It would seem that William Shatner is finally in line to appear in Star Trek 3, as it has been reported that Roberto Orci has written a cameo for the original James Tiberius Kirk. The only question is whether or not Shatner will actually take it.
According to Badass Digest, the scene in question is the kind that Trekkies across the world will salivate and faint over, as it will reteam Shatner with Leonard Nimoy and the duo will get to portray Kirk and Spock for the first time since 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Reporter David Faraci even declared that his potential "appearance is plot-driven and integral enough that it might just survive any future revisions."
Ever since JJ Abrams’ 2009 reboot of the sci-fi series, Shatner has made it his mission to inform everyone he comes into contact with that he pines to be a part of the franchise once again. Of course, Zachary Quinto’s Spock has come into contact with Leonard Nimoy’s original incarnation of the character in both Star Trek and its 2013 follow-up, Star Trek Into Darkness. This was made possible because the reboot’s story takes place in an alternate reality to the franchise’s previous film and television efforts, which allowed it to give reference to the original stories while also not abusing them.
However, despite Nimoy’s presence in both of Abrams’ films, Shatner has so far failed to materialize on-screen. One of the first drafts for 2009's Star Trek did actually feature Shatner in a cameo, however, it was ultimately cut from the film. Around the time of the first film’s release, screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman discussed the sequence, which would have come after Nimoy had failed to convince Quinto that Spock and Kirk actually become close friends. Kurtzman told MTV that Elder Spock then declared, "Well, don’t take my word for it,’ and handed him a little disc – a DVD, really – that projected a hologram, and then he walked away. And the hologram was of Kirk. It would’ve been Shatner."
This would have once again been an attempt by the writers to adhere to the Star Trek time-line that saw Kirk die in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations. Orci and Kurtzman noted that Spock would have been in Romulus working as an ambassador when Kirk died, and that the DVD "was essentially Kirk sending Spock a goodbye." Kurtzman also explained that it was basically a "happy birthday message" that saw Kirk declaring how much Spock meant to him and "how amazing it was that [they] had all these adventures together," all of which would have played out over the film’s final scenes.
After much toing and froing it was ultimately decided that the scene should be cut, a conclusion that left Shatner so incensed he later bad-mouthed director J.J. Abrams during interviews and avoided seeing the film at all. This bad-blood has since cooled significantly, as Shatner apologized for his remarks and once again began to insist he’d love to star in one of the films, while Roberto Orci, who will both write and direct Star Trek 3 had previously declared that he was "hoping to find a way" for Shatner to appear. And it would appear as though he’s done just that.