William Shatner is one celebrity who isn’t shy about sharing his opinions. When it comes to his opinions about his Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy, that can often get uncomfortable. The two were born only a few days apart, became famous together on Star Trek, and their character’s names have gone down in television history as a pair. After Leonard Nimoy passed away, Shatner published a book about their relationship, titled Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man. Despite that, the pair hadn’t spoken for five years when Leonard Nimoy passed away. Nimoy had reportedly cut Shatner off after Shatner recorded him for a documentary without Nimoy’s permission. Their relationship history is, clearly, uncomfortable. However, this hasn’t stopped William Shatner from talking about Nimoy or his career. In a recent interview with Express, the former Captain Kirk shared his opinions on Leonard Nimoy appearing in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek films. They weren’t positive.
William Shatner wasn’t slamming the JJ Abrams movies. His focus was entirely on the appearance of Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek Into Darkness. He felt that the appearance of Nimoy in the movies was completely gratuitous and that there was no reason, storywise, for Spock Prime to appear. “They just wanted to put Spock in there and I didn’t admire that,” he told Express. On whether he would again appear in any Star Trek movies himself, the 90-year-old actor agreed that he would, conditionally. Again referencing his comments about Leonard Nimoy’s appearance as Spock Prime, he said, “If they could come up with a way of putting a character I played in a movie where it functioned as a point in the movie [and] made the movie move along, I’d be delighted.”
One of the things that makes these comments so uncomfortable is how it brings back memories of the relationship between Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner on the set of Star Trek. While Shatner has had feuds with many other actors and other professionals over his career, his fights with Nimoy on the set were fairly legendary. A lot of it reportedly stems from Shatner’s jealousy. It’s been said that as he played the captain of the ship, he felt that his character should be the smartest one. He would try to steal some of Spock’s lines on the show. He would become jealous of reporters visiting the set to interview Nimoy and cause problems for those reporters.
Why William Shatner is bringing up Leonard Nimoy’s appearance as Spock in the JJ Abrams’ movies now is unclear. He was doing the interview in order to promote his new movie, Senior Moment. Possibly, Express asked him about something with Star Trek to get him talking, but that wasn’t shared in the interview. It seems possible that the actor is simply talking about his career future, and returning to playing Captain Kirk was on his mind.
During the interview, he also discussed the long-rumored Quentin Tarantino script for Star Trek. While that project seems to have disappeared, William Shatner let it be known that he has talked to Tarantino several times, finds him to be a great guy, and thinks his work is fantastic. He would love to see an R-Rated Star Trek project from Tarantino, and if it made sense for his character, he’d love to be a part of it.