William Shatner has some real talk for J.J. Abrams.
Shatner, who famously brought Captain James T. Kirk to life on television and in seven "Star Trek" films, is not pleased that Abrams has jumped to a galaxy far, far away for "Star Wars."
"No, he's being a pig," Shatner told the website Movie Fanatic about Abrams pulling double duty with the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" franchises. "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."
Abrams was hired to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII" earlier this year. The news came as a shock to many and not just because Abrams is already employed by the "Star Trek" franchise (his latest series entry, "Star Trek Into Darkness," arrives on May 17). The director said on numerous occasions that he wouldn't direct "Star Wars," before changing his mind.
Shatner and Abrams have had a somewhat contentious relationship since Abrams took over the "Star Trek" franchise. Back in 2008, there was speculation that Shatner's Captain Kirk would appear in "Star Trek," but Abrams and the star could never seem to come to an agreement. From an interview Abrams did with AMC in 2008:
We actually had written a scene with him in it that was a flashback kind of thing, but the truth is, it didn't quite feel right. The bigger thing was that he was very vocal that he didn't want to do a cameo. We tried desperately to put him in the movie, but he was making it very clear that he wanted the movie to focus on him significantly, which, frankly, he deserves. The truth is, the story that we were telling required a certain adherence to the Trek canon and consistency of storytelling. It's funny -- a lot of the people who were proclaiming that he must be in this movie were the same people saying it must adhere to canon. Well, his character died on screen. Maybe a smarter group of filmmakers could have figured out how to resolve that.
Shatner responded to Abrams with a YouTube video and claimed he was never asked to appear in "Star Trek." That's all water under the bridge, however, according to the star.
"I think of him as a buddy of mine. I've taken him out for sushi. I think it's time for J.J. and I to have another sushi and let me put him straight about two of the largest franchises," Shatner said to Movie Fanatic, before joking, "not employing me in either one of them is just foolhardy."
Watch Shatner talk "Star Trek" over at Movie Fanatic.
UPDATE, 2/23: On Twitter, Shatner noted that his original comments from earlier this year were made in jest.