Today on the Star Trek: Phase II facebook page this was announced:
It is with Great Happiness that we announce on January 1, 2014 we will release the complete episode “KITUMBA”! which will mark James Cawley’s last appearance as James Kirk for STAR TREK:PHASE II! and then, on February 14, 2014 Celebrate Valentines Day with a remarkable story that brings Dr. Carol Marcus aboard The Enterprise as Brian Gross takes over the title role and carries Phase II into the future!
The Human Adventure Continues with STAR TREK:PHASE II!!
Later on James wrote a message to the people of facebook that I thought you all should read:
First off I would like to say Thank You So Much to all of you who are our Friends, Fans and Supporters. I have been reading many of your posts today and wanted to take a moment to try and answer some of your questions regarding the series, New episodes, and my involvement.
As many of you know that I started this series more than 10 years ago so I could live out my childhood fantasy of getting to play Captain Kirk. I wanted to continue that 5 year mission and finish off those last two seasons we never got. Well, I enjoyed playing the part immensely. I got to live my dream to be Kirk. I got to appear on screen with my heroes George Takei, and Walter Koenig, and Barbra Luna! I will forever be Grateful to them. However, during the course of playing the part I was subjected to many, many cruel comments posted on several websites as to my acting abilities, or my looks and quite honestly it was becoming much to much handle. I was devastated by the venom. I could not fathom, how my fellow Trek fans could be so hurtful towards me for just playing a part!
So I decided to step down as an actor, and take my show to a new level and find a new young actor to fill the role, not an amateur but a pro! I found that in Brian Gross. A Terrific and very talented guy with many guest appearances on many prime time TV series! He is still getting settled in, but I assure you it is a pleasure watching him settle into and find the swagger of the character, I feel over the next three episodes he will be completely in the groove and what I like is that he is making Kirk his own and NOT doing a Shatner impersonation! I am still here, guiding the series as Senior Executive Producer and I have more time to devote to the creative side of the series.
We are Releasing the long delayed episode “Kitumba” on January 1, 2014, which will mark my finale as Kirk, and then on February 14, 2014 we release “The Holiest Thing” with Brian Gross taking over.
In post production we have “Bread and Savagery” which is next in line for release. “Mind-Sifter” will be shot and completed in late June of this year with Brian Gross. The episode “Origins” has been placed on hold, pending a complete re shoot due to complications with actor availability.
Again, let me say Thank You to all of those who I have worked with over the last 10 years and to those of you who have enjoyed our work.
I look forward to many more voyages together, Live Long and Prosper Friends!