Just in time for the film’s 35th Anniversary, a new book detailing the production of Star Trek: The Motion Picture is coming this fall, and TrekMovie has a first look at the details. Find out more and how you can pre-order below.
The Human Adventure begins again in upcoming TMP ‘Oral History’ Book
There was an enormous amount of anticipation leading up to the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in December 1979. Fans had been clamoring for a new movie or show since The Original Series went off the air ten years earlier. The film was a big-budget “event” picture that promised to take Star Trek to places that wouldn’t be possible on television.
What many moviegoers didn’t know at the time was that the production of the film was a troubled one. Filming began before the script was finished, there were internal battles between Gene Roddenberry and writer Harold Livingston that saw multiple rewrites arrive on the set daily, and the company that was hired to do the visual effects had to be replaced late in production, causing a frantic rush to have the film ready for its release date. All of those factors, as well as several others, resulted in a film that went wildly over budget and was viewed by some as being dull and boring.
And today TrekMovie has the first look at a newly announced book "Return to Tomorrow: The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture," from author Preston Neal Jones and publisher Creature Features. This "long-lost" 672-page book will provide an oral history of the film compiled from interviews with 60 of the film’s cast and creators, conducted as The Motion Picture was being prepared for release.
The interviews include William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the entire cast, along with director Robert Wise and writer/producer (and creator of Star Trek) Gene Roddenberry. In addition there are dozens of additional interviews with visual effect artists, illustrators, model builders and technicians. According to a press release for the book "no aspect of the film’s creation is overlooked" and it also promises the "unvarnished, uncensored truth" of how the first Star Trek feature was created.
The source material for "Return to Tomorrow" was originally intended for publication by Cinefantastique magazine in 1979, and author Preston Neal Jones was given unparalleled access to the cast and crew of the film. However owing to the late completion of the film and ambitious scope of the manuscript, it was never published—until now. According to the publisher, the entire manuscript has been "laboriously fact-checked" for release in book form.
Strictly limited to 1,000 copies, the mammoth trade paperback is priced at $29.95 and available for pre-order now at CreatureFeatures.com. "Return to Tomorrow" will ship in October. The first 100 copies will come hand-signed by the author.
About the Author (via Publisher press release):
Preston Neal Jones’ first excursion into cinematic oral history, “James Whale Remem- bered,” appeared in Forrest J Ackerman’s original Famous Monsters of Filmland. His first book, Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of The Night of the Hunter, was hailed as one of the finest works of its kind and earned the Rondo Award for Book of the Year from the Classic Horror Film Board. Jones’ other writings have appeared in periodicals as disparate as Cinefantastique and American Art Review. Active in the film/TV industry, he has served variously as creative advertising executive, script analyst and production assistant; introduced film screenings at American Cinematheque and the Los Angeles Film School; and contributed entries to Groves’ New Dictionary of Music and Musicians and The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Jones’ liner notes
TrekMovie will have a full review of this intriguing release when it gets published.