No, Michael Dorn Is Not Set To Appear In “Star Trek: Discovery,” But There Were Discussions [UPDATED]

UPDATE: More confirmation, Dorn did not say he was in Discovery

Even after TrekMovie debunked the original story about Michael Dorn appearing in Star Trek: Discovery some (including the author of the original article in question) are still holding on to the notion that Dorn did say he was on the new series and is only now changing his tune. TrekMovie has now spoken to multiple attendees of Sunday’s “Evening with Michael Dorn” event and all report the same thing, backing up Dorn’s statement that he was being misquoted. One of those we reached out to was Matt Palm, the theater critic and arts writer for the Orlando Sentinel. His article this from morning about the event made no mention of Discovery, but when TrekMovie reached out to him he said (via email): 

I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that Mr. Dorn did not say he was going to be on the new Star Trek show. In fact, he went to great lengths explaining why he would not be on the new show – that there had been interest expressed, but he was not offered enough money.  He said they had offered him less than 1 percent of what he made in his last contract as Worf.

This account is consistent with other attendees who have spoken to TrekMovie about the event and is consistent with the statement Mr. Dorn provided via his publicist (below).


Original story

Last night Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine actor Michael Dorn appeared at an “Evening With Michael Dorn” event at the Orland Shakespeare Theater in Florida, where he is also performing this month in Antony and Cleopatra. A website covering the event posted an article today reporting that Dorn told the crowd he had a role as an ancestor to his character Worf in the upcoming CBS All Access TV series Star Trek: Discovery, which is set a century before TNG and DS9.

Michael Dorn last night with Orlando Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director Jim Helsinger (Photo: OST)

This report about Dorn getting all Klingon again for Star Trek: Discovery has already been picked up by some other sites and is the current #1 story at r/startrek on Reddit. Unfortunately it isn’t true.

Dorn confirms there were talks, but no role in Star Trek: Discovery

TrekMovie reached out to Mr. Dorn today and it appears that the website got the story wrong. Through his publicist Mr. Dorn tells us he was being misquoted. The actor confirms that there were “a couple of conversations with producers last summer” about a possible Star Trek: Discovery role. Those discussions lasted a couple of weeks, however they never led anywhere and there are “no plans for him to appear at this time” on Star Trek: Discovery.

Of course Dorn has already played a 23rd century ancestor to his 24th century Mr. Worf before. The actor had a cameo in the 1991 film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where he played a “Colonel Worf,” who was the advocate for Kirk and McCoy for their Klingon trial.

Michael Dorn as Col. Worf in Star Trek VI (Paramount Pictures)

Michael Dorn is Mark Antony

If you want to see Dorn in something, check him out in Antony and Cleopatra at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater all month long.

Michael Dorn as Antoy and Topher Embrey as Eros in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of Antony and Cleopatra (Photo: Tony Firriolo)

As always, stay tuned to TrekMovie.com for all the news on Star Trek: Discovery.

 

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I only heard about this rumor from this article, but I’m still dissapointed that its not true. I guess it wouldn’t make sense to have Worf to show up, unless they used time travel.

It wasn’t going to be Worf. It was going to be an ancestor of his.

While I admire Mr. Dorn very much, I support this decision not to bring him on Discovery, YET.
Discovery has to establish its own characters.
Even bringing Mr. Dorn on in any Klingon role is stunt casting.
A casual Star Trek fan may be confused as to why he is there.
His voice is so distinctive. I can already hear people asking: What’s Worf doing on this show?

No disrespect intended to Mr. Dorn or his talents.
It’s just not a good idea, at the moment.

Correction- not Worf, but Mogue’s grandfather

It is normal for at least one character from Star Trek to be in the first episode of the new series… Quark was in Voyager, Picard in DS9… and I think it was McCoy in TNG. I don’t think enterprise did, but Enterprise was a prequel, so without timetravel, it wouldn’t have made sense.

With discovery, I’d expect Archer, T’Pol or someone from Enterprise, but it makes no sense for a DS9/TNG character to appear… Unless they plan on time travel, which makes no sense either. Especially with the overuse of time travel on Enterprise. (I love the show but Enterprise would have been way better without the time elements…)

Enterprise had Zefram Cochrane actually, so yes, it too followed the formula.

