught by the filter)

Not to take anything away from the character of James Tiberius Kirk but, Shatner is pretty much a prima donna. I’ve read that he had a clause in his contract for Star Trek: TOS that no one would have more lines than he in any given episode there. Further my understanding is the original script of Plato’s Stepchildren originally had Spock kissing Uhura. The story goes when Shatner found out, he demanded it be changed and that he be the person kissing Uhura. For history sake I think this was a better choice. A kiss between a white human and an African American human has far more impact than a kiss between an alien Vulcan and an African American woman. Is anyone trying to erase Shatner? I don’t know I’m not worried about it and I don’t think he should be either.

There is no doubt that Shatner is a prima Donna in my book to be sure. But for all the TOS stories we have heard over the years, especially from Takei, I think people forget to keep something in mind. Unlike all the rest of the Trek shows (except Discovery), TOS was NOT an ensemble cast. It only starred William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, and later Deforest Kelley. The rumor you are speaking of in fact comes from the fact that fans loved Spock more than Kirk and Shatner did get jealous of that. But honestly if you had a job and your co-worker got all the attention for doing the same job you did, how would you feel?

Please. No one’s “erasing” Kirk, and I doubt TPTB could if they wanted to. The characters’ legacy is cemented; few characters have achieved TOS Kirk’s level of pop culture saturation, and rarely a day that goes by that I don’t see a newcomer to the franchise go giddy over the Kirk & Spock dynamic. If folks don’t have a whole lot of time for Shatner being an grumpy old coot, that’s a different issue.

Shatner has officially become unhinged.

Good god, they rotate out cast members on these things every year. He’ll probably be in whatever the next ad campaign is. And I think this image is from….2 years ago almost? Way to keep up with the times, Bill & “outraged” fans.

He knows the dog whistle he’s blowing and it gets him attention.

Normal people don’t get too worked up about a house ad.

Bill was replying to questions online and flat out said it is what it is. That doesn’t sound like outrage to me. And I can’t speak for fans but I’m certainly not outraged. Believe me, I’ve got more important things to worry about right now. I’m only here in fact because I like speaking with fans about Trek.

I’d upvote this if I could.

William who ?

do people really not know this isn’t Shatner running this account? it’s a friend of his, multiple actors have already confirmed this.

Kate Mulgrew also doesnt run her account, it’s her assistant Amy Imoff

No, they don’t.

Actually I didn’t. Thanks for informing me.

Trek is Trek….

Old Kirk Yells at Cloud

My favorite part is how he repeats over and over that it doesn’t bother him yet won’t stop crying about not being asked back.

I mean, Will, honey, baby, you realize if you hadn’t been a jerk all these years they’d have brought you back decades ago, right?

My favorite part is how people keep asking him if he will ever return as Kirk. Like he has a say so in that decision beyond accepting an offer or not.

Maybe he would stop crying about it if people would quit asking him about the possibility of his return as Kirk, instead of you know, asking the people who make the decisions about the character and what is done with it.

Yes this exactly I agree with you. All Shatner is doing is answering fans. People are making it seem like he is jumping on X and just shouting to the cloud that he is pissed and how everyone is a jerk. That is not what is happening.

The only ones doing the repeating are the fans asking him over and over.

he could have been involved in the various new shows and films, but he wants an obscene amount of money and the majority of dialogue.

Who is yelling? He is answering questions.

I can see why people find him off-putting.

The powers that be have brought the Kirk character back twice now since Shatner’s last appearance. I don’t think they’re threatened by him.

TOS is represented in both those ads by Leonard Nimoy, who is probably Star Trek’s most popular character. You can’t put everybody on those ads, since it’s just meant to be a sampling.

And I still think we might be jumping the gun with that Picard script.

I don’t think they are threatened by him either. But I do think they don’t like him. And to be clear I mean Shatner, not Kirk. People here keep confusing the two when then mention Kirk is back in the movies and SNW. Kirk is back. Shatner is not.

LOL the one time they don’t forget Sisko, they forget Kirk

No too late to de-age him for 1 last adventure but it would be fan service & Indy 5 was awful I doubt Shatner’s return would be any better he was a product of his youth!

Honestly I just don’t see the need too. I agree it would just be fan service and Trek will get along fine without him. I do agree with him tho that his Kirk deserves to be in the promos.

The time to fix his demise in Generations was around 2006 when he made the direct tv commercial.

