James Tiberius Kirk is a fictional character in the Star Trek universe. He is the lead character in the original Star Trek television series, the animated spin-off, and most of the films based on the series. Canadian actor William Shatner portrayed the character in the forty years since its inception. Producer J. J. Abrams announced that Chris Pine had been cast in the role of Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek film, marking the first time that an actor other than Shatner will portray the character in an official production.
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry based the character on C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower, noting in 1991 that "Captain Kirk is Capt. Hornblower of the sailing ships. [He] was a great hero, and Hemingway said [Hornblower] is the most exciting adventure fiction in the human language