If you want to get super-into all, even “Where No Man Has Gone Before” brought back that Spock character from “The Cage”. ;-)

“super-into all”=”super-technical” #autocorrect

As others have said, if Dorn were to be on DSC, he would probably play a Worf ancestor, not Worf himself. Still, it wouldn’t be an appropriate role. Maybe Season 2 can do that, but not right at the outset. I’d much rather see someone from Enterprise appear. It makes the most sense and could encourage new viewers to revisit that series, since it is the most modern and IMO overlooked. Even Beyond went so far as to acknowledge it.

dennycranium,

Re: What’s Worf doing on this show?

You actually believe people in attendance at ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA are asking that?

And I certainly was surprised to discover that he was in THE SANATA CLAUSE 3 movie and TV’s HEROES because his characters there didn’t echo anything I’d grown familiar with in his Trek acting.

It still may be true. The public denial may be an attempt to quash the truth. If they are- as rumored re-imagining the Klingon’s overall look, it would be wise to have our favorite Klingon be one of the first to sport it.

Wow interesting. I never heard this until just now. And IIRC there was also some talk of him appearing into STID although it was never made clear if he would be playing an ancestor to Worf as well or just a completely different character. If it was the former I guess it would be too confusing as we already seen one ancestor of his in the TOS time period (and would have to play a different one given the age difference) and if the later it would probably just be weird seeing Dorn as another character entirely.

As for Discovery I would be all for that too but I can understand if they decided against it. Dorn presence might overwelme the other characters there and probably want them to stand out first. Why it wasn’t a huge deal when he came to DS9 in its fourth season. If he came on the first season it would’ve been harder for the other characters to break out.

“As for Discovery I would be all for that too but I can understand if they decided against it. Dorn presence might overwelme the other characters there and probably want them to stand out first. Why it wasn’t a huge deal when he came to DS9 in its fourth season. If he came on the first season it would’ve been harder for the other characters to break out.”

Exactly.

Didn’t Brent Spiner play like everyone in Data’s family all the way back to Enterprise? Having Dorn doing the same thing with Worf really wouldn’t be that unprecedented, yet still believable enough to me. Especially if they put him in that new makeup *shudder* they look so alien…I love it.

Yeah but when Spiner did that the show was in its fourth season when the cast was well established. Thats what I was saying about Dorn and DS9. When he arrived in fourth season, he still had a big presence but didn’t overwhelm the others because by then those characters were known and popular enough on their own. If he showed up in first season it would’ve been the Worf show instantly.

Now if we are just talking about a cameo in the pilot or one episode, probably not a big deal. We just don’t know what the extent of it would’ve been. My only point was it would probably be best to wait until later to do any big long term roles where they are the lead in the story. Again TNG didn’t get its real first TOS role until also fourth season with Leonard Nimoy. By that time TNG was established as its own thing.

No Star Trek actor aged better than Michael Dorn. He could reprise his role immediately.

If he does appear in the beginning, I’d hope it’s like how DeForest Kelley showed up in Encounter At Farpoint. (TNG first episode.)
It was like an inside joke us diehards could appreciate.

I love DeForest Kelley, but McCoy’s appearance in TNG was misguided, and evoked a groan out me. They compounded it by hanging a lantern on how it was possible he was even still alive. It was just plain dumb, fan pandering, with the only former cast member who evidently agreed to do it.

Evidently huh? That sounds like speculation to me.

Besides, he even had his own action figure…and a Star Trek that doesn’t pander to fans is not for fans.

Well it’s speculation rooted in the reality that De and Nimoy turned down appearances in GENERATIONS, which is essentially the same situation. Gene was dead at that point so no personal appeal to be made, which is how we ended up with Scotty & Chekov(!). There is no official account I’ve read about the process to include McCoy in TNG, other than the Robert Justman account. We have no idea whether Gene asked anyone else before De, but it seems unlikely McCoy would have been his first choice to launch his new Trek series. And DeForest said he did it as a thank you to Gene for all the many good things he’d done for him — meaning, De was the sort of guy who would have taken the job even if he knew Nimoy and Shatner were arrogant enough to pass (again, consistent with their history with Trek), and he was the third choice. If anyone can shed some light on the situation I’d be happy to revise my opinion of the matter. Regardless, I stand by my opinion. Gene was making Trek for the adoring audience that bought his trinkets from Lincoln Enterprises. But those days are long past. If Trek is to survive, frivolous throw-away scenes like McCoy’s on TNG, do nothing to create a compelling drama for future generations that must be attracted to the franchise like any other successful brand out there. Trek can offer nods to the original fans, but it should not pander… Read more »

