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Old October 15 2008, 05:18 AM   #1
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Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

The Star Trek XI writers did their best to make a part for William Shatner, says J.J. Abrams.

As reported by MTV, after Abrams said that he had "tried desperately to put him in the movie," Shatner responded with the YouTube clip where he said that no one had ever reached out to him or any of his people. "Here's my favorite thing," said Abrams. "My favorite thing is turning on YouTube and seeing William Shatner talk to me. When did that become my life? How did that occur?"

Wanting to set the story straight, Abrams explained what happened. ""I think what happened was, I said we made many efforts or something to get him in the movie. I think he or his people interpreted that as we reached out and tried to get him in. I meant internally," said Abrams. "I didn't wanna present him with something we didn't believe in. So we were trying to make this thing work, and it didn't happen."

Although Abrams didn't reach out to Shatner to offer him a part, the writers tried to work him into the movie. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci wrote a scene that included Captain Kirk. "I didn't [personally] write anything [for Shatner]," said Abrams. "Alex and Bob, who wrote a spectacular script for us, we all wanted to make it work. The scene they wrote, which was good, it honestly felt like 'contrivance to insert William Shatner into our movie.' It just felt very much like what it was."

To read more, head to the article located here.

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Old October 15 2008, 07:25 AM   #2
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

I say if it feels forced, then it was right to leave it out.
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Old October 15 2008, 11:42 AM   #3
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

When I heard about Shatner's statement on YouTube, this is exactly what I thought. That Abrams had probably wanted him but just couldn't find a place for the character.
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Old October 15 2008, 11:45 AM   #4
slappy
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

He should stop having to defend himself. He made a creative call, that's that. He doesn't owe anybody anything other than to make a good movie.
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Old October 15 2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

McCoy wrote: View Post
When I heard about Shatner's statement on YouTube, this is exactly what I thought. That Abrams had probably wanted him but just couldn't find a place for the character.
Yep. This is what I always assumed, too. I think Shatner just jumped to the wrong conclusion.
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Old October 15 2008, 01:18 PM   #6
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

This is pretty much what I figured.

This sort of thing really reveals the conflict created by long-distance communication. No wonder the internet is so crazy. 5 minutes in the same room and this entire issue would've been resolved.
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Old October 15 2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

Augustus wrote: View Post
I say if it feels forced, then it was right to leave it out.
Ditto. This is another one of those signs that I see as overwhelmingly positive about the path JJA took to create this film. Including The Shat would've been a Valentine to the fans that I could pretty much do without. My sphincter still hurts from the last one.
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Old October 15 2008, 03:59 PM   #8
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

As usually, I take this a different way.

Sorry, but Abrams is starting to sound like somebody running a political campaign rather than a movie director/producer.

Abrams: "We reached out to Shatner!"

Shatner: "Nobody reached out to me."

Abrams: "Well, when I say we reached out to you, I didn't mean literally. We did it... internally. Yeah, that's it. Internally. Didn't you feel it? We sure did."

The scene they wrote, which was good, it honestly felt like 'contrivance to insert William Shatner into our movie.' It just felt very much like what it was.
Come on, JJ. Grow a set, why don't ya. It felt that way because you never wanted him in the movie to begin with. I mean, come on. You, Orci and Kurtzman are all pretty talented and creative guys. Am I REALLY supposed to believe that you three labored and toiled over this and just simply couldn't find a way to make it work? That, if there were any humanly way possible to explain why a character who we saw die is now seen alive that you would have jumped at the opportunity?

It's a Star Trek movie! One involving time travel through multiple time periods, no less!

Sorry, but this, once again, is a CYA statement.

Either have the courage to admit you simply didn't WANT him in this movie (and, you may even have a good reason for that), or simply stop talking about it at all.
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Old October 15 2008, 07:01 PM   #9
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

TJinPgh wrote: View Post
or simply stop talking about it at all.
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Old October 15 2008, 08:31 PM   #10
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

To be fair, he probably keeps getting asked about it.

