Saturday, December 15, 2007

Shatner Trek Cameo Possible?

Roberto Orci, co-writer of director J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated Star Trek movie, told SCI FI Wire that there's still a possibility that original star William Shatner may appear in the movie, though that's less of a possibility than before. The film is currently in production.

"There are two things," Orci said in an interview in November. "One, from our point of view, we are still hoping to find a way. Secondly, one of the difficulties that was brought up and discussed with Shatner when we all met him and pitched him ideas is that Trek fans are sticklers for their canon. [And,] unfortunately, Shatner's Capt. Kirk was killed in Star Trek VII [1994's Generations]."

There was no such problem bringing back Shatner's co-star, Leonard Nimoy, as an older Spock, joining a cast of new actors to inhabit the roles of the Star Trek crew. But Kirk's death complicates the matter of bringing Shatner back, said Orci, who wrote the screenplay for Star Trek with his Transformers partner Alex Kurtzman.

"The difficulty there is not just ignoring that or explaining it in an unsatisfactory way merely to get him back in," Orci said. "So that is the struggle: the rigors of canon and not phoning it in just to have a cameo." Still, it could happen, he said. "From my point of view, it's a very long shoot, and things change. It's just whether we can figure it out." Another possible problem: The ongoing writers' strike prohibits members of the Writers Guild of America--which includes Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams--from making any changes to the script until the strike is settled.

For his part, Shatner has not been shy in expressing his disappointment at not being cast in Star Trek. "How could you not put one of the founding figures into a movie that was being resurrected?" he told TV's Extra last month. "That doesn't make good business sense to me!"

In any case, Orci had nothing but praise for Chris Pine, the actor who will play the young version of Kirk.

"Chris Pine has two things which are very difficult to find simultaneously," Orci said. "He has the maverick nature of an extremely motivated, cocky guy who doesn't play by the rules, who is intelligent enough and can command sufficient respect to be an astronaut. Remember, these people are all astronauts!"

But Pine conveys the intelligence of a starship captain, Orci added. "It's difficult to find a good-looking guy who you would believe can fill the old Kirk shoes of getting into a fistfight while also having a Ph.D. in astrophysics," he said. "That's a tough one, because you need that, as he has to face the intelligence of Mr. Spock [played in his younger years by Zachary Quinto]. Chris has a great sense of humor but is also able to get serious on a dime, to step in and out of leadership while being fun." Star Trek is slated for release on Christmas Day 2008.

No comments: