William Shatner has an idea of how his classic Star Trek character James Kirk could make a comeback in modern iterations of the series.
Shatner tells the UK Daily Mail that he imagines a capable special effects team could bring Kirk back to the Star Trek universe.
“JJ [Abrams] has never indicated bringing Captain Kirk back and I don’t know how you would do that fifty years later,” Shatner said. “How do you rationalize my present appearance with what I was like fifty years ago? On the other hand, I have recently connected with a virtual reality company – Ziva – and they virtual realized me [with] 240 cameras all around shooting me. So, they now can produce my body and my face in any way, shape or form, including what I was like 50 years ago.”
Such technology has been used previously to de-age Star Trek: The Next Generation star Patrick Stewart for his role as Professor X in X-Men: The Last Stand. Robert Downey Jr. was de-aged for a flashback in Captain America: Civil War. Lucasfilm de-aged Carrie Fisher’s appearance on another actress so that Princess Leia could appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In that same movie, Lucasfilm completely recreated Peter Cushing’s appearance to use the character of Tarkin from the original Star Wars Trilogy.
This technology could be used, in theory, to bring James Kirk into an episode of Star Trek: Discovery, the currently running prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. That may be an odd choice considering the series has chosen to recast certain other classic Star Trek roles like Sarek, Amanda Grayson, and Harry Mudd.
As for the movies, Abrams’ reboot series has a Kirk of its own in Chris Pine. Shatner’s co-star Leonard Nimoy appeared in the reboot timeline, but his character Spock was not de-aged.
A Star Trek movie based on an idea conceived of by Quentin Tarantino is currently in development. Shatner says he’s willing to participate if Tarantino is interested.
“Oh, lord yes. What an interesting role that was, and what it could be 50 years later,” Shatner says. Captain Kirk is caught somewhere in the byways of the universe. Tarantino is a great director and I would love to work with him. [To appear] would be a wonderful thing. The fans have been so supportive.”
Shatner last played Kirk in the film Star Trek: Generations in 1994.