By Darren Franich
April 30, 2012 at 09:50 PM EDT

Leonard Nimoy has been talking retirement for a couple years now. And why not? His 2009 appearance in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot felt like a valediction for Nimoy’s most iconic role and for his entire era of Star Trek history — not to mention an implicit assertion that, in modern geekdom, Spock/Nimoy has probably become a more important and popular figure than Kirk/Shatner. Then, in 2010, the season 2 finale of Fringe featured a send-off for Nimoy’s mysterious William Bell that seemed like an appropriately cosmic exit. The problem is that, like Jay-Z before him, Nimoy just keeps on working through his retirement. And although his output lately has been limited to voice roles — on Fringe, in Transformers: Tokyo Drift, and most recently on The Big Bang Theory — Nimoy might be staging a full-scale return.

The actor appeared during CNN’s coverage of the Shuttle Enterprise’s arrival in New York, and at one point, CNN correspondent Jason Carroll asked Nimoy if he was planning to appear in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel, which for the sake of simplicity let’s call Star Trek II and/or XII. Per ComicBookMovie, Nimoy responded: ‘Uhh, we’re talking. We’re talking.” Could this mean that Old Spock will stage a return in the sequel? It seems unlikely that Nimoy’s role would be as big as it was in the 2009 film — and the fact that he’s “talking” while the movie has already been in production for a few months could indicate that, if anything, the role will be more of a quick fan-service cameo. (Paramount did not respond to EW’s inquiry about Nimoy’s statement.)

Still, coming so soon after an episode of Fringe, which seemed to hint at the return of William Bell, it seems clear that Nimoy may not be entirely done with acting after all. All aboard the J.J. Abrams Guest-Star Express to Rebootville, toot-toot!

PopWatchers, are you intrigued by the notion of Nimoy returning for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Cumberbatch? And can we start passing around rumors about Leonard Nimoy having a musical cameo in Peter Jackon’s Hobbit duology? The fans demand it!

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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