Indy 5 was fine. But it’s not the best template to bring Shatner back, and you’d be hard pressed to see him do what Harrison Ford could anyway. I’ve no idea what kind of offer Shatner would even entertain, but I think his point is partly that he’s not even been asked since the Enterprise days. That’s partly down to Kirk being dead and hard to resurrect without convolutions (though Terry Matalas clearly wouldn’t mind trying, it seems).

William Shatner is and always will be a legend. His Kirk is the one I think people will remember.

Agreed! TNG may be my #1 overall Star Trek show, but Bill Shatner’s Jim Kirk is my #1 captain in all generations of Star Trek.

Shatner = Kirk.

I always say Chris Pine and Paul Wesley play James T Kirk. William Shatner IS James T Kirk. He defined the character as much if not way more than Roddenberry did.

I agree about Pine, not sure who Wesley is supposed to be playing cos it’s not James T Kirk

Agreed too. Nothing against the actor cause I blame the writing more (and I like SNW) but he does not feel like Kirk at all to me. And he and Pesci don’t have any of the charisma together that Shatner and Nimoy did. but to be fair, that is a hard barrier to cross as they were the ultimate Hollywood bromance.

Sure, Shatner simply is the original Captain Kirk. Everyone else after him is by fact a copy of the original. The other actors are doing a really good job copying (especially Pine imo), but it still remains a copy. In fact they are not only copying the fictional character Kirk but indeed very obviously Shatners personality he defined for the character. By nature a fictional character always contains the spirit vibe of the actor which plays him.

Ya exactly. I remember when Pine played Kirk in ST ‘09 and he said he played Kirk based on Harrison ford and I was like WTF?!?!? But by ST Beyond he actually channeled Shatner quite well. But that first movie, damn, what an insult!

People already have their minds made up about Shatner’s Kirk and Bill’s acting ability or lack thereof – so nothing more to add.
One thing I can say, Leonard Nimoy not only seems to be revered by all his TOS castmates, but Nimoy was the one from TOS who transcended the original series and the movies to be part of Berman’s TNG universe and then Kurtzman and JJ’s NuTrek in Star Trek XI and XII. Nimoy seemed to be well respected by so many, connected and not connected with Star Trek, so no wonder why he has become the central TOS figure in the Trek Universe.
To top it off, Doohan, DeForest Kelly and Takei also got Berman Trek roles in TNG, the TNG pilot and Voyager respectively. (NOTE: At least Kirk and Spock TOS clips did appear in DS9’s Tribble episode.) For someone with an ego, it is understandable if Shatner is a little bitter about his being ignored by Berman, JJ and now Kurtzman.

Bill’s acting ability? He’s a two time Emmy winner. Sure he has his own unique style but he has acting chops without a doubt.

Nimoy is revered and beloved by all. No questions asked. He was a gentleman and a scholar and is greatly missed.

Shatner was in Berman’s TNG portion of Trek. He was killed off IIRC because Paramount wanted it so. And because he was killed off Orci couldn’t find a way to get him in Kelvin Trek past a video recording cameo. And Shatner is famous for not wanting to do cameos.

But we know Orci planned to resurrect Shatner Kirk for ST3 for 50th, the kelvin timeline under threat from a (presumably Soran like) villain with an ancient timeline altering device, Kirk&Spock in a dilemma to save the timeline. But instead it was binned for being ‘too star trek’ bc Paramount wanted it to be all actiony like Guardians of the Galaxy with a near identical ending!

Welp I know Orci planned to have Shatner in it but I was never clear on whether this would be OG Kirk or the future version of Pine’s Kirk.

Orci said it was OG Kirk, (otherwise what would be the point, I doubt Shatner wouldve been interested in playing old version of Pine Kirk)

Shatner was in Generations (and was paid more than anyone for that film) and was asked to be in Enterprise but they could not afford him, also JJ wrote a part for him in Trek 09 which never happened for different reasons!
So he was hardly ignored! Please remember their would be no Star Trek without Shatner that is a fact.

Reeves Stevens wanted him to reprise Mirror Tiberius, Berman wanted him to play Chef.

Uuggh ya Thank God Shatner turned that down! Like Chef? SERIOUSLY?!?

Keep in mind, money was not the only problem. Most of the time Shatner does not like doing cameos.