At least this might put to rest those silly "they're denying it too much, I'll bet he really *is* in the movie" ideas.
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Old October 15 2008, 08:52 PM   #11
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

They're denying it too much. He's definitely in the movie.
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Old October 15 2008, 09:34 PM   #12
Samuel T. Cogley
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

TJinPgh wrote: View Post
As usually, I take this a different way.

Sorry, but Abrams is starting to sound like somebody running a political campaign rather than a movie director/producer.

Abrams: "We reached out to Shatner!"

Shatner: "Nobody reached out to me."

Abrams: "Well, when I say we reached out to you, I didn't mean literally. We did it... internally. Yeah, that's it. Internally. Didn't you feel it? We sure did."
Abrams' initial comments were overbroad and definitely seemed to imply a back-and-forth dialog with Shatner, although they did not go so far as to explicitly state that.

Shatner's subsequent response pretty much cleared it up.

I think both men are being sincere, here. It's just a matter of comments that can be interpreted a number of different ways.

I'm actually glad that the internet has made it possible for people to respond to this stuff instantly and directly, rather than reading some article where some guy with an agenda inserts his spin.

There's no agenda here, as far as I can tell.

Abrams wanted to include Shatner, but didn't want to do it in a lame way. Not finding a way to do that, they never even ran the lame version by Shatner. Shatner felt left out, but also expressly stated that he didn't want to do a cameo. Listening to Shatner's and Abrams' comments, it is clear that the two men have a great deal of respect for one another. It's refreshing.

The only real fighting, arguing, defending, begging, etc. going on here is inside the minds of the angry fanboys.
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Old October 15 2008, 10:37 PM   #13
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

Now see, if Generations never killed off Kirk, then they'd might of had an easier time putting him in the film. Might be kind of hard still, but you never know.
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Old October 16 2008, 05:02 PM   #14
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

[quote=Stephen T. Colbert;2180034]
TJinPgh wrote: View Post
I'm actually glad that the internet has made it possible for people to respond to this stuff instantly and directly, rather than reading some article where some guy with an agenda inserts his spin.
Agreed. Helps us, as fans, sort out the BS a whole lot quicker. At least, to the extent that we actually want to sort it out, anyway.

Abrams wanted to include Shatner, but didn't want to do it in a lame way. Not finding a way to do that, they never even ran the lame version by Shatner. Shatner felt left out, but also expressly stated that he didn't want to do a cameo. Listening to Shatner's and Abrams' comments, it is clear that the two men have a great deal of respect for one another. It's refreshing.
I think this goes back to what you were saying before, about being able to take comments multiple ways.

Shatner not wanting to do a cameo in no way implies that he WON'T do them. He's done numerous cameos in his lengthy career, including about a 1 minute skit on the SNL season opener. I suspect that if he'd actually been offered one he likely would have done it.

Unlike you, however, I don't believe Abrams ever really wanted Shatner in this movie. I think if he had, he would have found a way to make it work, without being lame.

For the record, while not including more of the originals is enough to keep me from going to see this movie, from the perspective of somebody doing a reboot, not wanting to include Shatner isn't necessarily a bad thing.

As I've said before, Shatner IS Kirk. You really can no more seperate William Shatner from what the character has become than Kirk from what Shatner has become. Both the character and the man have influenced each other along the way.

Pine wants to play Kirk differently. Fair enough. But, there's simply no way to do that with Shatner in the movie. William Shatner's acting style is such that it commands the attention of any scene he's in. Call it self centered and arrogant if you wish. But, it is what it is, and it's served Shatner well for a lengthy career that most actors can only dream of.

The question of how difficult it would be to integrate Shatner into this movie has more to do with Pine's range as an actor than anything. It becomes encumbant upon HIM to make it work, more than Shatner. Pine would need to find a way to do both, make the character his own will still paying homage to Shatner's version of the character.

I've not seen enough of Pine's work to have any clue as to whether or not he has that kind of range. I doubt Abrams has either. So, it's easier to eliminate the catalyst (Shatner) than it is to find somebody who can work within it.
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Old October 16 2008, 05:59 PM   #15
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Re: Abrams On Shatner And 'Star Trek XI'

number666 wrote: View Post
They're denying it too much. He's definitely in the movie.
That'd be cool...and the gang.

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