William Shatner Confirms Potential Role in Developing 'Star Trek 3'
Just last week, a rumor was going around the Star Trek 3 might try to get William Shatner back into the franchise he helped make a pop culture icon with some kind of cameo role that would team him up with Leonard Nimoy again reprising his role as Mr. Spock. Director Roberto Orci wouldn't confirm or deny the possibility, but now, thinking that the cat was officially let out of the bag, Shatner himself has gone and confirmed the potential return of Captain James T. Kirk. Speaking at Wizard World Nashville (via Trek Movie), Shatner was asked about his involvement in the new sequel, and explained how the role came up.
Here's a transcript of what Shatner said, referencing a previous attempt at a cameo in 2009's Star Trek:
"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 J.J. Abrams calls me. He called me in Los Angeles and I’m not there, so my assistant calls me and says 'J.J. called and is going to call back.' I said 'great' and hung up the phone 'I wonder what J.J. wants.' Because the last time I talked to J.J. 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 J.J.. 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, J.J.."
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 J.J. 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."
So there you go. That's official confirmation from the original Captain Kirk himself that there's a chance for him to reprise his iconic role. It sounds like Shatner will have to see the script first before making a final decision, and we're interested in seeing how the writers bring the old Captain Kirk into the mix. The original Mr. Spock is around in the new timeline because of a wormhole, so it's not hard to imagine that Kirk could end up in this timeline in the same fashion, but how would he end up getting caught up with his old friend and their younger selves? Here's hoping they have a good idea to make this a reality. Thoughts?