Points well made RE JJ and Generations.
As for no Star Trek without Shatner, it is hard to say. Would there be Star Trek without Roddenberry? That is a hard NO. What about Patrick Stewart? – Once again hard to say. Who knows who would have ended up with the roles of Kirk and Picard.
What we can say is that TOS and TNG would not have been the same, maybe better or maybe worse. Maybe TOS would have made it to 5+ seasons with someone other than Shatner and maybe TNG would have not lasted past 1 season.
I am however happy that Shatner was part of TOS and very happy Stewart was part of TNG and there to convince Shatner to appreciate and embrace the fandom instead of mocking them. Both of them have benefited greatly – and so have the fans.

Shatner wasn’t ignored by Berman, he was in Generations and there were at least negotiations to bring him back for Enterprise.

Shatner has a long history of being difficult and expensive to work with so I think all of those opportunities have been blown. I don’t think it’s too late considering how ageless he seems, but I’m sure it’s a tough nut to crack at this point and time is ticking.

Completely agree with Shatner he is intentionally being erased by paramount because you can’t have a heterosexual alpha male character anymore in case it offends a certain demographic.
Just look at the absolutely horrific casting of Paul Wesley n the role of Kirk, which is nothing like the character he is supposed to be playing! (Kirk without his manhood)

Look I agree with Shatner too but let’s not turn this into THAT argument ok? Pike, Spock and Picard are ALSO Heterosexual alpha male characters.

They are Heterosexual but would you say Pike is an alpha male? The Jeffery Hunter version was but Anson Mounts version is certainly not.

Remember the episode where he yelled at Erica pretty hard when she got out of line and wouldn’t shut up and told her to stand down? That was pretty Alpha in my book.

Just because he is a thoughtful man doesn’t mean he can’t be alpha when he needs to be.

Also I completely forgot Sisko who is the most “alpha” captain of them all.

And I do not mean this because Erica is a woman but a subordinate.

There’s thoughtful and then there is not commending the ship with any authority which is how he appears to me! Just look at the cliffhanger at the end of season two where he has no idea what to do

I agree about Sisko! Such a great character

Whatever you say, bro.

Yeah, I’ll never forget the emo flop on his bed as he whines about the responsibility of command over martinis with his doctor.

I think you missed the point of that scene

That might be the dumbest take I’ve ever heard.

Which part is dumb please ?

The idea that straight “alpha” men are being erased, as if they aren’t the most overly represented group in media.

They certainly have a problem with men! Just look at the bridge on Discovery and SNW

Of the major characters who are usually on the bridge, Michael and Tilly are women, Saru is a man, and Adira is non-binary. Of the minor bridge crew characters, there are a few women and a few men.

If you go beyond the bridge, there are also Stamets, Culber, Book and Grey. Their are more men on Discovery’s cast than there women on Voyager’s.

I did notice they took him out of the advertising after he criticized the new shows. They (Paramount) can do what they want — none of the new shows has matched the popularity or influence of the original, so he has nobody to compete with. They didn’t even want him in TMP – Roddenberry had to fight with the studio. Doubt they need to push TOS that much to get people to watch, anyway.

There’s nothing like the original.

Kirk is the character and anyone can play him shatner is just one actor who was not even gene’s first choice to play Kirk and only went with shatner cause he was relatively unknown at the time and could not ask for a percentage of the rights to the show unlike his first choice which was a way better actor jack lord

Regardless of whether Gene wanted Carlton Heston first really isn’t the point. Chris Pine and Paul Wesley play James T Kirk, William Shatner IS James T Kirk. IMHO he did more to define the character than Roddenberry did. Shatner’s mannerisms and acting style and likeness and such define Kirk more than anything else. Shatner is to Kirk as Christopher Reeves is to Superman. Even if Reeves wasn’t the first.

Not one part of this is true

Wait what? They didn’t want him in TMP? I never heard this? All I ever heard was Nimoy wasn’t originally supposed to be in it because he himself didn’t want to return.

Paramount didn’t want the original actors in it at all at first. This was discussed by the actors themselves at conventions during the late 70s.The book, Return to Tomorrow, which covers TMP productions, discusses how Paramount specifically wanted a fresher, newer actor as Kirk, even though they relented on having the original cast. The book description suggests this wasn’t a negotiating strategy on Paramount’s part. They really didn’t want Shatner and Roddenberry had to strenuously intervene. Needless to say the fans weren’t enthralled by all this.

Wow, than you for informing me of this. I knew they weren’t thrilled about Roddenberry’s involvement but I never knew they didn’t want the TOS cast back. I guess you learn something new every day!

