"The Three Saaviks"

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by alpha_leonis, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But Frasier was a character from Cheers, and he was a psychiatrist there too. She didn't seem opposed to working on that show.
     
  2. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Totally agree with Saavik. Alley is Saavik.

    I normally agree with you about Kim Cattrall. I have pretty much hate everything she has ever done but I actually did like her as Valeris. Maybe because STVI required someone that is normally super annoying to play a cold emotionless vulcan. :techman:
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It's always the agent. But... Paramount deliberately offered less money for ST III than ST II, giving the excuse that "sequels usually made less money". The agent rightly made a large, silly counter offer, fully expecting Paramount to drop it to something similar or larger to her ST II salary, as would be common practice. But... contractually, Paramount only had to make "an offer" and they were now totally clear of Alley's original contract. Meanwhile, Alley was offered a starring role in a stage play ("The Glass Menagerie", IIRC) and, at this time in her career, the female lead in a play was better for her CV than a sequel to her first professional (supporting) movie role in showbiz.

    But... Shatner was not. In my interview with Paul Winfield, conducted before ST II had been released - and long before anyone knew about the ABC TV version (with that alternate Kirk/Saavik flirtation scene) - I can tell you that he said, of Shatner and Alley: (paraphrasing) "I can tell you that their off-screen relationship was quite the opposite of what you see on screen."

    The contract had the standard clause. The studio had to make an offer on a sequel. They could force her back to a sequel by simply paying a sensible market price for eighth banana in an ensemble cast. Paramount played her agent for a sucker, I strongly suspect, because Director Nimoy had already decided to recast. And to reconceive the character while he was at it.

    Hehehehe. Had Alley done ST VI or "Cause and Effect", you might have still gotten a Vulcan with a fat face. ;)

    Alley says that, when she played Saavik in ST II, she was the thinnest she'd ever been in her adult life and that was because of the fatal car accident that claimed one of her parents' lives between final auditions.
     
  4. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    Actually...I think he more heard the movie, instead of seeing it. His eyesight must have been pretty bad...its in the biography somewhere.
    If I remember the biography right, he was at the hospital for having trouble breathing. He died on a hospital floor, in his wifes arms.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    There is probably some dramatic license there. GR had been confined to a wheelchair and Ernie Over barely left his side in those final months. Not sure why GR would suddenly end up on a hospital floor?
     
  6. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The contract had the standard clause. The studio had to make an offer on a sequel. They could force her back to a sequel by simply paying a sensible market price for eighth banana in an ensemble cast. Paramount played her agent for a sucker, I strongly suspect, because Director Nimoy had already decided to recast. And to reconceive the character while he was at it.
    [/QUOTE]

    I had read that they did not add that clause, which is pretty common, ask Natalie Portman regarding doing Thor 2. But I could be wrong.
     
  7. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But was the merely Shatner's ego getting in the way or was there something more.

    After all Shatner's relationship with most of his regular cast mates off screen is well known to be the opposite to the on-screen.
     
  8. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    TUC was full of things that Roddenberry objected to - it's highly unlikely that voicing his displeasure at the idea of Saavik being a traitor would have had any effect on Meyer at all.
     
  10. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ On Meyer? No. It's well-known, and discussed openly by Meyer himself, that in his meeting with Roddenberry before shooting began on TUC, he basically told Roddenberry to shove it. In fact, Meyer says he regrets the way he acted in that meeting and the fact that, with Roddenberry's death at the end of TUC production, he'll never have the opportunity to make amends.

    However, Roddenberry's comments about Saavik turning traitor could have influenced any of a number of other people, including executive producer Leonard Nimoy. Not because it was Roddenberry, but because they thought the opinion had some merit, and they knew the fans still paid attention to what Roddenberry had to say.

    However, the way I've read it is that it was a combination of factors. First, Meyer wanted the Alley version of Saavik, not the Curtis version, and Alley either couldn't or wouldn't take the part. Second, Catrall, who was Meyer's second choice to fill the role in TUC, didn't want to play another Saavik. And, third, they started to question whether Saavik should turn traitor. All those things together contributed to the decision.
     
  11. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I believe that you are incorrect. I got this story from Bjo Trimble, who met Kirstie Alley at a Star Trek convention between STs II and III, and Richard Arnold used to relate the same story at conventions in the late 80s and early 90s.

    And, if there was no clause in Alley's contract, Paramount would not have had to even bother with making an offer.

    Don't forget that, as with Decker, Ilia and Xon being the new crewmembers who would carry "Star Trek: Phase II" if/when Shatner dropped out after 13 episodes, Saavik and David were thought of as characters who could carry a series of Spockless telemovies if/when Shatner's regular movie career took off, as he'd hoped.

    To groom an actress as a potential longterm Spock replacement and not include the right clauses in her contract would be highly unusual. "Thor 2" could easily survive without Natalie Portman. Star Trek telemovies needed a Vulcan placeholder for Spock.

    More importantly, Cattrall was Nick Meyer's personal first choice for Saavik for ST II.

    It is now, but not that widely known in those early days. The long-felt bitterness emerged when all the cast were writing their autobiographies.
     
  12. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    (Boldface added)

    I would imagine this to be the reality.
     
  13. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Just a speculation, but could it be that Alley'[s contract included an option for more telemovies (and even telemovies that get promoted to the big screen, as ST2 was), but not big screen sequels?
    I'd think it unlikely, but it's the sort of legal technicality that agents use as bargaining power. Something similar allowed Jeffrey Hunter to leave after The Cage (he was optioned for a series, but not a second pilot).
     
  14. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Sounds plausible to me. It's usually a mistake to assume that artistic decisions are made for one reason and one reason only, especially when you're dealing with something as collaborative as a major motion picture based on a long-running series. People consider several factors, add up the pros and cons, and then make the decision . . . .
     
  15. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Even though ST II started life as a telemovie, and was produced by Paramount's TV arm, it was always intended as a theatrical release beyond USA, so contracts would not have been so restricted on wording or interpretation. Contractually, Kirstie Alley had to be made an offer on ST III. They offered her less than she earned on ST II, an insulting amount since she was obviously such a popular part of that movie.
     
  16. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The issue, though, is that her contract did not require her to participate in the sequel for a predetermined price which, as I understand it, is fairly standard language in the contract for a newcomer.
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    It works in favour of the studio, not the actor. Had Paramount offered more $$$$ than she received for ST II, or even the same amount(?), Alley would have been compelled to participate in ST III whether she liked it or not. But they offered her less, so she was free to walk. She wasn't expecting to walk, but her agent's counter offer was ignored.
     
  18. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not doubting you, but that's not the way I have ever heard the situation presented from anyone who was involved in the production. Everyone has agreed that the clause in question was not included in her TWOK contract and that she was not obligated to return, regardless of the offer. Meyer, Nimoy, Shatner, etc... they've all said specifically that Paramount dropped the ball and did not include the standard "sequel" class in the contract at all.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Everyone has not agreed. Or we wouldn't be having this discussion.
     
  20. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Can you cite anyone who was actually involved in the production who has presented the situation as you've laid it out? Because I can cite several who, in writing, have said that the situation was different.