Is William Shatner in Roberto Orci's Star Trek 3 or What? | Fanboys Anonymous

Is William Shatner in Roberto Orci's Star Trek 3 or What?

Posted by Unknown Monday, October 20, 2014
This is a brief news item (or less, even, as it's just a rumor) so as such I'll try to keep it short, but it's an intriguing and potentially exciting tidbit from the Star Trek camp. Rumor has it that William Shatner will appear as Captain James T. Kirk, alongside Leonard Nimoy as Spock, in Roberto Orci's forthcoming Star Trek 3.

william shatner captain kirk uss enterprise star trek gene roddenberry leonard nimoy spock mccoy jj abrams
"You were perhaps expecting someone else?"
Shatner has been lobbying for a small part in the new Star Trek series since literally day one of J.J. Abrams' first installment back in 2009. The idea was shelved because (spoilers if you care!) Shatner's Kirk died in 1994's Star Trek Generations, the first movie to feature the Next Generation cast, and it was thought to be too farfetched or contrived to put him in the film. Even so, it still almost happened: Abrams nearly included Kirk as a hologram birthday message that original Spock, "Spock Prime," would have shown to nu-Kirk or nu-Spock, illustrating their future friendship. Again, the idea was shelved, because if you're going to have Shatner in your movie, might as well do it for real. 

Thus, Leonard Nimoy became the torch bearer, passing the Trek mantle from the original franchise to the new one. However, that first movie explained the concept by which these movies work: alternate timelines, admittedly a staple of the Star Trek universe. The timeline of the new Star Trek films was created because of Spock Prime following Nero and his crew back in time. That one event rippled throughout this universe and changed things. 

The rumor, then, is that Kirk can appear because of the cheaty possibilities of time travel and alternate futures. It's not that Kirk, the one who died; this is one who lived. Not only that, but apparently Leonard Nimoy will be playing an alternate version of Spock, not Spock Prime. And not only that, but apparently the rumored scene will have Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto's Kirk and Spock meeting their alternate-future selves. 

william shatner star trek five v the final frontier uss enterprise khan klingons spock mccoy chris pine
"Excuse me..."
Shatner himself has waffled about the truth to these rumors, and why shouldn't he? If they're true, he has what he wants, and fans will be titillated when the movie opens. If they're not, he's creating a buzz that the filmmakers are sure to hear, and people are titillated anyway. The real kicker, though, is that Star Trek 3 is timed to coincide with the Star Trek franchise's 50th anniversary. What better way to celebrate a franchise's history than by returning two of its original stars to their original roles? (I suppose you could just make a great movie, like the James Bond producers did with Skyfall and Bond's 50th, but maybe that's too much to ask.) 

Think Shatner will be in the film? Is it just a gimmick to put more butts in seats for the 50th anniversary, or can the filmmakers find a genuine reason to bring his character back? Hailing frequencies are open in the comments below. 

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