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Old October 13 2012, 12:36 AM   #52
Therin of Andor
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Re: Captain Sisko in First Contact

CoveZombie wrote: View Post
Colm Meaney is not that big a movie star, and we're talking about little more than a cameo appearance.
Wanna bet? It's my understanding that his price for a movie contract had gone up beyond the salary levels of some of his TNG colleagues, which would make order of billing a problem. Remember that Whoopi Golding accepted "no billing" on "Generations" only so that she didn't displace her friend Patrick Stewart in the opening credits of his first starring role in a US motion picture.

Meaney seems a good guy and one who was always willing to do what the producers asked of him, such as appearing in the TNG finale. I can't imagine he would have held them up for some huge some of money for a day or two's work on the movie.
If an actor accepts lower-than-status pay on a project it can affect future and current negotiations on other projects. Being "a good guy" means nothing to agents and producers. Whoopi did a "good guy" act, but she wields a lot of star power in Hollywood.

I think the real area the film is lacking, as was hinted at upthread, though, is in the absence of Guinan.
Again, the problem with Whoopi is her availability. They would have had to work very hard to secure her for "First Contact", since she would have to be crucial to its script.

For many TNG eps, Whoopi would tell the production team when she had a window of opportunity, and they'd often rewrite a Troi scene to accommodate her. Only a few Guinan episodes were conceived as Guinan episodes.

And Whoop Goldberg has indicated that she would have been willing to do the film and, in fact, was confused at how they could exclude Guinan from that particular story.
What happens if they wrote the whole script and then she was unavailable? Delays cost money. Soran could have been recast, the Klingon sisters could have become new characters, the Borg Queen could have been recast, but not Guinan. So they went with a similar character/foil and an actress who was also a rising star, Alfre Woodard. She already had two Primetime Emmys and was runnerup for a Film Critics Association award at the time.

And, as I indicated before, as an Academy Award-winning lead actress, Whoopi's agent would have fought for top billing in "First Contact" for anything beyond a cameo.
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