In what has become a rollercoaster of “he said, Shatner said,” the mystery of the Star Trek cameo has finally been solved (kind of). Rumors first emerged last week that William Shatner—the original Captain Kirk—might cameo in the upcoming, Roberto Orci-directed Star Trek 3. According to Badass Digest, the current draft of the script has a scene reuniting Kirk and Spock “Prime” (Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, who’s appeared in the past two Star Trek films sans Shatner). Almost immediately, however, both Orci and Shatner shot down the rumor. Shatner even went so far as to issue a firm denial through Twitter: “Let’s talk ST,” he wrote. “I don’t know anything about the current gossip. Nobody has contacted me. Right now it’s just rhetoric to cause hype.”
But at the recent Wizard World in Nashville, Shatner did a complete 180 and confirmed he has been offered a cameo appearance, adding that he would “love to do it.” During a Q&A, Shatner explained that J.J. Abrams reached out to him on behalf of Orci, saying, “I’m calling, Bill, because the director of Star Trek, the next movie, has had an idea where you might be involved. So I’m calling to find out whether you’d be interested.” Shatner told Abrams he would be interested, so long as his appearance was “meaningful.”
Although Abrams swore Shatner to secrecy, the actor returned from a trip to Australia to find the information had already leaked, so he figured it was okay to tell a room full of people—and thus the Internet.
Assuming his scene makes it into the final film—as Shatner diplomatically explains, “The news is out that they have an idea that they want Leonard and myself—they might want Leonard and myself”—it will be the first onscreen reunion for Kirk and Spock since 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. And given that the rebooted franchise plays fast and loose with continuity, it’s also the perfect opportunity to retcon Kirk’s much-hated farewell in Star Trek: Generations.