It’s been many years since William Shatner played Captain Kirk in a Star Trek film. But even with all that time gone — even with Chris Pine doing a very good job playing Kirk in three recent Star Trek movies — few actors are as closely identified with a role as Shatner is with Kirk. Pine’s Star Trek movies for J.J. Abrams did feature Leonard Nimoy as the old Spock — but there was no Shatner appearances in any of the films.

But perhaps Shatner has one more Kirk performance left in him. Asked by Reuters about the rumors of Quentin Tarantino making a Star Trek movie next, Shatner was enthusiastic about the possibility, saying he “like to do it” while adding “Whether I’d be up for it, I don’t know.”

Shatner’s references to Tarantino talking to him are probably in regards to this Deadline interview, where Tarantino credited Shatner as his main reason for loving Star Trek in the first place. His exact words:

I love William Shatner on Star Trek. I love his performance as James T. Kirk. That is my connection. That is my umbilical cord. It’s why I like Star Trek more than Star Wars, because William Shatner’s not in Star Wars.

Shatner is now 88 years old (and looks shockingly good for a guy his age). Tarantino’s Star Trek is still not a sure thing. If it happens, though, and Shatner is still in good health, it seems inconceivable to me that Tarantino would not find some kind of role for Shatner — either as an older Kirk or in some other kind of cameo. Tarantino’s whole schtick is finding aging neglected actors and showing how good they can still be. It’s honestly kind of surprising he hasn’t cast Shatner in something before! At least 30 percent of the reason I want this movie to happen is to see those two work together.

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