JJ Abrams Originally Wrote Shatner into Star Trek

JJ Abrams is quickly becoming one of my fav guys in Hollywood and TV. He does so much that you start to forget that all those things you like happen to be his fault. Sure he isn’t flawless, but he is hitting it better than most. So when I found out he was in charge of breathing life into the withering husk that is Star Trek, I had a lot of hope.

Hardcore Nerdity tipped me off to an interview with JJ Abrams at AMCtv that addresses his new TV Series Fringe as well as how he dealt with Shatner and the new Star Trek.

Q: How do you react to William Shatner’s ire at not having a role in the movie?

A: It was very tricky. We actually had written a scene with him in it that was a flashback kind of thing, but the truth is, it didn’t quite feel right. The bigger thing was that he was very vocal that he didn’t want to do a cameo. We tried desperately to put him in the movie, but he was making it very clear that he wanted the movie to focus on him significantly, which, frankly, he deserves. The truth is, the story that we were telling required a certain adherence to the Trek canon and consistency of storytelling. It’s funny — a lot of the people who were proclaiming that he must be in this movie were the same people saying it must adhere to canon. Well, his character died on screen. Maybe a smarter group of filmmakers could have figured out how to resolve that.

I honestly hope they take canon and bend it over without the benefit of lube and make it their bitch.

A staple of Star Trek is frequent annoyingly casual time travel (we just press this button.. what?) and NOTHING bad ever comes of it. They always fix it. I really want to see the intrepid crew of the Enterprise in their later days suddenly beig forced to chase some turd across time to stop him from altering the past and FAILING.

Then tell the story from the very beginning AGAIN. That way it strangely stays in Canon (since it was an event in canon that resulted in a change in history) and still manage to Reboot the series.

But I found it interesting that Abrams tried to accomodate Shatner and even found some way to include him, but finally had to admit it just didn’t work. Little spoiler for you people on the outside of Trek fandom. Shatner’s Kirk DIES in Generations. Sorry. No more green alien sex for him.

I like to hear that JJ Abrams is not willing to sacrifice quality of his work just to accomodate a cameo that even he thinks is well deserved. Shatner may have had his dark years, but lately I think he has really come around and impressed me more than once (watch Boston Legal) in his work and public appearances. I wouldn’t have a problem with him in this film provided it made sense.

Apparently it didn’t.

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6 thoughts on “JJ Abrams Originally Wrote Shatner into Star Trek

  1. I really didn’t need to be reminded of Kirk’s death dammit! To think that I thought he’d die on the job.

    Personally I think that Mr Abrams is telling a few porkies. I reckon they’ll squeeze the Shatner in the new film,. I like the idea by Ransom. Perhaps instead of at the beginning of the film, it could send shivers down our spine (once again) as he spoke those immortal lines at the very end.

    PS: I am not a trekkie! Honest!

  2. Well last time I was talking to Star Trek it didn’t have very nice things to say about you either.

    I didn’t want to get in the middle of this, but you two are good friends of mine and I would like to see you get along.

    For me?

  3. TrekMovie had a followup quote from Roberto Orci – one of the writers –
    ‘UPDATE: Not a flashback?
    In the comments section below, Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci elaborated on the Shatner scene:

    Alex [Kurtzman] and I did indeed come up with a sequence for Shatner that we wrote before the strike, although technically it wasn’t a flashback.’

    My guess is that Shatner was offerred a cameo that occurs at the end of the movie when Spock returns to his time to find Kirk alive post-Generations.

    Alas that is not to be as The Shat wants a bigger part. That is not the purpose of the movie so unfortuntately Shatner has lost out on any participation.

    Sad but I agree with JJ’s et al stand on this.

  4. I’m happy either way. I’m sure they could have found a way for a Shat cameo to make sense, but it sounds like the Shat talked himself out of the movie. Oh well.

    One thing I thought would be sweet was is to have Shatner come in and just do the voiceover during the opening credits: “Space, the final frontier etc” That would really tie in the new movie with the rest of the franchise and please some of the diehards.

  5. The problem is that Shatner is unwilling to bend when it comes to the movies he is in. This is a guy who for several years whored himself to the highest bidders. Now I think he is just full of himself because of his renewed success (Boston Legal). In truth it would be cool to see a Shatner cameo in the new film. It is my understanding that this movie will fit with cannon due to the fact that it is an alternative time-line. BEST possible way to reboot!

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