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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old April 12 2008, 10:32 AM   #1
Biggshow
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What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Hey, kids,

I'm sorry if this has been done to death but it's new to me.

What if Roddenberry had been able to convince Paramount to make a big screen, multi-million dollar space opera but only if he could get big name stars for the roles? Here's what I've got so far:

Kirk--John Wayne
Spock--Gregory Peck
McCoy--Jimmy Stewart
Scotty--Richard Attenborough
Sulu--Toshiro Mifune
Uhura--Lena Horne
Rand--Shirley Jones (You think I'm kidding? See "Elmer Gantry". Woof.)
Chekov--??? I'm stuck. Davy Jones? I kid.
Chapel-- Deborah Kerr

If this is way too lame or done to death, close it. Otherwise, whatch'all think?
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Old April 12 2008, 02:14 PM   #2
Christopher
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Paramount? Are you saying this would've been after TOS had ended? Because ST was originally a Desilu production, with Paramount acquiring Desilu in February 1967, during the production of ST's second season. And of course the characters you mention, aside from Spock, weren't even created until after Desilu had begun making the show. So the answer would differ depending on whether you're talking about this happening after TOS or instead of TOS. In the latter case, it wouldn't be Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc., but April/Pike, Number One, Boyce, Spock, Tyler, etc.

After all, they did get a big-name star to appear in their first pilot. Jeffrey Hunter was a well-known movie actor, and in fact the reason he didn't stay on after the pilot was that he didn't want to give up his movie career for TV.

I really don't think John Wayne is the right type for Kirk. Maybe he fits the "cowboy" stereotype of Kirk that evolved in the movie era and later, but the Kirk conceived by Roddenberry was a serious, disciplined soldier, as well as a sensitive, introspective man who was fairly open with his emotions. Besides, John Wayne was around 60 at the time we're talking about. I'd suggest maybe Paul Newman.

For Spock, I'd say Michael Rennie. He was actually considered for the role.
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Old April 12 2008, 03:54 PM   #3
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Christopher wrote: View Post
After all, they did get a big-name star to appear in their first pilot. Jeffrey Hunter was a well-known movie actor, and in fact the reason he didn't stay on after the pilot was that he didn't want to give up his movie career for TV.
That's not the reason.

Hunter's wife saw the pilot and decided that sci-fi was beneath him.
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Old April 12 2008, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

number6 wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
After all, they did get a big-name star to appear in their first pilot. Jeffrey Hunter was a well-known movie actor, and in fact the reason he didn't stay on after the pilot was that he didn't want to give up his movie career for TV.
That's not the reason.

Hunter's wife saw the pilot and decided that sci-fi was beneath him.
According to Herb Solow:

HERB: We had an option on Jeff Hunter for a series, but not for another pilot... the lights came up, Jeff Hunter's wife [actress Sandy Bartlett] gave us our answer: "This is not the kind of show Jeff wants to do, and besides, it wouldn't be good for his career. Jeff Hunter is a movie star."

--Inside Star Trek (hardcover), p. 63

I don't think that exactly says "sci-fi was beneath him". It's possible Hunter did the pilot because it was a paycheck and he never expected it to go to series.

Elsewhere in the book, and I'm having trouble finding it, I think there's reference to trying to get Hunter to come back and at least shoot some addition footage so that The Cage could be released theatrically, perhaps overseas...but I'm having no long finding that passage, so don't hold me to that one.
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Last edited by MauriceNavidad; April 12 2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old April 12 2008, 08:04 PM   #5
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

DS9Sega wrote: View Post

Elsewhere in the book, and I'm having trouble finding it, I think there's reference to trying to get Hunter to come back and at least shoot some addition footage so that The Cage could be released theatrically, perhaps overseas...but I'm having no long finding that passage, so don't hold me to that one.

I was under the impression that Hunter had died by then. Hence, the reason they brought in another actor and hid his face under radiation-burn makeup -- to hide the fact that it wasn't Hunter in the role.

I know he died not long after The Cage due to an on-set accident at another project -- I'm just not sure how soon.
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Old April 12 2008, 09:03 PM   #6
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Paramount? Are you saying this would've been after TOS had ended? Because ST was originally a Desilu production, with Paramount acquiring Desilu in February 1967, during the production of ST's second season. And of course the characters you mention, aside from Spock, weren't even created until after Desilu had begun making the show. So the answer would differ depending on whether you're talking about this happening after TOS or instead of TOS. In the latter case, it wouldn't be Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc., but April/Pike, Number One, Boyce, Spock, Tyler, etc.

After all, they did get a big-name star to appear in their first pilot. Jeffrey Hunter was a well-known movie actor, and in fact the reason he didn't stay on after the pilot was that he didn't want to give up his movie career for TV.

I really don't think John Wayne is the right type for Kirk. Maybe he fits the "cowboy" stereotype of Kirk that evolved in the movie era and later, but the Kirk conceived by Roddenberry was a serious, disciplined soldier, as well as a sensitive, introspective man who was fairly open with his emotions. Besides, John Wayne was around 60 at the time we're talking about. I'd suggest maybe Paul Newman.

For Spock, I'd say Michael Rennie. He was actually considered for the role.
Technically, you are correct, sir. I only picked Paramount because of it's current history with the franchise. I might just as well have said MGM as that is where they shot some of "The Cage" or am I misremebering that as well? Should I mention that I have a cold and have taken a lot of cold remedy? Probably explains this thread in the first place.

