It is a well-known fact that over the years Star Trek has had a lot of celebrity fans ranging from Barack Obama, the POTUS to Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis; Ben Stiller to Robin Williams and even Frank Sinatra. But perhaps the most enthusiastic admirer among this distinguished lot is none other than Eddie Murphy.Murphy, as we all know made a name for himself on Saturday Night Live and following that he was on the verge of becoming a movie star.It still seems quite bizarre to think that a Star Trek film could have starred Eddie Murphy. How could the two of Paramount’s hottest properties in the 1980s, how could they fit together?
1. Murphy’s Star Trek Connection
In his autobiography I Am Spock (which is the sequel to I Am Not Spock) LeonardNimoy shares the story of how Star Trek became a point of discussion in Murphy’s films such asBeverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor, and Shrek.Paramount offered a contract to Murphy that came with a million-dollar signing bonus. But when the company’s executives arrived at the studio where Murphy was working to get him to sign it, they found out that he was not working at all as they had expected him to – he was watching an old episode of Star Trek. The executives had to wait until the show concluded before Murphy emerged to put pen to the deal and bag his $1 million check.
2. Scripts were specifically written to rope Murphy in
The answer lies with the fourth installment of the super hit franchise 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). This film is about the crew of Enterprise traveling back in time to the end of the 20th century. They are on a mission to find one of the few remaining humpback whales which they plan to transport to the future in order to save the planet from an alien entity. So where does Murphy fit in? A number of scripts involving Murphy were developed after he expressed an interest in appearing in a Star Trek movie.