Star Trek icon William Shatner is open to the idea of returning as James T. Kirk in a future installment of the series - but he has some conditions. Shatner was talking to Metro UK about the subject of Star Trek, and openly stated that he would be open to the possibility of returning as Captain Kirk, with the caveat that "it made reasonable sense" and that "it wasn't just a cameo." That's a pretty development for Star Trek fans, as Shatner has previously been skeptical (if not adverse) to return to the Star Trek franchise - even stating earlier this year that the Kirk role is "pretty well played out at this point."
No. I think Kirk’s story is pretty well played out at this point. https://t.co/30qVk9uxKN— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) March 2, 2020
As you can see above, Shatner was shooting down a Star Trek return as recently as March 2020. In this new reversal from Shatner, the actor said the following in his full statement:
'If they wrote it and it made reasonable sense then I'd love to [revive Captain Kirk]... I wouldn't do a series. If the role was written properly and it wasn't a cameo or gratuitous; being there just to show my face, I wouldn't do that."
Thankfully for Shatner (and fans), there are some wide-open lanes for him to get just the kind of return he's hoping for. Both Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery have frameworks that offer multiple avenues for an older Captain Kirk to make a reappearance. It could be a time travel plot device (Discovery), or a revisit to Picard and Kirk's connection in the Star Trek: Generations movie, where the latter died helping Picard prevent a planetary calamity.
SPOILERS: Since Jean-Luc Picard has just cheated death by becoming an android (in the Picard finale), it would only be fair if Kirk got the chance. However, there's now another possibility - one that fans may love even more!
The new Star Trek: Strange New Worlds series that was just announced follows Kirk's predecessor, Captain Pike (Anson Mount), along with the original crew of the USS Enterprise, prior to Kirk taking command in the original series. It would be an awesome Easter egg to make Shatner the series narrator, for example, introducing episode storylines in anecdotal form, before we watch these legends play out.
Where would you like to see William Shatner pop as Picard, next? Let us know in the comments!
Star Trek: Discovery season 3 will air in 2020. Picard season 2 is in development.