It’s a wonder to me that they got their two subs to sign on when they did, as they were both in settlement negotiations at the time that didn’t get resolved until after the film was released, and that’s no speculation:

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-09-14/entertainment/ca-45870_1_star-trek

””We did enter into a deal with them, but it was not a $1-million payment for name and likeness,” a studio spokesman said Wednesday. “The deal involved future appearances as well as settlement of various claims relating to their prior services in ‘Star Trek’ properties over a number of years.”” — ‘4 Original ‘Trek’ Actors Settle Dispute for $1 Million : Television: The quartet who played Scottie, Chekov, Uhura and Sulu reach agreement with Paramount in a dispute over the marketing of their images.’; September 14, 1995|DANIEL HOWARD CERONE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Curious Cadet,

There’s a lot of interesting numbers in this article besides this pertinent excerpt:

http://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/02/arts/new-star-trek-plan-reflects-symbiosis-of-tv-and-movies.html?pagewanted=all

“There was one problem [with TMP negotiations]. When Mr. Roddenberry conceived ”Star Trek,” it was as a space ship family ”with no stars.” Whatever his intentions, fans quickly made stars of William Shatner as the heroic Capt. James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as the pointed-ear Vulcan unable to understand human emotions.

And Mr. Nimoy had a lawsuit against Paramount over royalties from ”Star Trek” merchandise. ”If you settle the lawsuit, I’ll read the script,” Mr. Nimoy told the studio. Four days later a studio lawyer brought a check to his house. By 1986, he had earned over half a million dollars from toys and posters, T-shirts and china plates, not to mention the six novels and 12 comic books that are published each year.” — NEW ‘STAR TREK’ PLAN REFLECTS SYMBIOSIS OF TV AND MOVIES; By ALJEAN HARMETZ; ‘The New York Times’; Published: November 2, 1986

Intriguing

Huh? For many McCoy’s appearance was great. I still watch that scene from time to time. And it signified Trek was a shared universe instantly and not just a reboot of it.

Tiger2,

Re: …McCoy’s [TNG] appearance was great.

When you say “great” do you mean many found the makeup artists and he brought a whole new level to his acting in advance of his years for the character that he set in THE DEADLY YEARS?

http://larrynemecek.com/articles/Bob-justman-interview.pdf

”It was a late addition; it was Gene’s idea. It came about as a result of, I think, a meeting between him and De. I think it had been on Gene’s mind and he invited De to lunch and he says, “How would you feel about it?”, expecting De to say “No. NO”— and De said, “I’d be honored.” And not only that, not only did he say “I’d be honored,” but he refused to take any more than SAG scale {salary}. He could have held us up for a lot of money, and he didn’t. And it was just great; it really got to me, the way he did it {the scene}. It really got to me; it was a beautiful, beautiful scene.” — BOB JUSTMAN: 3/20/92, his Brentwood home, 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. PST

I read that actually a few months ago for the first time somewhere. Maybe Memory Alpha but it showed the kind of man Kelly was. He just wanted to do a nice thing for his friend and honestly made him a ton of money by having him in Star Trek in the first place.

Jerri Ryan, Patrick Stewart are two I can think of off the top of my head that probably have aged better.

Damage control by his publicist to stop the surprise being spoiled perhaps? According to the person that originally reported what he said at the event, he definitely said he was in it. We shall see…

That would have been pretty good. Especially since we know there was another Worf running around during this time (or fairly close to it).

ugh, prequels.

Cap’n

What? You think there’s some sort of sequel mojo that keeps Dorn from being cast? It certainly didn’t manifest itself in the TNG sequels.

And he’s more than likely to pop up in a 24th century based sequel as old Alexander or some other future progeny so your exasperated expression seems to be a non sequitur at best.

When is this show going to premier???

Stardate 421678

my god please no…

DeForest Kelley appeared on NextGen for “scale”, which means minimum wage for the Actor’s Guild. He did it out of love for the fans, for the genre, and for the Great Bird.
Mr Dorn could have done the same.

The way I read it, he did it for Gene, who thought he’d say no. Where did Dorn say he wouldn’t do it for scale?

