Over the weekend, William Shatner hosted a panel at Wizard World Comic Con in Nashville, Tennessee. Along with sharing stories about hanging out with Ben Folds and spending the night in what might have been a haunted a hotel room (where he promptly destroyed not one but two fire alarms), the actor talked about the problems with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and whether he would be reprising his role as Captain Kirk in the newly rebooted film series by J.J. Abrams.
During the panel, the question was posed which “Star Trek” film was his favorite which he excitedly answered ST5, which yes, is the film in the franchise that was directed and developed by Shatner himself. He explained, however, that the reason it was his favorite had to do with the fact that he learned things by directing the project. Unfortunately, in the end, Shatner revealed that he felt that ST5 was weakened by compromise.
“I had this idea that the crew would go out to find god, that they would meet God but instead they find the Devil […] Gene Rottenberry initially said no […] he said “you can’t do that! You’ll alienate this group and that group.’ So he said, “How about they go meet an alien who thinks he’s god?” and I said, “okay I guess that will work.” I compromised on the concept because it was the politic thing to do even though I loved my concept so much and I believed in my concept so much but I compromised. But I feel that my movie was weakened because of that compromise.”
He went on to say,
“You gotta choose your moments to compromise and choose your moments to stand on principle.”
Shatner also explained that he does not have a favorite role in his career because of how ever-changing the life of an actor can be.
“The actor brings himself to the role… I am not who I was yesterday and I won’t be the same person tomorrow… Picking out the best is like picking out a favorite child.”
Probably the most exciting part of the panel was the revelation that Shatner would be interested in returning to the role of Captain Kirk in the new “Star Trek” franchise film series from J.J. Abrams.
According to Shatner, Abrams called him to inquiry about his interest to which he replied, “It depends on what you do with the character, but I would be delighted.”
However, Abrams told him he could not tell anyone about the possible role to which Shatner agreed vehemently. Unfortunately, the news somehow leaked before he even returned from Australia.
“It’s all over the Internet that the director had held an interview and said they want Shatner and Nimoy to be in the next movie. I’ll bet you J.J.’s frothing at the mouth at this point. 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.”