William Shatner rose to fame playing Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek television series, and though that role has passed to Chris Pine with the new Star Trek movies, Shatner says he's open to playing an older version of the character - even alongside Pine.
“I would play an old Captain Kirk, absolutely,” Shatner told The Hollywood Reporter. “You would have [to have] an interesting character, not a cameo, like ‘Here I am, aren’t I interesting?’ It’s the ongoing world, it’s the world within science-fiction. Yes, you age within the universe. Time goes on, but time bends, as well. There’s so many things you could do.”
Shatner nearly appeared in 2009's Star Trek reboot, even meeting with director J.J. Abrams about a possible cameo, though the idea never came to fruition.
“How would they handle it, in science-fiction terms?” Shatner explained of his conversation with Abrams. “I’m older, I’m heavier, I’m — all the problems of age. So what did Captain Kirk do? Die and age? Doesn’t sound science-fictiony enough. Or maybe you make him really old. I don’t know. It seems to have beggared Abrams’ imagination.”
Rumors also circulated some time ago that Shatner would have a cameo in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, but Shatner denied that there was ever a plan in place for such an appearance.
“There was never a conversation,” Shatner told GamesRadar in January. “It would have been interesting to see what their fertile imaginations could have done with somebody who is 20 years older than when Captain Kirk died [in Star Trek Generations] and how they would have explained the difference in appearance. But that never came up. I’m sure they must have thought of it one time or another but I never had a substantial conversation about replaying the role.”
Shatner did revisit an older Captain Kirk's life in a series of Star Trek novels he penned - novels he said he "would have loved" to adapt as films.
Chris Pine's version of Captain Kirk next appears in Star Trek Beyond, in theaters July 22.