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William Shatner Calls J.J. Abrams "A Pig" For Taking On Both 'Star Trek' & 'Star Wars' Franchises

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 13, 2013 12:42 PM
21 Comments
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Walt Disney's decision to hire J.J. Abrams to direct "Star Wars: Episode 7" still has people talking, and rightly so. With one foot already in the rebooted "Star Trek" franchise, many wonder if he can make a distinctive enough "Star Wars" movie so that it isn't one mass Abrams-y sci-fi blob. Still others wish Disney would've selected any number of other talented people to kick off the next three sequels. And then there's William Shatner, whose feelings on the matter are made plain and clear. 

"No, he's being a pig," Shatner told Movie Fanatic when asked about his thoughts on Abrams taking on two iconic sci-fi series. "He's collecting the two franchises and holding them close to his vest. He's probably the most talented director of that ilk that we have, but he's gone too far this time."

As Huffington Post points out, Shatner and Abrams do have some history. The story goes that Abrams, who roped in Leonard Nimoy for an appearance in "Star Trek," also wanted Shatner, but he reportedly declined the part because he wanted to be the lead (something that Shatner denies, fyi). At any rate, this will only stir the pot more as everyone in Hollywood has an opinion about where this series can go, but the reigning sentiment seems to be one of guarded optimism.

"I dearly hope that this new crop of talented filmmakers will expand the world of 'Star Wars,' not retread familiar ground or provide unnecessary backstory to characters who don't need it," Zack Stentz, co-writer of "X-Men: First Class" told THR.

Meanwhile, screenwriter Zak Penn ("The Incredible Hulk," "The Avengers") expands on that thought. "Reboots and straight sequels can exhaust a franchise, but a continuing saga like 'Star Wars' doesn't belong in that category," he explains. "I liken it more to 'Terminator' or even 'The Matrix.' I'd still pay to see stories set in those worlds; even -- and maybe because -- I still have a bad taste in my mouth from more recent installments."

So, back to Shatner...kind of a dick? Or does he have a point? Weigh in below.

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21 Comments

  • Avi | April 25, 2013 12:57 PMReply

    The real capt. kirk is right. JJ is a dick for taking both and STID is a rehash of TWOK. Then lying about it really makes him look bad.

  • fwikfpioewk | February 19, 2013 3:34 AMReply

    I agree completely with The Shat. There are A TON of brilliant director's working in Hollywood right now but because Abrams sits at the feet of Spielberg and has his hair stroked, everything just keeps falling in his lap. What's next, him being announced as the director of the Battlestar Galactica film? I hope his Star Wars garners the same level of animosity that his Star Trek reboot did.

  • Jawsphobia | February 14, 2013 5:37 AMReply

    This is the difference between print and video reportage!!!! Thanks for the video clip. Clearly yet another clip where we see that the delivery and the final punch about "not employing me in either of them" are left out in a quote that - as text and as a headline certainly - makes Shatner look like an opinionated crank. But the clip is amusing and he was asked a leading question which he then satirizes. It is too bad headlines have to be so misleading.

  • Max Eisenberg | February 14, 2013 3:39 AMReply

    J.J Abrams has the opportunity with these two giant franchises to do something that has never been done;He has the opportunity To create a Star Wars and Star Trek Crossover Movie.
    Leaving Bill Shatner out of such a film would be as big a mistake as leaving out Actors like Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher,Actors from Star Wars and the there would be the error of Leaving out critical actors like Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner and all the other actors that were on Next Generation of Star Trek. Its a Mistake from both directions one being the past athe other from the stand point of advancement. Star Wars has lots to offer in both the past the Present and the Future. Star Trek has had Several Spin off on Tv and in Movies. Star Wars has tons of book material to work with too. The way I look at it you'd have to be a Blithering Idiot to screw up an massively Major opportunity such as this.

  • rodie | February 14, 2013 1:08 AMReply

    Well The Shat's point might come across better if he wasn't trying to make it in the middle of promoting Escape from Planet Earth.

  • vva | February 13, 2013 9:43 PMReply

    He's JOKING! *shock*

  • MicoY | February 13, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    The Playlist: I started reading you because tired of all the other movies' blogs, and I thought you were way better... But everyday that passes I realize that you are becoming useful as the others: a lot of entries, none memorable, the majority useless... And now the gossip...

  • JC | February 13, 2013 6:31 PMReply

    Jagernath is the worst. It's only been a couple months since his bitter article snarking about James Cameron's Jurassic Park being "aliens with dinosaurs" (instead of "'Aliens' with dinosaurs"). It was also interesting to see him correct his article without actually mentioning that he changed it.

  • Not a classic | February 13, 2013 6:26 PMReply

    In the future people will realize JJ is a hack. Hasn´t made
    one film that will stay as a classic. A rip of of Spielberg
    sensibilities that´s all. The guy studies films well, but he is
    not in any way an author.

  • J-o-k-e | February 13, 2013 3:41 PMReply

    Shatner was joking. You DO realize that?

  • hank | February 13, 2013 3:38 PMReply

    how have you not been hired by TMZ yet?

  • Yeshewa | February 13, 2013 3:27 PMReply

    Ole billy needs to get over himself just stop it already. It's time to move on! He was mad at Abrams for not including him in the first movie too what a hater

  • Browsing | February 13, 2013 3:18 PMReply

    Pretty shabby reporting to only include half the quote.

  • The Donald | February 13, 2013 3:02 PMReply

    JJ Abrams is everyone going to be a ninja fighter again.

  • Travis | February 13, 2013 2:44 PMReply

    Even shatner said it; JJ Abrams is one of -if not the best-filmmakers in this genre. End of story. Everything is else is nonsensical drivel.Great choice.

  • TRAVIS BEACON TEACHES TRIPE-ING | February 13, 2013 4:35 PM

    Yep, Shatner: gold standard of truth and sense.

  • BEF | February 13, 2013 2:22 PMReply

    Well he is eating from the biggest sci-fi money buffet that two other enterprises set up beforehand.

  • Zoe | February 13, 2013 1:42 PMReply

    Who does William think he is!!!!!!
    😡😢

  • Simmer Down | February 13, 2013 1:00 PMReply

    Shatner's entire quote:

    "He’s being a pig. He’s collecting the two franchises and holding them close to his vest. He’s probably the most talented direct of that ilk that we have, but he’s gone too far this time. I think of him as a buddy of mine, I’ve taken him out for sushi, I think it’s time for JJ and I to have another sushi and let me put him straight about two of the largest franchises and not employing me in either one of them, I think is just foolhardy."

    Ah, a joke. Props, though, on creating drama where there is none - have you guys thought about getting into the movie busines-- oh. right.

  • sam | February 13, 2013 7:38 PM

    thanks for the whole quote, Simmer Down.

  • Seriously | February 13, 2013 1:25 PM

    This bullshit makes me not want to bother reading this website anymore. Have a bit of fucking self-respect and don't stoop to petty, intentionally misguided bullshit to generate page views. Not only that but Shatner's pretty clearly trying to squash any perceptions of a beef between him and JJ. That's a perfectly fine headline, no need to turn it into high school bullshit and make Shatner look like a tool to boot. Come on guy...

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