Back in the ‘70s, plans for a “Star Trek” movie were underway by creator Gene Roddenberry. In a new excerpt from the book, “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek – The First 25 Years” by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, previous scripts by Roddenberry had Captain Kirk fighting against Jesus and even stopping the JFK assassination.
Ultimately both ideas were rejected by then Paramount boss Barry Diller and the studio continued to pursue new storylines. The Hollywood Reporter posted an excerpt from the book where author Michael Jan Friedman gave more detail of Roddenberry’s script.
“Gene was — and still is — one of my heroes, for God’s sake, no pun intended. As he had already left the land of the living, this was a unique opportunity to collaborate with him. But when I read the material, I was dismayed. I hadn’t seen other samples of Gene’s unvarnished writing, but what I saw this time could not possibly have been his best work. It was disjointed — scenes didn’t work together, didn’t build toward anything meaningful. Kirk, Spock and McCoy didn’t seem anything like themselves. There was some mildly erotic, midlife-crisis stuff in there that didn’t serve any real purpose. In the climactic scene, Kirk had a fistfight with an alien who had assumed the image of Jesus Christ. So Kirk was slugging it out on the bridge. With Jesus.”
Friedman was then hired to turn that screenplay into a novel, but had a difficult time because his ideas were not reflective of what Gene intended.
Finally, four years after Roddenberry wrote these original scripts an official “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was released in 1979, but it was written by Harold Livingston. The film starred Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner and went on to be nominated for three Academy Awards.
To read the full excerpt of “The Fifty-Year Mission” click here.
Watch the original trailer below: