Friday, October 19, 2007

William Shatner: "I Don't Do Cameos!"

William Shatner shot down rumors of him doing a guest-appearance in the new JJ Abrams "Star Trek" movie by saying "I don't do cameos." Interestingly, whle he is not in the film, Leonard Nimoy is -- and has a fairly important role in it too.

Shatner also said that even though his character, James T. Kirk, is dead, because it's sci-fi it shouldn't be a problem to bring him back "as is":

"If you can get DNA from a dinosaur...and they've been dead 160 million years...I've only been dead ten!"


  1. Oh, c'mon now, Bill.

    You'll do cameos in EVERY low-budget comedy trying to cash in on the idea of dork-culture, in a blatant rip on the two-minute Stan Lee bit in "Mallrats"...

    As long as there's cash on barrel head.

    You're awesome in a lot of ways, Billy-boy, but playing up the idea of the actor-as-auteur and "your character" ain't gonna be in there unless you get a lot of screentime...

    C'mon now. Take the check, do the cameo and then go bankroll another album with Ben Folds. C'mon.

  2. No-one does a better send-up of Bill Shatner's self-importance than Bill Shatner - you only have to watch Free Enterprise to see that.

    I think he's just drawing the line under Star Trek cameos - possibly because Kirk's death scene was such a badly-realised one for a genuine hero to millions after thirty years of space adventuring in which he'd become an icon of popular culture. Perhaps Bill realises that nothing associated with Trek has the capacity to be good anymore (not since the death of Captain Sisko, at any rate).

  3. I've gotten to have much greater respect for Shatner over the years, ever since he started embracing and spoofing the self-important image that he projects. The William Shatner Roast was one of the finest I've ever seen, and his lines on the Special Edition Star Trek DVD featurettes are priceless.

    So, no, I don't think that it's about the money. If it were, they'd have stunt casted him in Enterprise easily. I have a feeling that the people in charge still think Shatner's ego is overwhelming (it's big, but I don't think it's as big as he makes it out to be) and so don't want him in on the action in case he doesn't play nice with others.

    I also think that, unlike Nimoy, Shatner still feels very proprietary about Kirk — he doesn't do cameos, not for Kirk.

    Me, I think the Abrams movie is a pointless exercise. Why remake the franchise when the format is such that it can and should move forward? Just pay Peter David a wad of cash and adapt New Frontier as a TV series, already. It's cheaper than reinventing the wheel.

  4. Captain Sisko is dead? When did that happen? I gave up on Star Trek once Seven of Nine became as safe and predictable as the rest of that bland crew.

    I love the Shat, but the Shat is fat, and that's that. Better Kirk remain dead than risk confusion with James Doohan. More to the point, better not to associate with a friggin' reboot altogether. The specific characters weren't as important to Star Trek as the actors' chemistry and personality, which has been non-existant since "Voyager" sullied the airwaves and name.

  5. Sikso's not dead. Not really. At the end of What You Leave Behind, the DS9 finale, Sisko becomes one of the Prophets and vanishes from the mortal plane, but promises that he will return one day... which given the Prophets' non-linear perception of time is not a very helpful estimate.

    In the novels that continue the DS9 story, Sisko does indeed return in time to see the birth of his new child.

  6. Sisko died in the final DS9 episode. All cod-philosophising about the non-linear nature of trans-dimensional existence aside, as far as definite methods of getting dead are concerned, jumping into a volcano and burning to a crisp is probably considered one of the most reliable methods.

    Still, as death scenes go, it could have been worse - at least he didn't just fall off a bridge or something.

  7. Then what was his appearance to Kassidy? Indigestion? :)

    We never actually see Sisko burned to a crisp - he falls into the chasm with Dukat and the book. We do see Dukat and the book burn up and hear Dukat screaming. Sisko continues to fall, flames around him (but he's not on fire)... there's a flash, and he winds up in the Celestial Temple, implying that the Prophets yanked him out of there at the last moment.

    Now, we could dismiss this as a An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge kind of deal, if not for the fact that Kassidy has her own flash while being told of Sisko's disappearance, where he explains to her what happened. If Sikso is just hallucinating before he dies, and Kassidy is just having a wish fulfilment fantasy, it's an amazing coincidence that both hallucinations tally.

    Of course, one could also argue that Sisko did die, but his spirit is with the Prophets or he ascended in some kind of fashion, and we can endlessly debate whether that's really death. I've also heard the theory that Kassidy's meeting with Sisko was just a vision granted by the Prophets to comfort her, but that's too complicated, and it's not as if the Prophets ever gave a toss about human emotions.

    Bottom line is, the on-screen implication is pretty clear that Sisko survived - at the very least in a non-corporeal form.

    Anyway, if you follow the novels, he got better in the end.


    No, seriously - he's dead.
    The Sisko that appeared to Kassidy isn't necessarily the 'real' Sisko any more than the people who appear during Orb visions. The end of DS9 is open to interpretation, but the Sisko character has pretty much run his course by the final credits. It takes nothing from him or DS9 to say he died.

  9. No, seriously, isn't dead, at least from an in-universe perspective. I'm offering some evidence at least. You're just stamping your foot. :)

    Again, if you're arguing that the Sisko that appears to Kassidy is a Prophet masquerading as Sisko, then you have to explain why the Prophets would even give a shit about Kassidy's feelings to do this - and without an Orb, yet! And it's very unlike an Orb vision; no flashbacks, no real riddles, he just outright tells her he's not coming home for dinner and don't wait up.

    And if he's just an Orb manifestation, that doesn't explain Sisko's vision as he falls into the chasm. Your reading makes the story way more complicated than it seems to, or likely was intended to be. The obvious intent was that his consciousness, at least, was plucked out of there before he died.

    From a meta perspective, that Sisko's character had run its course, maybe. But that's different from your definitive statement or what Frank was asking.

    ObTopic: I heard that Nimoy was going to be playing an old Spock... but I can't shake the feeling that everyone is going to be chanting "Braiiiinnnns..." every time Quinto comes on screen.

  10. I'm actually taking the simple view of the final episode - there's a great many meanings to be taken from events, but in the Trek universe itself, and as far as the other characters are concerned, Sisko is dead, and non-show/movie continuity isn't canon.
    There are unanswered questions, certainly (mainly why Sisko wouldn't appear to his son, given that his death in 'The Visitor' had such a devestating effect on Jake), but as far as Sisko the character goes, the end of DS9 as a series is all she wrote - without onscreen clarification otherwise, no-one can claim he's 'alive' within the fictional confines of the Trek universe, we can only speculate at what has been hinted by the writers.

  11. But're wrong.

    And Terence is right.

    Sisko's with the Prophets, not dead.

    And I'd still rather see a DS9 movie than a reboot - although I'm not sure this classifies as a reboot. It seems more like an untold tale to me.