While there are some Star Trek fans who would love to see William Shatner strut onto the U.S.S. Discovery, Jason Issacs is not one of them. The actor, who plays Captain Lorca on Star Trek: Discovery, flat out said he doesn't want appearances from the original cast on the series, and that he's not a fan of "stunt celebrity casting." Issacs explained his reasoning and expressed that he felt doing something like that might hurt the fans' suspension of disbelief:
Someone asked which cast members from the existing series would you like to guest star -- I think people watch good drama shows and they completely suspend their disbelief, they feel like they're looking through the keyhole at another world, if you do it well enough. 'If you have stunt celebrity cameo casting, it completely pulls them out of it. They feel like they're watching a Saturday Night Live sketch.
Jason Issacs continued by telling Metro that he'd love to meet William Shatner in real life, but it seems clear he doesn't want the actor in Star Trek: Discovery. That's a fair statement considering the series is set ten years before the original series, and it would be near impossible for Shatner to pass as a young version of his character in 2017. If Shatner did appear in Star Trek: Discovery, it would almost have to be as another character, which then falls into the territory of stunt celebrity cameo casting that prompted Issacs to make the statement to begin with.
Of course, there are ways for William Shatner to appear as Captain Kirk despite his advanced age, since fans saw Leonard Nimoy play original timeline Spock in the recent Star Trek films. That said, the films are set in an alternate reality, and with Star Trek: Discovery taking place in the same timeline as the original series, doing something like that wouldn't make too much sense unless they figure out a really clever way to write it into the plot. Considering Shatner wasn't a fan of Nimoy's role in the films, it doesn't appear likely he'd be willing to do something similar in Star Trek: Discovery.
While Jason Issacs doesn't want any former stars popping up on-screen, he seems to be fine with them stepping in behind the camera. Star Trek: Discovery had some help in creating Season 1 from former Star Trek: The Next Generation actor/director Jonathan Frakes, and it now appears clear that he will not be making a cameo on the series given Issac's comments. Then again, it's not like the rest of the crew is a slave to Issacs' comments, and if they want to add an original actor from the series they can certainly do so and tell him to suck it up.
Star Trek: Discovery returns for the second part of Season 1 January 7th on CBS All Access. Speaking of Jason Issacs, there's speculation floating around about Captain Lorca that may indicate all is not as it seems with the ship's captain. Read more on that, or check out what else is on schedule to premiere in January in our midseason premiere guide. Those not too concerned with that far in the future can instead hit up our fall premiere guide to see what other shows still have yet to premiere in 2017. For all the shows that got dropped this year, visit our cancellation guide.