Friday, June 25, 2010

Shatner to direct doc about Star Trek captains

Montreal-born William Shatner will direct and produce a TV movie about his early life and rise to fame on Star Trek that will screen on Movie Central next year.

The veteran actor, also known for his role on Boston Legal, revealed his involvement in the project Tuesday, as he accepted a lifetime achievement award at the Banff World Television Festival in Alberta.

Shatner joked that the movie, tentatively titled The Captains, would be a lesson in "what not to do."

Shatner is a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise, on the sci-fi series Star Trek.

He called his casting as Kirk "serendipitous."

Shatner, 79, said the Movie Central documentary would also look at other Star Trek captains.

Cut acting teeth in Canada

Shatner grew up in Montreal and had roles with the Montreal Children's Theatre before going to Stratford, Ont., for a series of Shakespearean roles.

He was on Broadway in the late 1950s and early 1960s and had several movie and TV roles, including Twilight Zone and Gunsmoke.

At the same ceremony in Banff, Eric McCormack received the NBC Universal Canada Award of Distinction and comedian Ricky Gervais received the Sir Peter Ustinov comedy award.

The annual international television festival awarded a Green Grand Prize to Louie Psihoyos, the Oscar-winning director of The Cove, the documentary about a controversial Japanese dolphin hunt.

The festival also chose productions from around the world it considers the best of their kind.

The best Canadian program was 65 Red Roses, the documentary by Force Four Entertainment and CBC News Network about Eva Markvoort, the B.C. woman fighting a battle with cystic fibrosis.