Earlier this week, we got word that William Shatner may finally be making his long-awaited return to the Star Trek franchise, as the script for Star Trek 3 apparently includes a scene that reunites Shatner and Leonard Nimoy on screen as James Kirk and Spock, respectively, for the first time since 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
As is the case with just about anything surrounding these highly-anticipated tentpole installments, the report spread like wildfire online, which has led Star Trek 3 director Roberto Orci and Shatner himself to come forward and issue a few statements to control the situation.
While Orci refuses to commit to confirming or denying the rumor, he does leave the door open for a possible cameo. It just depends on how the film changes from now until its release. In a few messages left at TrekMovie.com, he stated:
“Love no win scenarios. In theory, damned either way. [It’s] 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 theaters. Until then, everything is a rumor.”
Tell it like it is, Orci! All too often fans run with rumors and speculation as if they’re fact, only to get jaded when the final product either doesn’t live up to the pre-established hype or simply delivers something different than previously expected. Orci is right when he says that the movie “is not the movie” until it comes out because any number of things could change during production. This very same thing happened with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot, as Shatner had a cameo that was later cut out of the script. It’s entirely possible that the same thing will happen to the rumored cameo that’s in the Trek 3 script at the moment.
Shatner then took to Twitter to state his reaction to the rumor, claiming that the report was something simply meant to “cause hype:”
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
So, that settles that. For now. With the scripting process still underway, and about six months left before cameras begin to roll, we’ll likely hear more chatter about not only a Shatner cameo, but appearances from other Star Trek veterans, as well. In fact, I’m shocked it’s taken the internet this long to get the ball rolling on those rumors.
With or without William Shatner, Star Trek 3 is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2016.