Return to Tomorrow, Jones, p.14, excerpt from Roddenberry interview. I think the Cushman book covers this also. At one point they wanted KIrk killed at the end of act one. As for not wanting the originals, this was well known at the time. Heard the actors comment on that at conventions as a kid.

I thought that was a Phase II thing Kirk was going to be a guest star and the new Captain was the Captain. Decker? Like Nimoy was being replaced with Xon.

That’s how I remembered it too but I could totally be wrong???

There is only one Captain Kirk. And it’s not Paul Wesley.

Spot on.

Chris Pine?

Actually IMHO the way Pine’s Kirk is written he is the least like Kirk between him and Wesley. Also literally because he is the alt universe version.

Kirk is a character anyone can play don’t forget that just like bond from James Bond or the doctor from doctor who the actors come and go but one actor does not get to represent the character forever

Tell that to Paul Wesley

Nimoy was and still is more popular then shatner in the fanbase as nimoy always got far mor fan mail for his role as spock during and after tos was being made and shatner always hated it being less popular then nimoy

That’s entirely true but Shatner is not saying here that he should be there instead of Nimoy.

Yes he is that is how he always said it when complaining about it that since he was the lead he should get the most fan mail or the most representation it is all ego with shatner that is why he does not speak well of any trek production he is the main focus of
Hell he even said as much about the movies when it came to 5 since it was his film he thinks it is the best out of the bunch

He said he should have the most lines. He never said Nimoy should never have been there. And Shatner doesn’t think 5 is the best of the bunch, he thinks his script was altered by the studio which is why it ended up the way it did.

I remember during an interview, Nimoy was asked about rumours detailing Shatner’s sometimes questionable actions on and off set.

Of course as a gentleman, Nimoy graciously tried to stand up for Shatner as he explained how actors in the 1960s often fought to position themselves or maintain their lead roles, simply because most actors were fighting to make it in Hollywood. That is why Shatner did the things he did and said what he said on the TOS set – actions which sometimes rubbed certain cast and crew the wrong way.

It is no wonder why Nimoy was so revered, both by his TOS castmates and by today’s Trek universe.

What the hell is he talking about? That picture has one character from each show, and TOS is represented by Spock. Is he also saying that Quark, Harry Kim, T’Pol, and all the other dozens of main cast members who aren’t in that picture are being erased?

Well, it is worth pointing out that Quark, Harry Kim and T’Pol weren’t the lead starring characters on their shows either. So, yes, it is a bit odd that his Kirk was the only lead to be omitted from representing the show he was on. I mean, they have Archer, Burnham, Pike, Picard, Sisko and Janeway. All captains representing their shows, but no Kirk for TOS.

You wouldn’t feel a little left out if you were in his place when asked about it?

Well, Picard is there for Picard but its Geordi for TNG. But none of those other shows feature the most iconic and legendary Star Trek character in addition to the series lead. Obviously Spock has to represent TOS, because he’s freakin Spock.

Yes and Kirk is freaking Kirk. He has earned his spot in history regardless of whether Spock has as well.

Sure, but if they’re only using one character from each show, then its got to be Spock. He’s practically Star Trek’s mascot.

It wouldn’t have killed them to stick Kirk in there with Spock. They were a duo after all.

He was never as popular as Spock or nimoy as nimoy got far more fan mail during and after tos for his role as Spock then shatner got as Kirk that has always been a issue for shatner is that if he is not spotlight his ego can’t take it

He was my childhood hero, and not Spock, so there’s that.

That still is not the point. This isn’t about Shatner’s ego. Kirk deserves better. Even if Shatner in your opinion does not.

Whip said tho that they only have to use one character from each show? Where is that defined as a rule? Certainly for the OG Trek.

Are you seriously comparing Harry Kim to James T Kirk?

Shatner also has said a lot to show he hates people with autism in recent years and has made rude comments and hated on all Trek projects he was not part of and has a track record of being rude to fans at conventions and has a track record of only talking about Trek for a few minutes at conventions then going straight into his horses and horse shows so maybe they are just distancing themselves from him cause the kirk character has not gone away they brought kirk back in the last few films and in snw they still do comics with the kirk character and make action figures of the character so they are not erasing the kirk character from the franchise but distancing themselves from shatner

This isn’t about William Shatner. It’s about the OG James T Kirk. And he deserves representation.

Kirk is practically a regular on SNW now. He gets plenty of representation.

