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William Shatner says he’d like to play Kirk again for Tarantino’s R-rated Star Trek

By James Comtois
William Shatner

Should director Quentin Tarantino boldly go and make that R-rated Star Trek film, original Trek actor William Shatner has reiterated that he could be convinced to seek out new life and new civilizations one last time. 

If Tarantino wants to make his Trek film truly canonical, William Shatner, aka Captain Admiral Captain James T. Kirk, has said that he’d like to reprise his role, if offered. But then provided a caveat: the actor is getting a bit long in the tooth for the part (he’s 88). 

In a tweet posted by Reuters, Shatner is saying: "Quentin Tarantino said something in the paper that somebody said to me, that he loved me. And Quentin, I love you."

Added Shatner: "If you're going to do Star Trek, fifty years later, a few pounds heavier, come on, not a problem." The actor was then evidently asked if he'd be up to join the proposed film, to which he replied, "Well, I'd like to do it. Whether I'd be up for it, I don't know."


Shatner had expressed vague interest in returning to play Kirk for Tarantino’s take on Trek over a year and a half ago, tweeting in January of 2018 that he could return to the role, provided the script was right. Other Star Trek alum Patrick Stewart and Zachary Quinto have also let it be known they too may be available. 

Now we know what you’re thinking: “Didn’t Kirk die in Star Trek: Generations?” Yes. But remember; Vincent Vega was killed halfway through Pulp Fiction and yet he was still in the film’s final scene. If you were then to point out that that’s because the middle scene took place after the third-act diner scene, then we would note that we actually can’t hear you.

If you watch the clip, Shatner is clearly having fun with the idea, laughing throughout the interview and being self-deprecating. But he also seems quite sincere about being interested as well. And let’s not forget that Tarantino does have a habit of casting actors whose heyday was from decades past. Plus, hey: if given the opportunity to cast the original James Tiberius Kirk in his Star Trek film, what director could resist that siren call? 

Tarantino pitched a Star Trek story to producer J.J. Abrams and studio Paramount back in 2017, and the director has recently stated that the film is still "a very big possibility." His latest film, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood is currently in theaters.