Star Trek: The Next Generation & Deep Space Nine star, Michael Dorn, revealed in an interview with TrekMovie.com (via MovieLine) at the Phoenix Comicon, that he's pitching a movie centered around the character we all mostly know and love him for, Lt Commander Worf.
Secondly, he states that he's started a production company to make other movies targeted at Trek fans (although not necessarily Star Trek movies); and one of those projects is a rom-com titled Through The Fire, which Anne Marie Johnson has signed up to co-star in, playing opposite Dorn.
And third, he said that he almost got a part in JJ Abrams' Star Trek sequel, which is currently in production.
Here are the extended details on each revelation; first, on number 1, making a movie centered on Worf, he had this to say:
I am serious. I think there is a place for it. Straight to DVD or straight to cable. Who wouldn’t want to have this kind of thing going on? It is going to help their movie [J.J. Abrams' Star Trek movie]. The fans aren’t going "we are going to see this movie, but we aren’t going to go see the big movie in the theater."
He added that he's writing the screenplay himself, and when asked what story the film would tell, he said:
He [Worf] is captain of a ship – a Federation ship. He is out there in the front lines basically chasing terrorists.
Further saying that he'd make it edgy and dark, and that some cast members from his Star Trek days will be in it, although it'll mostly be made up of new characters.
And as for actually pitching it, Dorn said the following:
I have couple meetings I want to do before that. First with Rick Berman, who produced all of our shows, just to see what he thinks. Then my manager. And I know people at SyFy. And I’ll just start gathering information. If anything happens it is going to be next year because I have a bunch of stuff to do this year. I have already started writing the script and excuse my language, but it's f—ing great."
Hah! I wish I was present for this; it's rare that we get to see Michael Dorn as Michael Dorn.
But moving on… regarding number 2 – setting up a production company to make other kinds of movies; specifically, on the rom-com he's developing with Anne Marie Johnson co-starring:
It’s called "Through the Fire," and its about two successful urban black characters in New York who find each other after many many years. And they find love after denying that they need love after many years. I will be play opposite Anne Marie Johnson – if you look her up on IMDB, she’s been around for years on shows like Melrose Place, JAG, In The Heat of the Night, House of Payne and other shows. She is seasoned, beautiful, wonderful actress… Marina Sirits plays my best friend in the movie, who is my best friend in real life. Armin Shimerman who plays an actor, his wife plays another actor in a scene on stage which everyone says is one of the funniest things they have ever read. Nana Visitor has a wonderful part. Bob Pine, father of Chris Pine, is in there too – that is all we have for now, because we wanted to populate it with enough characters but not overpopulate it, so its not like "oh its like all these people, but in street clothes."
Well then… interesting, right? He added that he's going the Kickstarter route to raise funds for the project. The question is whether fans will buy what he's selling, and contribute. I'll be watching for the Kickstarter campaign.
On number 3 – almost getting a part in the upcoming sequel to the Star Trek movie, he said this:
I don’t know what the role was. They called in November or December of last year and said "hey, we would like to know if Michael is interested in playing a part of an officer – a soldier." And we said "yes." Then time went by and we finally talked to them at maybe the end of January or February and they said they had changed their mind and that’s as far as it went?
And when asked why the conversation didn't continue, he said this:
If you know the business as well as I do, who knows? It could have been the casting people going "hey this would be a good idea and they shot it up the road to JJ and he said ‘no, we aren’t going to do that.’" But I don’t know. It is nothing nefarious. Nothing mean. They changed their mind, so I don’t worry about it.
So there ya have it.
I have wondered whether his was an opportunity missed, in that, he could have been a bigger star than he was, or currently is (assuming he was/is even interested in being a bigger star). He's got the physical assets – tall and somewhat imposing at 6 ft 3 inch, he's a good-looking fellow, he's obviously got the voice, and seems to have the charm to go along with all of that, based on interviews I've seen him in. And from all I've seen of his work, while he's not a theatre-trained thespian like his Star Trek co-star, Patrick Stewart, Dorn can act.
I guess his visibility wasn't helped much by the fact that he played the same character for a decade or more, which required that he be covered in heavy makeup, hiding his face; so I'm not sure if most even know what he looks like (outside of Trekkies).
But I did wonder if he could have had an alternate career altogether, if circumstances where different. He's 59 years old currently, so he might be considered a little rusty by Hollywood's standards. Then again, I suppose one could argue that none of the cast members of the Star Trek: TNG series have had much of what I'd call "high-profile" careers since the show ended.