STII Original Version?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by RookieBatman, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    I recently chanced once again upon the story of how Harve Bennett convinced Leonard Nimoy to come back for Star Trek II by offering him the opportunity to die in the first 3rd of the movie, like Janet Leigh in "Psycho." But, as we all know, the story leaked out (thank you, Gene), and they had to rework it to the Kobayashi Maru red-herring and the climactic death scene.
    So, when I heard that story this time, it got me thinking. At the time Harve made that pitch, the story, or at least whatever event culminated in Spock's death, must have been fairly different. And I know there are old rough draft scripts floating around of various movies (like the drafts of "Batman" and "Batman Returns" with Robin in them, or the darker early version of "The Truman Show"); it would be interesting to see the early version of STII where Spock died in the first part of the movie. Does anyone know whether such a script, or even just a premise detailing the storyline at that phase of production, exists?
     
  2. Broccoli

    Broccoli Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As far as the stuff that I have read, the script was never written until after that change took place (ie. they wanted all their cast signed on before fleshing out a full story).

    I could be (and probably am) wrong in this matter, though I would have no idea how the story would end, as the dished out it's emotional core earlier way earlier.

    I know...ask Therin. He knows EVERYTHING about the TOS movies it seems.
     
  3. Joker

    Joker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Somewhat off-topic... what were the major differences in the earlier drafts of The Truman Show?
     
  4. RookieBatman

    RookieBatman Commodore Commodore

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    I figured someone would ask that question. :p Unfortunately, I only read the first section of it, but even just two key events there can give us a bit of a glimpse into the different direction they were headed. One was Truman hiring a prostitute to pretend to be that girl that he used to like from school (and implying that this was a regular routine they did, going as far as her wearing a wig, I think). The other, in a scene coincidentally reminiscent of Rachel Dawes' first meeting of Batman in "Batman Begins," features Truman coming home late on the subway, and seeing some toughs follow a girl off a train, as if to assault her. Truman timidly goes on his way, ignoring her cries for help. We find out that the producers had fabricated the whole scene (both the toughs and the girl were actors) just let the viewers see how Truman reacts to it.
    Given the sharp contrast of those scenes to the finished movie, I'm surprised I wasn't more curious about how that version ended. I might have to hunt down that script again.
    The other one I'd really like to read is the earlier conception of "Elf" as a more raunchy adult-type movie in the style of Anchorman or Old School. Not because I like more raunchy, "blue" humor, but my curiosity is piqued at the thought of the movie being so integrally different from the finished product.

    But, back on topic, if the above is true, it's a shame...it would be pretty fascinating to see what kind of story Bennett had in mind.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Hehehe. Yeah, ST II was cobbled together from several script outline proposals: a male Dr Savik came from one; a planetary weather machine came from another; Khan from another; and the return of Dr Janet Wallace ("The Deadly Years"), and her son David Wallace, from another. But I'm sure these were all treatments, not fleshed-out scripts. The idea was that they also had to identify how existing TMP SPFX stock footage could be incorporated, not just be a gripping story.

    IIRC, all the main actors were in place, contact-wise, before the script was finalized, but George Takei held out until they promised him a scene where Kirk tells him of his promotion to captain of Excelsior, thus Takei wasn't secured until the day or two before principal photography began.

    After Susan Sackett spilled the beans (at a big annual UK convention) about the proposed Spock death, the whole Kobayashi Maru scenario prologue was simply added to the front of the proposed combined storyline, shunting Spock's death towards the film's climax rather than earlier in the film.

    What was probably lost in all the shunting of the scenes was a proposed man-on-man scene between Khan and Kirk. (It's actually quite bizarre that they never meet in person in ST II.)

    Judson Scott (Joachim) once told me that there were some scenes written for him and Ricardo Montalban to rehearse with, which identified their quasi father/son relationship, but these lines were not really intended to become part of the movie.

