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.
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Steve from Collider is a good friend of mine. At least a few times a week we talk about upcoming movies, TV shows, what gossip each of us have heard, and anything else we might find exciting. Since a number of our conversations cover things you also might find interesting, we’ve decided to start recording certain conversations as video blogs. Past video blogs have included The Future of the Batman Film Franchise, The Box Office Prospects of Watchmen, thoughts on the first 46 Minutes of Pixar’s Up, and a four part preview of the Summer 2009 movie season.
Star Trek came out this weekend and beat all the box office expectations, which got us talking about what could possibly come next. But the new video blog is more than that, we also discuss the Star Trek Premiere, Pixar’s Up, how one of the stars of Terminator Salvation watched our video blogs, and a shocking fact: how more people paid to see the original 1979 Star Trek film in theaters than will likely pay to see this new film on the big screen.
Discuss: Please, leave your thoughts on what you’d like to see happen in Star Trek 2 in the comments below.
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Believe it or not, William Shatner still hasn’t seen the movie trailer for JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, until now. Billy Bush of Access Hollywood screened the trailer for Shatner, and a video has been posted online of Shatner’s reaction. Shatner uses the opportunity to take some shots at former co-star and rival George Takei and to plug one of his previous Trek novels. Watch the video after the jump.
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TV Trequer went back in time (or is it forwards in time?) and showed William Shatner-era Captain Kirk the new trailer for JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot. Here is Kirk’s response. Thanks to /Film reader MosesMonster for the tip.
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The cover of Empire Magazine‘s Star Trek issue is a callback to the classic Kirk and Spock photo from years past. The magazine also offers a few new photos (click to see the full size versions over on Empire). The first photo below shows Kirk (Chris Pine) and Sulu (John Cho), both in armored EVA suits in some kind of space shuttle. TrekMovie believes the guy on the left to be Greg Ellis who is playing Chief Engineer Olsen
The second photo shows Spock (Zachary Qunito) standing infront of a window on the bridge. I say window and not viewscreen because there is noticeable reflection on the glass, and if you look closely at the bottom of the window, you will see the Enterprise’s saucer. It appears the viewscreen UI is over-layed like in Iron Man’s helmet.
The third photo shows Uhura (Zoe Saldana) talking with Kirk and Chekov (Anton Yelchin).
I’ve heard many stories about the behind the scenes problems which pushed the release of Fanboys back again and agin, but having just left a screening of the finished version, a director’s cut by Kyle Newman, I can assure you that the problems have been greatly exaggerated. You have a very marketable cast, and a film which seems like an extremely easy sell to the target demographic. I think the problem is that The Weinsteins were hoping for an American Pie type film with mainstream appeal, but they instead have a movie aimed at a very targeted niche. But lets not forget, George Lucas has been able to make tons of money off this targeted group of fans.
After high school, Eric (Sam Huntington) ditched his Star Wars fanboy friends for a job as a car salesman, and now finds himself ready to take over his father’s franchise of car dealerships. When he learns that one of his former best friends Linus (Chris Marquette) has been diagnosed with Cancer and only has months to live, he convinces his former friends (Dan Fogler, Jay Baruchel) to go on a road trip to break into George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, so that Linus could watch Star Wars: Episode I before he dies.
The film is your typical teen road trip film, laced with so many Star Wars references you’ll probably want to see it twice to take them all in. There are conversations about how Boba Fett is like Michael Bay, style but no substance, and arguments about if Luke really had a thing for his sister. The series of adventures include a stop in Riverside Iowa (the future birthplace of Captain Kirk) to fuck with Trekkies. Kristen Bell plays Zoe, a girl with feisty Princess Leia-like attitude who works at a comic book store, and is well versed in everything from Star Wars to video games. Basically, she’s a fanboys wet dream.
Seth Rogen has triple duty, playing a trekkie (who seems perfectly modeled after Gabriel Köerner from Trekkies), a Star Wars tattooed pimp, and a Star Trek alien who they run into while in Las Vegas. At one point in the film, one version of Seth Rogen fights another version of Seth Rogen on the big screen. Epic! Ethan Suplee plays Ain’t It Cool News’ Harry Knowles, and there is a bevy of other cameos which include Billy Dee Williams, Danny Trejo, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Craig Robinson, Lou Taylor Pucci, Carrie Fisher, Danny McBride, and William Shatner playing himself. Ray Park (Darth Maul) even has a cameo as a THX security guard.
The film is not perfect, nor is it even on par with the best the teen comedy genre has to offer. Some of the problems include a kid dying of cancer who shows very little (if any) signs of sickness, a poorly developed romantic subplot, and a scene in a gay biker bar which should have been completely exorcised from the completed film. Oh, and Dan Fogler is painfully annoying. If only they had cast Jonah Hill or Tyler Labine instead. But the target audience of Star Wars fanboys and comic book geeks will surely eat it up. In it’s best moments it is a love letter to fandom and friendship.
/Film Rating: 7 out of 10
JJ Abrams made a comment earlier this month that Captain Kirk was originally written into Star Trek, but that William Shatner‘s unwillingness to do a cameo nixed the scene from being shot. And of course, William Shatner has responded to JJ Abrams in his latest video blog, claiming that nobody ever offered him a cameo. “Maybe you wrote it, but it never presented itself to me,” snaps Shatner, before totally destroying his point by concluding that he “wouldn’t have wanted to do a cameo, because that you would have clipped that out.” But Shatner says it isn’t too late to bring Kirk back from the dead in a sequel. “If you make another one maybe you can think of ways of bringing Captain Kirk back to life. I brought him back to life in one of my books, very easily.” Watch the full video blog below.
Apparently JJ Abrams originally wrote William Shatner into the new Star Trek reboot.
“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. We tried desperately to put him in the movie, but he was making it very clear that he wanted the movie to focus on him significantly, which, frankly, he deserves. The truth is, the story that we were telling required a certain adherence to the Trek canon and consistency of storytelling. It’s funny — a lot of the people who were proclaiming that he must be in this movie were the same people saying it must adhere to canon. Well, his character died on screen. Maybe a smarter group of filmmakers could have figured out how to resolve that.”
So there you have it. William Shatner is the reason William Shatner doesn’t make a cameo in the new Trek.
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