Abrams was at a news conference for the US DVD and Blu-ray release of Star Trek on Thursday, and the invited journalists could soon sniff a William Shatner-sized story. It was the big question for the last Star Trek movie and it looks like it's about to make a reappearance - will William Shatner be in the next Star Trek movie? Well, according to the man who should know - director J.J. Abrams - it looks very likely indeed.
Abrams was at a news conference for the US DVD and Blu-ray release of the Star Trek on Thursday, and the invited journalists could soon sniff a William Shatner-sized story.
"As someone who was a William Shatner fan... it was a foregone conclusion that we wanted Shatner in the [first] movie," Abrams explained. "The problem was that his character died, on screen, in one of the Trek films, and because we decided, very early on, that we wanted to adhere to Trek canon as best we could. [That] was a huge challenge, because even the original series, in many ways, didn't always adhere to Trek canon, [so] the required machinations to get Shatner into the movie would have been very difficult to do, given the story we wanted to tell, and also to give him the kind of part that he would be happy with."
"It was this thing where it would have felt like a gimmick in order to get Shatner in the movie," Abrams continued, "which would have honestly, to me, been distracting. [But] how do you put him in the movie when you want him in it so badly, and yet the story actually seems in counter purposes with the story you want to tell?"
What Abrams did admit, however, was that he's already opened a dialog with Shatner about acting in the next installment, but clarified that he and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are still developing ideas for its final plot. "In terms of moving forward, I am open to anything," Abrams said. "I would love to figure out something, given the challenge of introducing these new characters and given the burden of having to cast these people. I feel like the first movie did some of the heavy lifting that needed to be done, in order to free us to continue, going forward. Maybe there's less of a burden and there's going to be more opportunity to work with him again. I would love to work with him."
Whatever happens, it certainly looks like this little topic of conversation has got a few miles left in it yet.