    Also, before the draft script itself was being written, it was assumed that Khan would have scenes with Marla McGivers, but then Harve Bennett heard that Madlyn Rhue had MS, and was confined to a wheelchair, so that character was dropped before her scenes were written.

    Paul Winfield told me about Khan's child - and Terrell rolling down the hill, but that stunt bit was not in the script either, just improvised on the day (hence causing the potential for a union dispute, as no African American stuntman had been ordered by the official callsheets and a white stuntman was put into blackface makeup.)
     
  6. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did he then find out she really was that girl and then she fell off a bell-tower to her doom?

    Sorry, er... flashes of Vertigo.

    A darker Truman might have been interesting stuff. One thing I never quite got, though, was the use of music from Powaqqatsi. There's a whole track that's identical, note for note, to a Glass piece in that film... and I don't remember if they paid royalties to use it or if it was just a knockoff job.

    But, ahem, to return to the topic at hand: Fascinating. (arches eyebrow) Susan Sackett inadvertently caused a better movie! :vulcan: Spock's death wouldn't have had half the impact if they killed him off early in the movie rather than as part of the climax.
     
  7. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Harve Bennett actually offered belated thanks in a "Starlog" interview. I was with Susan Sackett at Warner Bros Movieworld, on the Gold Coast (Aust.), in 1992, and she was still on speaking terms with Bennett, who was working on "Time Trax" at the time.

    The pre-empting of Spock's proposed death was orchestrated by Roddenberry, IIRC, because he was convinced that it was a mistake to kill off Spock - and yet no one was listening to his memos. Inevitably, the "Save Spock" fan campaign, complete with a front-page report in the "Wall Street Journal", and a full-page ad in "Variety", brought ST II and the ST movie franchise untold free publicity.
     
  8. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I haven't read it, but I did talk to an fx guy who read it, and said that it, along with the first draft of FROM HELL, were the two best scripts he had read in years. He mentioned that in TRUMAN (which was supposed to feature Gary Oldman, who played Truman in a test scene shot by writer Andrew Niccol), the main character tumbles to the fact he is being monitored and at one point holds a baby over his head, intending to slam it to the ground unless the truth is revealed. Much darker, and probably damned good (though I like the filmed version too.)
     
  9. Holytomato

    Holytomato Fleet Captain

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    "Madlyn Rhue had MS, and was confined to a wheelchair, so that character was dropped before her scenes were written."

    Oh, :( it would have been great for McGivers to be in "Wrath".

    "Kirk tells him of his promotion to captain of Excelsior"

    The first ever on screen scene of "Hikaru" being Sulu first name. Years before "The Undiscovered Country".

    proposed man-on-man scene between Khan and Kirk. (It's actually quite bizarre that they never meet in person in ST II.)

    I've always felt that way too. :wtf:

    "Judson Scott (Joachim) once told me that there were some scenes written for him and Ricardo Montalban to rehearse with, which identified their quasi father/son relationship,"

    I thought Joachim and Khan were son and father while I was in the theater, watching the film for the first time.

    Don't get me started on McGivers' and Khan's child. :cry:

    When I saw "The Mask of Zorro", I thought, "Mmm...this reminds of something."

    Oh, dang, now I gotta read the novelization, the Khan Trilogy, and the DC comix. again. ttfn. :thumbsup:
     
  10. TGTheodore

    TGTheodore Writer Admiral

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    Unless anything is actually written into a treatment, you can't really say what was "originally intended".

    It takes a lot less time to write outlines than drafts of scripts. I tend to look at any story elements offered in early treatments as part of the process to getting to the actual storyline -- obviously disposable.

    --Ted
     
  11. Ceridwen

    Ceridwen Commodore Commodore

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    Glass wrote the score for the movie, and even appeared in the film as the composer for the show itself. He wrote very little original music for the film, though; most of the film's soundtrack is taken from Powaqqatsi and Anima Mundi (along with pieces composed by Chopin and Mozart).
     
