It is fairly well known that at one point during the development of Star Trek IV The Voyage Home, Paramount was considering including Eddie Murphy in the film. In an interview promoting his new movie Meet Dave (originally titled Starship Dave), Murphy talks about why he didn’t take the role in ST:IV and how he is a big Trek fan. (transcript and video link below)
Star Trek IV was being developed in 1985, which was a year after Paramount’s hit film Beverly Hills Cop had come out. Murphy explains to Access Hollywood how he was hoping for a real Star Trek role, but Paramount just wanted to put an Axel Foley-like character into Trek:
…I was a big Trekkie and they were like ‘ok we are going to develop something with you’ and they wrote something where they come back to San Francisco. Then they were ‘and you are going to be the jive dude in San Francisco with Spock’ and I was like ‘I don’t want to be the jive dude with Spock, I want to have pointed ears and a phaser and I want to beam and I want to do all of that’ and I never got to do it. So now I got to play the captain in this film. Captain of the ship with a mid-Atlantic accent.
VIDEO: Murphy shows how he wanted Vulcan ears
The role originally intended for Murphy would evolve into Dr. Gillian Taylor played by Catherine Hicks. Murphy ended up doing the critically panned film The Golden Child which came out a couple weeks after Star Trek IV (Trek also beat Golden Child in box office sales by $30 million).
Murphy’s Star Trek routine
Murphy’s Trek fandom was apparent from his 1983 concert movie Delirious which contained a section where the comedian talked about how Star Trek was the only good thing on TV.
[WARNING: clip below contains VERY adult language and is NSFW]
Meet Dave comes out this Friday (July 11), more info at the official site.
This is one of those things that I was always rather thankful didn’t pan out. Besides (and this is primarily my 12 year old self at the time talking), Catherine Hicks was much easier on the eyes than Eddie Murphy.
I always wondered why that fell through…
“The role originally intended for Murphy would evolve into Dr. Gillian Taylor played by Catherine Hicks.”
A Shatner-Murphy romance would have been groundbreaking!
[ Maybe that’s why the film is set in SF! ]
I for one am glad thing worked out as they did…
Yeah right because anything this guys done in his life is really in line with the morals and ethics that Star Trek is about.
@ #4: Morality screening for the cast?
“The role originally intended for Murphy would evolve into Dr. Gillian Taylor played by Catherine Hicks.”
If they played the role against the type of characters Murphy was known for at that time, then it might’ve been interesting. IIRC, in a Starlog interview with the first-draft writers (Harve Bennett and Nick Meyer did the final draft with Bennett doing the “bookends” and Meyer doing all the 20th century stuff), they state that the idea was for Murphy to be a college professor who was also a UFO nut and would chase down the crew after seeing the BoP appear above a Giants game.
I don’t blame him for backing out. Look what happened when they put the “jive dude” in a Superman movie.
Also, “Starship Dave” was written by Bill Corbett of MST3K. I was excited by the concept a few years ago when I first heard about it, but now … it just looks like another Eddie Murphy crapfest.
I wonder if Bill weeps at night.
I remember all the talk/rumor about ‘Murphey in a Star Trek role’ going around about that time, but the rumor I heard was that it was going to be some kind of Harry Mudd type of character, which I thought, at the time, wouldv’e been kind of interesting. So then only part of that rumor was true. I’m kind of with the others: Glad the “jive dude with Spock” thing didn’t go over. Can’t say I blame Murphey for turning that one down.
I love eddie, it would have main streamed trek a bit. What a stupid move on Paramounts part not putting him in.
Thank goodness he didnt end up in the movie, because it would have to been centered around Sulu and Murphy’s romance at the end can you imagine the scene in the Fed. Chamber at the end and Kirk and crew walk off and instead of the scene with Sarek and Spock it would be Sulu and Murphy, and then Murphy kisses him on the cheek and Takei says, ‘I feel Fine!’ That would have brought the house down in 1986 LOL! ‘OH MY’ (Sulu accent)
Catherine Hicks= Cute
Murphy= NOOOOOOOOOOO (in wormhole sounding talk from STTMP)
“I wonder if Bill weeps at night.”
Not if the check cashed.
“I love eddie, it would have main streamed trek a bit. What a stupid move on Paramounts part not putting him in.”
Two words: Superman III
Catherine Hicks= Irritating.
I agree with 14.
They blew it by not finding a way to put Murphy in that movie.
Eddie wanted to be a Vulcan cause they have such pretty pretty feet
When I first heard that he was to be in the movie (at the time), while I was a grate fan of his and the 48 hours and all that… it just sounded wrong for Star Trek. Especially now, in the knowing that the studio wanted him for the Gillian Taylor part. Oh my god, that would have been just terrible.
I way more agree with what he says that he wanted to do as a Vulcan, a serious role. Still, it would have been distracting and I am glad it didnt work out. It’s too popular culture mixed in with a classic. The 15 seconds or so in 6 with Christian Slater was much the same kind of distraction.
