William Shatner Gets the Documentary Treatment

Henry Winkler, Kaley Cuoco, and William Shatner

Getty William Shatner is joined by Kaley Cuoco and Henry Winkler at an event in Los Angeles in 2022.

A documentary about William Shatner — the star of “Star Trek: The Original Series,” “T.J. Hooker,” and “Boston Legal” — is in the works and will be made with the blessing and cooperation of Shatner himself, according to the entertainment trade paper Variety. The documentary will be produced by Legion M and Exhibit A Pictures. Shatner has written several memoirs, including “Get a Life,” “Star Trek Memories,” “Star Trek Movie Memories,” “Up Til Now,” and “Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man,” but the upcoming untitled film will be the first documentary devoted to him and his career.

“For years I’ve had people approaching me to do a documentary about my life, but I turned them all down because it didn’t feel like the right fit,” Shatner said in a statement shared by Variety on July 1, 2022. “When I heard how Legion M wanted to incorporate audiences to be a part of it, it was perfect. Fans have been responsible for my career — it only seems right that they should own this doc.”

The Untitled Film Will Be the First Documentary Devoted to Shatner’s Life & Career

William Shatner

ParamountLeonard Nimoy, Grace Lee Whitney, and William Shatner in an early ‘Star Trek’ promo photo.

According to Variety, the film will be directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, a veteran documentarian whose credits, per the Internet Movie Database, include “Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water,” “The People vs. George Lucas,” “Doc of the Dead,” “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene,” and “Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist.” Legion M bills itself as “The world’s first fan-owned entertainment company.” The “About” page on their site states that “Legion M partners with top Hollywood creators — from independent filmmakers to big Hollywood studios — to produce a slate of movies, TV, and digital content. We’re also the first media company in history designed to be owned by fans. We’re using disruptive new equity crowdfunding laws that allow people to invest as little as $100 to own a piece of the company.”

The Legion M site also has added a synopsis of the Shatner documentary. It reads, “From make-believe starship captain to a real-life rocketman, William Shatner has led one of the most unique and best-lived lives on the planet. And while the actor William Shatner may be recognizable around the globe, the man behind the masks is even more interesting than the iconic roles he’s played.”

According to Variety, the 91-year-old actor will introduce first-look footage from the documentary during a Hall H panel set to be held during Comic-Con International, which will take place in San Diego in July, 2022. Actor-director Kevin Smith, whose credits, according to the Internet Movie Database, include “Clerks,” “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” “The Flash,” and “Supergirl,” will moderate the panel.

Philippe, in a statement to Variety, said, “I grew up watching Bill Shatner on a black-and-white television in Switzerland. My first memories of him are from ‘Columbo’ and ‘The Twilight Zone.’ He is a modern Renaissance man. Ubiquitous. Unavoidable. This intimate film will illuminate little-known and rarely seen aspects of Bill’s career and philosophy, and also reexamine some of his most iconic roles and cultural moments through a brand-new lens.”

Legion M co-founders Paul Scanlan and Jeff Annison also provided a statement to Variety about the project. It reads, “… William Shatner has led one of the most unique and best-lived lives on the planet. While we all know him from his iconic roles, the REAL William Shatner is even more interesting. We’re thrilled to be working with Alexandre and the top-notch team at Exhibit A, and excited to give fans around the world an opportunity to be a part of Bill’s legacy.”

Shatner is Set to Attend Several Conventions This Summer

The documentary is just one of many projects and activities on Shatner’s schedule. Though he’s closing in on 92 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down. According to the “Bill’s Appearances” page on his official website, Shatner is set to appear at several conventions this summer, among them the Ticonderoga Summer Event at the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour in Ticonderoga, New York; Imaginarium Tampa Convention 2022 in Tampa, Florida; Galaxy Con Raleigh 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Creation Entertainment 56-Year Mission in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Also on the way is Shatner’s next book, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” which will be published by Atria/Simon and Schuster on October 4, 2022, according to the book’s official page on the Simon and Schuster site. A synopsis on the site states, “The beloved star of ‘Star Trek,’ recent space traveler, and living legend William Shatner reflects on the interconnectivity of all things, our fragile bond with nature, and the joy that comes from exploration in this inspiring, revelatory, and exhilarating collection of essays.”

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