  12. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    I recall reading that one of Soward's actual first script drafts had Spock's death at about the 40-minute mark. Seem to recall that Spock was serving with a Captain Baker on the Enterprise. I think it was in an Allan Asherman "behind the scenes of Khan book" where I read it, but cannot swear to it this late in the game.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  13. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not so sure the plan was to use the name Hikaru at that early stage. It had only really just been coined by Vonda McIntyre for "The Entropy Effect". By ST VI, though, it had passed into legend status.
     
  14. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for that. Only Powaqqatsi was ever called to my attention, by someone who was passing by, heard me watching the DVD, and assumed I was watching The Truman Show... when I didn't get the reference, that person showed me the segment of that film with the identical track.

    Seems kind of uncharacteristically lazy of Glass. I mean, all his music is the same anyway. :p But seriously, he did pretty good scores for Mishima, Kundun, and even direct to home video affairs like the 1931 Dracula or the French Beauty and the Beast... so what's the deal with Truman?

    (Sorry to go so conspicuously off-topic)
     
  15. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always assumed that most of the Ceti Alpha V survivors (except Khan) were children of the original Botany Bay crew. How else do you explain the fact that only Khan looks to be the right age? The rest look to be teen-agers or early 20's, with a couple of exceptions. Joachim could easily have been Khan and McGiver's son.

    Having Madlyn Rhue in the movie would have been genius. The fact that she was confined to a wheelchair would have injected even more pathos into her character. Her early death scene, showing her mind and body ravaged by the Ceti Eels, would have given Khan even more fuel for his rage against Kirk.

    I, for one, did not want to see a face-to-face between Kirk and Khan. What, another fight scene between two geezers? That would have been too easy. Khan lifts Kirk up, Kirk beats Khan with a plastic tube.

    Mostly, I wanted to see Khan's explanation to Terrell about his origins done as a "flash-back" scene, utilizing some footage from Space Seed. It would have been great to see some genuine TOS on "the big screen".
     
  16. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Actually, Burkhart Dallwitz has always been credited for writing the music for TRUMAN SHOW, but there were other pieces (the best ones IMO) that were existing cues from other folks, such as Glass. I'm guessing that his TRUMAN score just didn't measure up for the director, or maybe the director was in love with his temp cues and couldn't part with the Glass.
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Greg Cox's third Khan novel states that Joachim (Judson Scott, ST II) is the son of Joaquin (Mark Tobin, TOS). The young blond teens of ST II were born on Ceti Alpha and matured quickly due to their Eugenics-altered cells, but they all became accidental throw-backs to their Aryan source genes, thus all new offspring are blond and blue eyes, despite the multicultural backgrounds of Khan's TOS followers: eg. (Asian female) Ling, (UK male) McPherson and (Euro male) Joaquin, etc.
     
  18. Kegek

    Kegek Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for that. I was pretty baffled when I noticed the different composer credited. Interesting if he preferred the temp tracks that he still kept his composer partly on, rather than, say, dumping him altogether like Alex North and 2001. It wsa a fairly good movie, yet I like Powaqqatsi better (though I think the qatsi trilogy is a classic case of diminishing returns).

    To return to the topic at hand, I think it was a good call not to use Rhue. It might have been very difficult to shoot her scenes given her condition, and having her already dead gives the villain motivation without him seeming overly sympathetic (a lot of scenes with Khan fussing over his disabled wife and I suspect people might begin to root for him). I've always liked thinking that she kissed his gloved hand before she died, that's why it never came off... though we know the real reason was that it was an arbitrarily created 'mystery' by Nick Meyer.
     
  19. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    She was playing Daphne DiMera in "Days of Our Lives" (1982-1984), and did several recurring roles in other shows, despite her illness.
     
  20. Deleted 2

    Deleted 2 Vice Admiral

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    And this, exactly, is why Trek lit authors shouldn't try to explain some things. :brickwall: