It makes sense.

After all, the device that JJ Abrams used to bridge the original "Star Trek" series of films and television shows to his 2009 reboot was an appearance by Leonard Nimoy as an older Spock, adrift in time and able to catch a little face-to-face with both Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

Why wouldn't Paramount eventually make a move to try to get William Shatner to take advantage of some other temporal paradox and make an appearance with Chris Pine, passing the torch from Kirk to Kirk or, even better, maybe even taking a poke at the younger version of himself?

The rumor actually began last week, with the most aggressive reporting done by Badass Digest. Today, The Wrap says they've verified the story, and a two-word Tweet by Shatner (since deleted) only fanned those flames even further. Now he's yelling at anyone who runs the story, and I'm especially entertained by how he called Coming Soon's Silas Lesnick, the most joyous nerd I know, a "yellow journalist." Ouch!

What's funny is that Shatner seems genuinely irritated, not realizing perhaps that what he said might be read that way. I think for many people, they don't understand how heavily parsed every word is on certain projects, and certainly on "Star Trek 3," there's a lot of curiosity about how they're going to proceed. I think Abrams made one great film and one greatly troubled film, and now this next movie is very important for the franchise moving forward.

If Devin Faraci is right about the way the scene works in the film, we'll see Shatner, Nimoy, Quinto, and Pine together, but we'll be looking at brand-new versions of the older Kirk and Spock. These aren't the ones we know already, but rather the older versions who now remember all of the Pine/Quinto alternate universe adventures. That's pretty cool, and it would be fun to see how it plays out.

Shatner's going to scream and yell if I'm not careful to note that he is now officially NOT confirming anything, and seems to be saying that it is premature for anyone to report anything. The Wrap and Badass Digest both feel pretty confident about what they've reported, though, so I guess it's time to play the "wait and see" game.

"Star Trek 3" is tentatively set for release in 2016 to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary.

A respected critic and commentator for fifteen years, Drew McWeeny helped create the online film community as "Moriarty" at Ain't It Cool News, and now proudly leads two budding Film Nerds in their ongoing movie education.