There was recently a small flurry of news regarding Star Trek 3, it involved potential start dates, a script, and possible details about the story, among other things. Part of the reports making the rounds included the nugget that the script, as is, contains a scene that reunites Leonard Nimoy’s Spock with William Shatner’s Captain Kirk. As you can imagine, such an idea sparked a ton of interest and this story spread far and wide across the Internet. There was even some back and forth between Shatner and (probable) director Roberto Orci on the matter—Shatner accused Star Trek 3 of using his name to create hype and said that he hadn’t been contacted about anything. Overall, it felt like the situation was blown way out of proportion (no one ever said he had been contacted or was in, just that the script contains this scene), but that last part of his complaint is now moot, as the star confirmed that he has now been in touch with production.
Shatner appeared at the Wizard World Nashville convention over the weekend, and according to ComicBook.com he said that discussions about a possible role have in fact now happened. And it was none other than producer and director of the first two films in the rebooted franchise, J.J. Abrams, taking a moment away from helming Star Wars: Episode VII, to make the call.
Abrams reportedly said, “I’m calling because the director of Star Trek, the next movie, has had an idea where you might be involved, so I’m calling to find out whether you would be interested.” To which Shatner replied, “It depends on what you do with the character, but I would be delighted.”
This feels like a big step for their relationship. When Abrams was getting ready to film his 2009 version of Star Trek, there was reportedly a cameo for Shatner in that script as well (I imagine every Trek script has a scene like this, just in case). But that fell apart and Shatner loudly and publicly criticized Abrams and the new film. The two sides have since made up, but it never felt exactly warm and fuzzy after that.
Shatner went on to say this about Star Trek 3:
So the news is out that they have an idea that they want Leonard and myself…they might want Leonard and myself in it. But I would love to do it. But how do you get me fifty years later into the movie? I mean how do you rationalize it. I know it’s science fiction, but even I couldn’t come up with an idea. So that’s the news on that.
Part of problem is, obviously, that Shatner’s Kirk dies in Star Trek: Generations. But given all the toying with timelines and realities in the new installments, you have to imagine they can come up with a workaround. I’m sure they can come up with a reasonable way to make this happen, and wouldn’t it be awesome to see Shatner and Nimoy on screen together in a Star Trek movie again?
Star Trek 3 could begin filming as early as February 2015, and Paramount reportedly has their eye on a summer 2016 release date to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Star Trek broadcast. We don’t know much about the specifics of the story, but word is that it picks up with the Enterprise crew in the middle of their five-year mission into space. Finally. Earth played far too big a role in the first two films, so if this is true, it will be nice to finally get to the parts that fans actually want to see.