Yeah, John Wayne was kind of in there as a place holder. I like the Paul Newman. I'll stick with Gregory Peck although Michael Rennie is also good.
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Old April 12 2008, 09:08 PM   #7
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

alpha_leonis wrote: View Post
I know he died not long after The Cage due to an on-set accident at another project -- I'm just not sure how soon.
The on-set fatal accident seems to be a popular Hollywood myth floating about. Here's a link to his Wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Hunter

And regardless of the nature of his demise, it seems he passed away in May, 1969, a few months after Trek wrapped final production. He was alive when "The Menagerie" was being filmed, so his absence seems to have been by choice or (non-fatal) circumstance.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old April 12 2008, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

alpha_leonis wrote: View Post
I was under the impression that Hunter had died by then. Hence, the reason they brought in another actor and hid his face under radiation-burn makeup -- to hide the fact that it wasn't Hunter in the role.
A quick Google search would have corrected that misconception for you.
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Old April 12 2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Redfern wrote: View Post
alpha_leonis wrote: View Post
I know he died not long after The Cage due to an on-set accident at another project -- I'm just not sure how soon.
The on-set fatal accident seems to be a popular Hollywood myth floating about. Here's a link to his Wiki article:
There may be more to his death than the Wikipedia article indicates. According to the entry at Memory Alpha:

In 1969, Hunter tragically died during surgery to repair a skull fracture resulting from a fall in his home after he had suffered a major stroke. His death occurred only one week before the airing of the final Original Series episode, "Turnabout Intruder".

Shortly before his death, in an incident that received little mention in the press, he suffered from stroke-like symptoms with semi-paralysis of his right arm and loss of speech capability during a flight from Spain to the United States. Injuries Hunter had received a few weeks prior, on a movie set in Spain, when a car window shattered near him, were suggested as the cause of these symptoms, and also of the stroke that led to his death.

Christopher Hunter, Jeffrey's son, in an interview for an E! Mysteries & Scandals episode dealing with his father, stated that he thought the explosion cracked his skull. Later in the program, Christopher makes the statement that "I think alcoholism did contribute to his death as much as anything else".

Jeffrey Hunter's death certificate also notes 'fatty metamorphosis of the liver', consistent with long-term alcoholism, not as a cause of death, but rather as one of “other significant conditions” detected during the autopsy conducted after Hunter's death.
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Old April 13 2008, 12:08 AM   #10
Christopher
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Biggshow wrote: View Post
Technically, you are correct, sir. I only picked Paramount because of it's current history with the franchise. I might just as well have said MGM as that is where they shot some of "The Cage" or am I misremebering that as well?
According to Inside Star Trek, both pilots were filmed at Desilu's Culver City studio facility. The Rigel fortress sequence was shot at the historic "40 Acres" backlot in Culver City, which also contained the "Mayberry" street location used in "Miri" and "City on the Edge of Forever." Here's a page about that backlot:

http://www.retroweb.com/40acres.html

Scroll down near the bottom of the page and you'll see a shot of the "Arab village" area of the backlot, built for DeMille's King of Kings in 1927. It's recognizably the Kaylar fortress from "The Cage" (as well as the Organian village from "Errand of Mercy").

Anyway, the upshot is, no MGM.
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Old April 13 2008, 09:46 AM   #11
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Christopher wrote: View Post
I really don't think John Wayne is the right type for Kirk. Maybe he fits the "cowboy" stereotype of Kirk that evolved in the movie era and later, but the Kirk conceived by Roddenberry was a serious, disciplined soldier, as well as a sensitive, introspective man who was fairly open with his emotions.
Do you think TOS was faithful to this image of Kirk as a disciplined soldier and introspective man?
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Old April 13 2008, 01:29 PM   #12
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

hokstein wrote: View Post
Do you think TOS was faithful to this image of Kirk as a disciplined soldier and introspective man?
Mostly, yes, although the former part slipped sometimes in the later seasons. The modern myth of Jim Kirk as some hotheaded renegade is a product of the movie era.
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Old April 13 2008, 11:16 PM   #13
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

I'd like to give it a try:

Kirk--Clint Eastwood (GR pitched it as Wagon Train to the stars)
Spock--Gregory Peck (I like this idea)
McCoy--James Garner
Scotty--sorry but i just can't picture anyone, but Jimmy Doohan
Sulu--Toshiro Mifune
Uhura--Lena Horne
Rand--Shirley Jones (You think I'm kidding? See "Elmer Gantry". Woof.)(She was HOT back then!)
Chekov--??? I'm stuck. Davy Jones? I kid. (Good idea actually!)
Chapel-- Doris Day

Feel free to grade my choices, or better yet... put up or shut up & make your own list!
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Old April 14 2008, 12:03 AM   #14
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

hokstein wrote: View Post
Do you think TOS was faithful to this image of Kirk as a disciplined soldier and introspective man?
Quite. In fact, they went far enough under disciplined-and-introspective that Kirk was generally running on the verge of clinical depression; if McCoy wasn't watching for that he should have been.
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Old April 14 2008, 07:41 AM   #15
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Re: What if Star Trek had been a Big Budget studio movie in the 60s?

Would "Big name" stars be interested in doing Science Fiction? Sure a few years after Trek premeired the late great Chuck Heston made a few SF pics.(Heston as Kirk?)

Or would the parts goe to B list actors, former A listers or guys trying to make the jump from TV to movies?

James Garner was and up and coming Leading man (having made the jump from TV) I can't see him taking the McCoy role. Kirk would be more likely.
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