Like I said, “OG” James T Kirk.

Wesley is playing the original Kirk. Just younger.

He does have representation on most of the paramount+ site plus comics and toys just cause he is not on one or two banners that have limited space does not mean he is being ignored if that was the case they would not be making comics with tos Kirk or tos Kirk or tmp Kirk figures or featuring him on other advertisements or images for the show he’ll they put a big picture of tos Kirk on the banner for the cage episode that he is not even in on paramount+

I have fully admitted on this very article that Shatner’s Kirk is represented very well in the Video promos for “P+ the home of Star Trek”. But in these specific ads, he is not. That is all I am saying.

But Nimoy’s Spock is prominent in much of the promotional material…old wounds being open, Bill?

This is most likely the reason for these comments from him his ego still can’t handle nimoy being more popular then him even in death just like it was back when tos was being made and on the air and after tos ended up till nimoy’s death

Again, Shatner is being asked these questions by fans. It’s not like he is just randomly coming on X and posting this stuff.

I am not on X but I’m pretty sure that lots of people ask Shatner all kinds of questions and he probably doesn’t reply to all of them. So it’s his choice (or the choice of whoever runs that account for Shatner), he’s not being “forced” by a question from a fan.


Just want to be clear that on balance I certainly don’t dislike William Shatner. His portrayal of Kirk was a gift to me and millions of others, so what ill will can I bear him at this point? The man is larger-than-life, it seems, in all of his talents, charisma, and assorted interests, along with the narcissism and occasional pettiness. If there’s ever a movie made about his life it’ll need its own Rosebud.

Rosebud would probably be a neighboring pony from his youth.

William Shatner set the standard for Star Trek as the first captain. He carried the role quite well until Generations killed the character off. Chris Pine has done a remarkable job as well but until theres a new movie I think Chris will no longer be a part of that role. Strange New worlds is giving us a new take on the legend in a different way for a different time. Those of us who grew up on the original will always retain the fact that Shatner was the first. So I’m a little upset that people are saying his character is being erased. Its not. Its a new Kirk for a new generation but still the same type of character that was first introduced back in the 60’s.

Paul Wesley performance as Kirk is unrecognisable he has none of the charm or swagger of Shatner or pine, and I believe that is intentional by the writers! That is how Kirk is being erased

Why on earth would anyone take anything “he” says on social media seriously?

Didn’t we all conclusively figure out that he has a team of shitty, very opinionated handlers running all his accounts putting words into his mouth?

If Shatner doesn’t say it explicitly in an interview, it’s not worth waking up to talk about. The accounts are known for saying controversial things and being suspiciously “hip” and terminally online for a 92 year old man.

That said…

I did notice they’ve been going out of their way to portray “James T. Kirk” as any version of him but Shatner’s. The most strange example of this being in the recent animated “Very Short Treks” where they used 70s TOS animated series art of the original cast (as appropriate), but explicitly animated a VERY different version of Kirk. They didn’t alter Spock. I didn’t even realize it was supposed to be Kirk at first.

So there’s a kernel of something there, at least.

I’m assuming they want to have a future with Kirk and Spock and it doesn’t make sense (from their perspective) to keep promoting a version of an actor that won’t be playing the role again. Picard is still PatStew because he’s still playing the role, and they haven’t recast him. Yet. (shudder)

I mean, I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

That was not Kirk in that episode of very short treks it was just a random captain they even explained that later

It was so weird. It was almost over and I was still wondering who the hell it was meant to be. 😆

How very “Sunset Boulevard.”

Has anyone confirmed it’s actually Shatner posting the tweets?

Yes shatner that must be why I can, and just last month did, watch the entire original series along with the original animated series, on Paramount+.People whine about being erased or cancelled when they don’t want to face their own bad behaviour.

I don’t care about where the blame falls or what may or may not be happening in this pissing match. Letting Shatner die before playing Kirk again, especially in this new golden age of Star Trek, is a real sad travesty and a total loss for the franchise and the fans. I hate it.

They really should include him in something for the 60th Anniversary and put this to bed. I know a lot of fans do not want to see it, but I am sure some do. With all the chances they have been taking with the new shows, and all the new ideas why not. Let’s face it some of the new stuff has had some hits and some big misses. If this turns out to be an eye rolling idea that they use to get Shatner back, who cares. Perhaps the Kelvin movie with Pine if it ever gets made or an episode of Strange New Worlds or Legacy if it happens. If we are fortunate enough to have any of the TOS stars available for the 60th just do it. Paramount should market the history this time.

