Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
You might recall that JJ Abrams originally approached William Shatner to make an appearance in Star Trek, but the actor declined because he felt like it was nothing more than a tiny cameo.
“We actually had written a scene with him in it that was a flashback kind of thing,” Abrams told AMCtv. “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.”
I suggested a way that Shatner could still be involved in the inevitable sequel in our latest video blog. But now that people have seen Star Trek, it seems like the interest in Shatner’s involvement has almost completely disappeared. But I’ve wondered how was Shatner going to be involved in the original plan? IO9 talked to Trek screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and discovered the details. Warning: possible spoiler if you haven’t yet seen the film.
Apparently the cameo would have taken place in that very last scene when Old Spock and New Spock finally meet each other. After he explained that he “couldn’t interfere, because it would have diverted [Kirk and Spock] away from their friendship” … “and that their friendship is the key to the whole sort of shebang,” elder Spock presented young Spock with “a recorded message from Kirk.” I’ve photoshopped a mockup above.
“He [elder Spock] said, “Don’t take my word for it.” And he handed him [younger Spock] a little holographic device and it projected Shatner,” revealed Kurtzman. “It was basically a Happy Birthday wish knowing that Spock was going to go off to Romulus, and Kirk would probably be dead by the time…”
And the message would have “turned into a voiceover, at the end of the movie.” Since the film is really about the begining of the Kirk/Spock friendship, this moment makes sense to me, and sounds (in theory) like more than just a cameo. Too bad Shatner decided it wasn’t a big enough role.