Who Wants to be a Shatner? Part 1

During September I'm going to be trying to answer a question that has been vexing me for some time:

Who will fill Will Shatner's shoes when Shatner no longer cares to?

I'm obviously not talking about a specific gig--like Boston Legal or a Priceline commercial--that will need a new actor when Shatner feels like quitting. Chances are he'll outlast that show and maybe even that company.

Instead I'm referring to the unique cultural space that is William freakin' Shatner. If he retires or checks out, will there be a Shatner-shaped hole in the world, or can some younger actor/director/singer/author achieve almost full Shatnerness?

This isn't really about Star Trek. There is no doubt that William Shatner could not be William freakin' Shatner without Star Trek, but neither is Star Trek in any way sufficient.

To help flesh this out, let's mention a few things that made this Shatner:

ITEM: Shatner starred in one of the only movies ever made that was written entirely in the made-up language of Esperanto.

ITEM: In the film Free Enterprise, Shatner plays "William Shatner," and it is not a flattering portrayal. Also, according to Wikipedia,
Hip-hop artist "The Rated R", joined by Shatner, provides the concluding musical number, which is a tribute to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.


This is just the beginning. We've got four serious nominees so far, and I'll be posting facts to support their claim on Shatnerhood, as well as more information about Shatner himself to further define and refine our conception of what it would take to fill his shoes. If you've got an actor or actress in mind who might fit the Bill, let us know in the comments.

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