While Leonard Nimoy reprises his longtime role as Mr. Spock alongside the franchise reboot's young Spock, Zachary Quinto, thanks to a time-travel plotline, writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman said they made room for a William Shatner cameo, too.
"We did write a Shatner scene," Roberto told MTV News. "And we were ultimately split internally. We didn't want it to be a gimmick; we wanted to really bring him back in the right way."
William's Captain Kirk dies in the 1994 film "Generations," but the scribes said he would've appeared via hologram, in a message Nimoy's Spock would play for Quinto's Spock to convince him of his future as a staunch friend to young Kirk (Chris Pine) in a scene later excised from the script.
"Elder Spock tells young Spock, 'I couldn't tell you the truth about what's happening, because if I had, I would have robbed you of the benefit of realizing the greatness that you and Kirk will achieve together — and the amazing friendship that you'll have. You had to discover that for yourself, and I couldn't get in the way of that,'" Alex said. "And in our original version, younger Spock says, 'I'm still not sold.'"
"Elder Spock said, 'Well, don't take my word for it,' and he handed him a little disc — a DVD, really — that projected a hologram, and then he walked away. And the hologram was of Kirk," he added. "It would've been Shatner."
The scene would've followed "Trek" continuity, which had Spock heading off to be an ambassador to Romulus during two episodes from the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" series – allowing time for Kirk to send him a final message before his on-screen death.
"[This DVD] was essentially Kirk sending Spock a goodbye," Alex said. "It was a 'happy birthday' message [with Kirk saying], 'This is the last time I'm going to be able to wish you happy birthday, so I want to tell you how much you've meant to me and how amazing it was that we had all these adventures together."
And his speech would've continued, becoming a voice-over to the closing scenes of young Kirk becoming captain of the Enterprise and heading off into space.
Ultimately, though, the scene did not make it into the final script.
"We decided internally we were split," Roberto said. "The decision was that it wasn't quite enough to justify wasting his time."
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