After Patrick Stewart revealed last week that a new Star Trek script was in development with the promise of a Jean-Luc Picard return, many fans took to social media to wonder aloud if William Shatner would be reprising his most iconic role. Unfortunately, Shatner revealed through a series of posts on X that he has no hope for Captain Kirk to appear, as he believes Paramount+ is erasing the character.
As supporting evidence for this claim, Shatner shared a promotional image from Paramount+ celebrating the storied legacy of the iconic franchise, which features a myriad of characters from the many films and shows, with no Captain Kirk to be seen.
This is surprising to many fans as Star Trek couldn’t be what it is today without the work of William Shatner in The Original Series which began airing in 1966. In the years since the franchise has expanded, Shatner has always championed the show for its innovative writing and boundary-pushing themes. According to Shatner, executives responsible for marketing and helming new Star Trek projects feel threatened by the Kirk character, which may be what prompted Paramount+ to omit the 92-year-old actor’s visage from the Star Trek banner.
Before entering into a tirade about the state of the Star Trek universe, William Shatner took a moment to applaud the return of Patrick Stewart in the franchise, expressing that a new Jean-Luc Picard outing is “wonderful news.” Shatner also derided fans who took issue with the announcement by sharing an animated GIF that reads “Haters gonna hate” over visuals of Snow White chuckling heartily to herself. Several fans made negative comments following the announcement due to feelings that the third and final season of Picard perfectly concluded the retired admiral’s story.
Despite having not shown up in a Star Trek outing since 1994’s Star Trek Generations, William Shatner has recognized that his own portrayal of James T. Kirk must be to blame for rubbing others the wrong way. After all, Shatner has acknowledged the existence of the character within Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, where the character is played in multiple iterations across several timelines by Paul Wesley. Shatner previously appeared alongside Wesley at the 2023 Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a celebration of the long-running franchise and its wide array of incredible performers.
Concluding his Star Trek rant, William Shatner stated that the lack of recognition from Paramount+ doesn’t bother him, though he did feel the need to call out the executives for their hand in attempting to erase the past. Luckily, Shatner has moved on to other projects in recent years, including joining Jeff Bezos on a brief but fascinating trip to outer space.
To continue his newfound thirst for adventure, the Star Trek actor has recently announced his partnership with Space2Sea for a once-in-a-lifetime cruise across the Antarctic. Tickets are mostly sold out for the trip already, though the cheapest packages started at over $30,000 per room. For those hoping to sail the high seas with William Shatner, you may need to begin saving for next year’s trip.