William Shatner Is Feuding With Paramount? Recent Snub Hints At Bad Blood Between Them
William Shatner was not featured in a recent Paramount+ marketing Tweet, sparking rumors of a feud.
William Shatner is no stranger to getting into feuds with other Star Trek stars, and now it seems like he could be feuding with Paramount, the company currently on the command deck for the franchise. Hollywood in Toto reported a recent marketing tweet from the Paramount+ streaming service, Shatner’s Captain Kirk was left out of a marketing graphic that featured characters like Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, Patrick Stewart’s Picard, Kate Mulgrew’s Captain Janeway, and more. When TrekNews pointed out the snub on Twitter, Shatner replied to the Tweet by saying “and that surprises you” with a crying laughing emoji.
It certainly seems like this isn’t the first time that William Shatner has felt snubbed by Paramount. His lack of surprise with the exclusion makes it seem like he doesn’t expect much from the company. It’s unclear how deep this bad blood goes, but it could just be a case of Shatner starting a feud (as he is wont to do on occasion).
William Shatner has not really been involved in Paramount’s official Star Trek projects for a long time, though he does still occasionally attend fan events and conventions. His Captain James T. Kirk character is undoubtedly his most iconic role, as the role still lives on in modern-day Star Trek projects, proving its longevity and popularity. Most recently, Paul Wesley has been playing Kirk on the series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Paul Wesley actually plays a younger version of William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk in Paramount’s Strange New Worlds, which takes place ten years before Star Trek: The Original Series. Kirk was a guest role on Strange New Worlds, but the role is being expanded to a recurring spot in Season 2, which is set to come out sometime in 2023. While Kirk is featured in Strange New Worlds, the series primarily focuses on Captain Pike, Spock, and Number One, who are played by Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijin, respectively.
Chris Pine plays the other modern version of Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ Kelvin Timeline films, which take place in a parallel timeline to The Original Series. Perhaps William Shatner’s problems with Paramount can be traced back to this film franchise since a cameo from Shatner as Kirk Prime was apparently cut before production began. The issue boiled down to Shatner wanting a large part in the film and Abrams, the screenwriters, and the producers only wanting to include him in a cameo role.
As fans of the film will remember, Leonard Nimoy appeared as Spock Prime in Star Trek, and Shatner was set to have a similar cameo at the end of the film. Since William Shatner and the production team couldn’t line up on the size of the role, this never materialized, and Shatner probably hasn’t been happy with Paramount ever since. After all, we haven’t seen him in any Trek projects since Star Trek: Generations in 1994 and several video games in the early 2000s.
In short, don’t get your hopes up if you want to see William Shatner in the long-delayed Star Trek 4 or any of Paramount’s other projects. It seems pretty unlikely that the two parties would ever come to some sort of agreement. Stay tuned for more Trek and Shatner-related news.