‘I don’t have long to live’: Star Trek icon William Shatner announces documentary of his life

William Shatner has unveiled his forthcoming documentary You Can Call Me Bill while reflecting on the “limited” time he has left.

From the Star Trek franchise to the TV series TJ Hooker, the 91-year-old acting legend has appeared in dozens of films and shows.

Now, after having “turned down a lot of documentaries before”, Shatner is ready to put his life on the big screen for audiences and fans to enjoy.

In a new interview with Variety, the Canadian actor explained why he finally decided to make the documentary, with Shatner revealing: “I’ve turned down a lot of offers to do documentaries before. But I don’t have long to live.

“Whether I keel over as I’m speaking to you or 10 years from now, my time is limited, so that’s very much a factor.”

According to Shatner, his family also played a role in his decision, as he noted: “I’ve got grandchildren. This documentary is a way of reaching out after I die.”

William Shatner (AP)
William Shatner (AP)

Shatner, who has five grandchildren from his three daughters, Leslie, 64, actor Lisbeth, 61, and actor Melanie, 58, whom he shares with his first wife Gloria Rand, has previously spoken about how being a grandparent is his “biggest joy”.

“I have the time now to grab a grandchild and talk, and hug and kiss them and make sure that I’m taking time to be with them and to give them some aspect of the things I’ve learned,” he told The Guardian in 2014, adding that “family life is totally encompassing”.

At the time, Shatner also revealed that he sees his daughters “every weekend,” and that the entire family often goes on holidays together.

As for his experience filming the documentary, Shatner told Variety that he wanted to avoid just looking back on his accomplishments, and was instead “trying to discover something I’ve never said before or to find a way to say something I’ve said before in a different way, so I can explore that truth further”.

“The sad thing is that the older a person gets the wiser they become and then they die with all that knowledge. And it’s gone. It’s not like I’m going to take my ideas or my clothing with me,” he said, before asking: “What am I going to do with all these thoughts? What am I going to do with 90 years of observations?”

Director Alexandre O Philippe’s You Can Call Me Bill will premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival in Texas.