Before Star Trek Beyond started shooting, there was a rumor that original Kirk William Shatner would be making a cameo as the aged former Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. But ever since the movie wrapped production, we've heard little to nothing about any of the original cast showing up in this third installment of the rebooted franchise. Now, William Shatner has the definite answer as to whether or not we might see him back in the captain's chair. And the news doesn't sound too promising. In a new interview with SFX Magazine (courtesy of GamesRadar), the iconic actor had this rather blunt statement to make.
"There was never a conversation."
This comes after much speculation that producer J.J. Abrams had, in fact, approached William Shatner about being in the movie. But that doesn't appear to be the case. J.J. Abrams directed the 2009 Star Trek reboot and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness before moving onto Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And in those movies, he made sure to retain some connective tissue with the original 1966 series. He did this by bringing Leonard Nimoy back to play Old Spock, or Spock Prime if you prefer. And ever since that happened, people have been wondering why William Shatner never returned. Including the actor himself.
Fans haven't been shy about demanding to see Kirk Prime appear in a future Star Trek movie, and for a while, it looked like this was happening with Star Trek Beyond. But the sequel's original director Roberto Orci was fired, and his screenwriters were replaced, and the entire story was reworked. This presumably vanquished Kirk Prime from the plot line.
Star Trek celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, and part of that celebration will include the new movie Star Trek Beyond. Many believed William Shatner would be brought in to commemorate this landmark occasion. And we're not entirely ruling that out. Sure, William Shatner denies he's ever taken a meeting to appear in the sequel. But as we've seen with previous chapters in this saga, the actors are not above lying to retain a movie's secrets.
Some have speculated that Chris Pine will interact with his older self via a holodeck version of Kirk Prime. William Shatner hasn't appeared as Captain Kirk on the big screen since Star Trek: Generations in 1994, where he was killed off by Dr. Soran. William Shatner further had this to say about the possibility of returning in the rebooted franchise.
"It would have been interesting to see what their fertile imaginations could have done with somebody who is 20 years older than when Captain Kirk died [in Star Trek Generations] and how they would have explained the difference in appearance. But that never came up. I'm sure they must have thought of it one time or another but I never had a substantial conversation about replaying the role."
William Shatner did almost make it into the 2009 reboot. One of the script drafts contained a scene where Spock Prime gives the new Spock a pendant that contained a holographic Kirk Prime. That scene was never filmed. So, what you think? Is Star Trek Beyond better off without William Shatner's Old Kirk?