The Hollywood rumor mill has only grown faster and more efficient in the internet age, and one of the latest stories being passed around is a recent report from Badass Digest that the current draft of Star Trek 3‘s script includes an “integral” scene that would reteam Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner as the older versions of Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk, respectively.
While cool in concept, this is easier said than done. Nimoy was diagnosed with lung disease earlier this year and said in a recent interview that if he was offered the opportunity to reprise his role as Spock again, “I’d take [the] call, but doubt I’d do any acting… I don’t want to go off on location again.” Shatner, meanwhile, had a cameo in the original script for 2009’s Star Trek that was later cut out. Director J.J. Abrams claimed that this was partly due to Shatner demanding a bigger role – though Shatner himself said that this was untrue and he’d never even been contacted by Abrams in the first place.
With all that in mind, we took the news of a Nimoy-Shatner reunion in Star Trek 3 with a grain of salt, and things have now become even less clear after director Roberto Orci and Shatner himself have both responded to the latest reports. For Shatner, it was more or less a case of repeating what he said several years ago.
Let's talk ST. I don't know anything about the current gossip. Nobody has contacted me. Right now it's just rhetoric to cause hype.— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) September 23, 2014
Orci was a lot less matter-of-fact when he weighed in on the matter in a couple of comments over at Trek Movie. After wryly stating, “Love no win scenarios. In theory, damned either way,” Orci went on to explain it’s too early for him to give a certain answer either way.
“Not in my interest to confirm or deny anything because it limits my options while maintaining my integrity as a truth teller. The movie is not the movie till it is in the theater. Until then, everything is a rumor.”
Despite being pretty ambiguous, Orci’s response does suggest that the Shatner-Nimoy reunion is something that has either been included in the first draft of the script or is being considered for inclusion in future drafts (the former seems more likely, since that was what the original rumor claimed).
Another question raised in this discussion is whether or not cameos by members of the original Star Trek cast would be a good idea for Star Trek 3. While the appearance by Nimoy in the first Star Trek movie reboot (and his smaller role in Star Trek Into Darkness) worked well as a tacit endorsement of Abrams’ vision for the franchise, it might be better for Orci’s first film as director to establish the new Star Trek movies as being legitimate additions to the canon in their own right, rather than inviting original cast members along to babysit.
This is especially true in light of the largely negative reaction to Star Trek Into Darkness‘ rehashing of iconic moments from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. After the last movie in the new franchise leaned so heavily on references to one of Star Trek‘s past successes, perhaps it’s now time for a movie that exclusively features and focuses on the new cast members.
Star Trek 3 is scheduled to release in 2016.