William Shatner gets candid when talking about the late Leonard Nimoy’s cameos in the rebooted Star Trek movies, deeming his role “gratuitous.”
William Shatner shares his thoughts on the cameos Leonard Nimoy had in the rebooted Star Trek films, calling them gratuitous. After several years of lying dormant on the big screen, the Star Trek franchise was rebooted in 2009 under the care of J.J. Abrams. The first film featured the same characters from the original series, but introduced an alternate timeline that allowed their fates to branch off in new directions. Two more movies stemmed from the 2009 installment, with 2016’s Star Trek Beyond being the last at this point in time.
With the 2009 Star Trek offering a new look at the characters that began the franchise, Abrams found a way to include original Spock actor Nimoy. He played a small, but significant role in the movie, interacting with newcomers like Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s iteration of the iconic Vulcan. Nimoy then appeared for a brief cameo in Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond was dedicated to his memory, as it released after he passed in 2015. Longtime fans of the franchise were delighted to see Nimoy portray his beloved character once again.
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However, it sounds like his Original Series co-star Shatner wasn’t as impressed. Speaking to Express while promoting his new film Senior Moment, Shatner got candid about Nimoy’s role in the rebooted Star Trek movies. “Leonard Nimoy was in some of those films, but it was totally gratuitous,” he said. “They just wanted to put Spock in there and I didn’t admire that.” He didn’t elaborate any further.
For his part, Shatner has stayed away from the new generation of Star Trek movies. He debunked rumors that he too would have a cameo in the 2009 reboot and said just last year that he’s fine with never getting to share the screen with Pine’s Captain Kirk. However, Shatner has also admitted that if he was presented with a really compelling story and a genuine role, he would appear in a new Star Trek project. His desire to have a more substantial part makes sense when considering his feelings on Nimoy’s own Star Trek return.
Right now, though, it remains to be seen if there will be any other Star Trek moves for him to appear in. Since Star Trek Beyond, multiple movies have entered development, only to eventually get put on hold. These include a Star Trek 4 with the reboot cast, a Quentin Tarantino-directed installment, and a film from Fargo creator Noah Hawley. Shatner once again had to debunk rumors earlier this year that he would have a role in Star Trek 4; at this point, it feels like there are more unfounded rumors than actual updates. With a franchise as beloved as Star Trek, one can assume something will emerge eventually. It just might take a bit longer to come to fruition.
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