Shatner didn’t say this. He doesn’t run his twitter account or pay much attention to it. Spiner confirmed this in an interview. Whoever does run it enjoys picking fights online. This is just one of many.

Very true

I think while Shatners ego is certainly in play here, there needs to be a broader perspective about this issue and its just not only related to Shatner. I think in general in most modern continuations of classic franchises, there seems to be kind of a “oh and also….” feeling in terms of older or legacy characters played by older actors. I mean just look at the way Star Wars treated their original characters, for me they weren’t given the necessary respect they deserved in the new films, or the original characters from films like Exorcist, even The Terminator series turned Arnold’s character into a joke. This just seems to be a trend in Hollywood. Also Shatner and his “acting style” has been considered as a joke for many people (I absolute not agree with this) and therefore the ad people might not be taking Shatner seriously anymore. While I kinda get what Shatner’s trying to say, I think he may be a tad overreacting. There is a kind of “disrespect” towards old and cheesier things in general and the ad people might be thinking that Shatner personifies this aspect. Also the ad people need to cater to a newer audience and Shatner’s version of the character might not necessarily be tangible to attract these newer audience.

The irony is Last Jedi is the most respectful thing Disney has done with the Luke Skywalker character, the only thing with mythic resonance. Its not how i would have written it. But the whole scene with Luke leaving the hanger on Crait and the astral projection is probably the most epic scene in all of Star Wars. Its only falls apart when you realize its a Jedi mind trick and he isn’t there. Which lead to the audience to feel a sense of outrage, especially after Mark Hamill said he was playing Jake Skywalker, and he threw Anakin’s lightsaber over his shoulder and said i know only one truth, its time for the Jedi to end. earlier in the movie.

Odd, all three seasons of TOS are readily available on Paramount+. Eventually all of the TOS movies will be back. Erased? Hardly. Drama queen? Definitely. But i forget, it’s all about you Bill.

Oh come on Bill… you’re 92 years old (and doing well, btw). You’re my favourite Kirk and the only “real” one in my opinion, but at this point the youngest Kirk you could feasably play would be 75 years old or more… by which time your Kirk was well and truly, irretrievably dead (a plot point recently emphasised by “Picard”). Sure, they could bring Kirk back as a hologram, flashback, etc but even then he wouldn’t be 75-90 years old.

You had your years, you established a wonderful and beloved character, but it’s time to let it go. Nobody’s “erasing” your Kirk, you’re a victim of nothing more than the tyranny of time.

What does Shatner want at this point? His Kirk is dead, but given that this is science fiction, they could have plausibly brought him back. But not *now*. The man is about to turn 93, God bless him, and I don’t see how he could play Kirk again, unless maybe Pam Ewing has a dream with him in it or it’s a holodeck thing. Is this “de-aging” thing really that good?

How odd that the Old Kirk in “The Deadly Years” doesn’t look anything like Shatner does now. /s

The tech really isn’t there. The best i’ve seen is ILM on Rise of Skywalker Carrie’s Leia. And on Harrison in Dial of Destiny. It works for a scene or two at most. A cameo of a few minutes would work. The problem they had on the new Indiana Jones was old Harrison’s voice didn’t match his younger self, so Shatner would sound how he sounds now not as he was in 1994.

It wasn’t only his voice. Sometimes it was also quite obvious that the younger Indiana Jones was very much moving like the old Harrison Ford. I mean, I certainly don’t blame Ford for not being as agile as he was decades ago (and he seems to be in good shape for his age) but it definitely shows in places where he’s supposed to be younger.

Agreed skyJ. A scene here and there and I think they could pull it off. Dial of Destiny was a big gamble. It was pretty good but the length of time they had to do it was definitely a challenge.

They’ve been very respectful of the Kirk character so far in Strange New Worlds. Paul Wesley isn’t my favorite but its the same character earlier in the timeline. He also is obviously super important later on in the story becoming the youngest Captain in Starfleet. He isn’t being erased. They mention Carol Marcus. He is still the same Kirk. Not the same actor.

Isn’t Bill the same person who embraced Chris Pine and Paul Wesley graciously when they took on the role, are we even sure he runs his own social media because this is not in the same spirit.

Bill had his swan song twice. VI and Generations.

I love Shatner but it’s time to move on already Bill.