@Disinvited, thanks for trying, but I read the original article, so your link only confused me. It’s the UPDATE I missed. Regardless, Kelley stated he did it for Gene for all the good things he’d done for him. Dorn may not have felt the same way, and had no Gene to convince him. Indeed, I know for a fact that Paramount routinely cheated the actors out of overtime pay, and it took a sort of actor’s revolt to correct the problem. So, as an actor who, in part, makes his living off of Worf, he’s entitled to reasonable compensation — especially since CBS is likely to get more of a boost out of having Dorn in their show, than Dorn is likely to get in his career outside of the show.

It might simply have been an availability issue, Yosef! Try not always to see the worst in people, eh? ;)

Dom,

The update to this article makes clear it was the pay. However, the unmitigate presumption by many that Dorn hasn’t already donated enough of his time for no money or scale on the behalf of the fans and STAR TREK for many charities is atrocious.

Best news I’ve heard yet about this new show. lol No love for Worf here. What gives me pause was the fact that there were discussions about it actually happening.

So, jonboc, your are fine with Dorn – it just has to be anntirely new character unconnected to Worf?

I think Dorn would be a fine addition, without his Klingon persona. I think he is more than likely a good actor and could easily be an asset to the series. But the character of Worf and how he was portrayed…be it Dorn’s fault, the writer’s fault or the director’s fault…didn’t sit well with me at all…on TNG, DS9 or Trek 6. Of course, I’m jumping to the conclusion that the series would feature Colonel Worf, being the set prior to Kirk’s 5 year voyage. But it doesn’t really matter, he played both characters the same way.

Worf, by far, was one of the most well-developed, fully-realized character in TNG era Trek, aided by the fact that he appeared in 13 seasons as a main character. He had the richest and longest arch, even if you weren’t a fan of the character. He had the most internal conflict, which makes for great characters.

It’s fair if you didn’t like him, I guess, but he was always a favorite of mine, even on TNG, but particularly in DS9.

So ultimately it sounds like it came down to money, which is normally the issue lol. Sounds like a Shatner situation ALTHOUGH I never blamed Shatner if money was the issue that he didn’t do other Trek things no more than I am blaming Dorn. Or any Trek actor. I mean yeah 1% is pretty low and so I can’t blame him. SAME TIME though he probably was just going to do a walk on cameo like McCoy did for TNG or Shimmerman did for Voyager. In one scene as a connection. My guess anyway. I would assume if it was going to be for a recurring role of some kind he would get more than that and if he didnt then they should be ashamed of themselves.

But if its for a one scene deal again I can’t blame Dorn personally but understand why they were offering so little if more than likely it would not only be a small cameo but also wouldn’t be advertised. Patrick Stewart was really the only actor that had a bigger role in these things when DS9 premiered and this was when TNG was still on the air and very hot. The other roles have just been a blink and you miss them type of presence and probably got paid accordingly.

Why not let his “ancestor” cameo in the show? Doesn’t even have to be a big part just have him in a ‘Episode’ ? Surely they can afford him for a damn cameo!

Except some don’t want to see him, even in such a cameo. And if they’re doing that, he doesn’t even have to be an ancestor — they could literally cast him as anything since it’s merely pandering to the fans, and it’s the presence of the actor alone that’s the focus of the appearance.

Curious Cadet,

I believe what you are describing is called “stunt casting” which, oddly enough, CBS was the one network which perfected it use in its police procedurals and murder mysteries.

So, it’s likely something that will be employed here as well.

I’m fine if they cast Dorn as a character unrelated to Klingons and Worf. Because then he can play a character integrated into the story as an actor who doesn’t have to pander to the character he originally created for another series. And they’re hiring him for his skills as an actor, and what he brings to the part, even if for some he will be bringing some nostalgia and extra reason to watch.

I’ve been reading Dorn’s interviews and interestingly he says for the first 7 years of playing the character, Worf, he never got recognized on sight, only by voice.

But after that, people started recognizing him on sight. He attributed it to the different ways that the movies’ publicities were handled over that of the show.

I didn’t know this:

http://www.tgdaily.com/entertainment/66088-star-trek-actors-want-your-help-making-new-films

”Dorn was inspired to create the film [THROUGH THE FIRE] after being offered a part in the upcoming STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, as Colonel Worf, a character he played in Star Trek VI, and also an ancestor of the character he played in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The part was removed from the script before shooting began, but Dorn had the bug, and decided he wants to do a film with his Trek Friends.” — ‘Star Trek actors want your help making new films’, by CB Droege, TECH GURU DAILY, 15th September 2012

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