William Shatner has received the official phone call for his rumored role in the next "Star Trek" sequel. A week after he denied the rumors, J.J. Abrams phoned the original Captain Kirk on behalf of new director Roberto Orci.
"[J.J.] calls and says 'I'm calling, Bill, because the director of the 'Star Trek' movie has had an idea where you might be involved in it,'" Shatner said at the Wizard World Nashville convention this weekend.
The idea revolves around Shatner and Leonard Nimoy reprising their roles as Captain Kirk and Spock, according to a Bada** Digest report on Sept. 22. Nimoy already made an appearance as his Spock character in the first two "Star Trek" films directed by Abrams.
The two actors last appeared together in character in 1991's "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." Shatner said Abrams called him before the first film, but his role was eventually dropped.
Abrams reached out again recently, making several phone calls to Shatner to gauge his interest on the project.
"I said 'Oh, yeah. If it is meaningful.' ...So it depends on what you do with the character. I said 'I would be delighted,'" Shatner said.
Abrams made one request that Shatner not tell anyone about their conversation. The star promised and said he wouldn't even tell his wife. The point became moot within the next few days when the rumor spilled out about the possible scene.
"So I get back from Australia and it is all over the internet, that the director [Orci] held an interview and said they wanted Shatner and Nimoy to be in the next movie," Shatner said. "I bet J.J. is frothing at the mouth. So the news is out that they have an idea that they want Leonard and myself. They might want Leonard and myself."
Shatner might have thought the rumor came from an interview with Orci, instead of the unconfirmed Bada** Digest report, according to the fan website TrekMovie.com.
Director Orci left several comments at TrekMove.com that neither confirmed nor denied the Shatner/Nimoy reunion. "Love no win scenarios. In theory, damned either way," Orci wrote on Sept. 22.
The next day he added, "Not in my interest to confirm or deny anything because it limits my options while maintaining my integrity as a truth teller. The movie is not the movie till it is in the theater. Until then, everything is a rumor."
Shatner also shot down the rumors on his Twitter within hours of Orci's second comment.
"Let's talk ST. I don't know anything about the current gossip. Nobody has contacted me. Right now it's just rhetoric to cause hype," he tweeted on Sept. 23.
The third movie will make a time jump from the previous installment, "Star Trek: Into Darkness," according to TrekMovie. The Starship Enterprise crew will be a ways into its five-year mission exploring deep space.
Filming could begin with the next six months, star Zachary Quinto told "Today" on Sept. 18.
Whether Shatner will appear in the next "Star Trek" film remains a mystery. The actor doesn't even know how the writers could bring his character back, given Chris Pine is already playing Captain James T. Kirk.
"How do you get me 50 years later into the movie...I know it's science fiction, but even I couldn't come up with an idea," Shatner told the convention audience.