Iman as a shapeshifter was really pushing it, too.
I cant wait to see my main geezah Quinto as Spock though. You dudes have been going on about the Heroes and whatnot and I had never seen it. SO then it comes on comcast ON demand, but it’s like $2 an ep. But you guys went on and on about it so much that I took your word for it. I torrented seasons 1 and 2 off the interwebs and burned them all to dvd and have been watching it.
You guys were right – it’s a wonderful show, I love it!
thar’s nothin’ on earth stoppin’ him or anyone else from digitally insertin’ Eddie o’er Catherine Hicks’ performance (sorry, darlin’)… he can even put on some pointed ears…
Then we can all bask in tha’ glory of “what could have been”…
Ya’ can do it wit’ Samual L. Jackson as well: “I’ve had it with these m-**!## whales on this m-**!## Bird Of Prey!”
Catherine Hicks = Hot
re 21. Jor-dun®
Dude? I dunno about that. Everytime I see that Catherine Hicks I get the impression that she’s a chick that farts alot.
I don’t know why, but that’s pretty gross dude. SO what are you thinking?
They should’ve cast him as Sybok.
I just watched the trailer for “Meet Dave.” Looks like Eddie is trapped doing stupid movies; what a waste of talent. Playing a Vulcan could transform his career in a positive direction, and I think he could play a Vulcan with a refreshing vibe.
I’m glad Eddie Murphy was never in a Star Trek movie. He would have ruined it. I just don’t see any way for his style of acting or comedy to have a place in a Trek film.
It worked out for the best. Whoever said ‘it would have helped mainstream Trek’ is crazy. ST IV DID mainstream Trek, without Eddie.
I would love to see him in Trek the way he wanted, as a Starfleet officer or Vulcan would be great. The fact he turned it down increases my admiration for the man as a creative person.
maybe they can make it up to him and cast him as Harry Mudd in the new films…
is Abe Vogoda still around? he would be great as an Academy professor…
Might have been interesting to have him in the movie playing a Q type of being on Earth taking a vacation in the past when the crew of the Enterprise appears, and he not only refuses to help, he makes life comedically-difficult for them, but at the end decides to help and flings them back to their own time. That would have been an interesting role for Murphy. This way he gets to be a space alien and doesn’t become a part of crew-canon.
#17 – The blew it? Really? Hmmmm, ST IV was the most publicly accepted movie of all the trek movies…but they blew it?
I have to agree with #13 here…Superman III…what an embarrassment.
Judging from Eddie’s latest entry into filmdom, they should have cast him as the Enterprise. Now that’s a serious Trek role.
“Oh no! He fell for the old ‘banana in the bussard collector’ trick!”
Somewhere, in an alternate reality, Eddie Murphy was in STIV.
I’m glad we live in the Mirror Universe.
murphy in trek?? god no!!
Meet Dave doesn’t look too bad
Eddie Murphy is a comedy genius, but he would have single-handedly killed the Trek franchise if he’d been in ST4TVH. If you doubt me, I have two things to say to you:
that’s three things.. right.?
Kind of figured out Eddie was some what of a Trekkie(er) in the movie “Boomerang” when he was with Halle Berry on the couch watching, I believe Elan of Troyas, whist Halle feel asleep in his arms…. much like my GF does when I watch Trek :^)
Superman III blew chow even without the Prior role.
Keep him as far away from Star Trek as possible!
“Gimme a Break” to all these “he would’ve messed it all up” comments, it was the 80’s Murphy, which means at the very Least it could’ve Been funny.
Personally I don’t think it would’ve worked in ST IV, but in some other trek capacity, it Might have been Cool.
Murphy would have killed the movie.
Phew! Glad someone saw some sense.
As it transpired – it was one of the best Treks – Murphy would have made it cheap.
Oh – and we probably wouldn’t have had that ‘Do you like Italian?’ scene. It was magic.
Just wanna give props where due- Murphy was wrong for Trek but that stand-up was funny as hell.
Perhaps he could be a guest cast member for Star Trek: Phase II.
So, Murphy would play Gillian as a 400 lb. black woman?
“Captain, there be whales here!”
Love Eddie — but, like Shat, he needs a strong director to keep him from running in bad directions (“Vampire of Brooklyn”, anyone?) Never say never. There are still two flicks left on Paramount’s contract…
Eddie Murphy as Momma from The Nutty Professor in Trek IV.
As the father from the same movie for Trek IV:
“I LOVE Italian! “Cept it give me gas. Spock, pull mah finguh! WHOA! Now that’s a warp core breach!”
…At one point the script called for Harry Mudd to be involved, but the failing health of Roger C. Carmel nixed that one right about the time they were talking about bringing Eddie in as well. The idea would be that it would take two con artists from different centuries to pull off stealing two whales *and* get the transparent aluminum. In the end, Eddie’s character would have gone back to the 23rd century to avoid geting busted, and would have wound up going off with Mudd as his “protege'”.
I’m glad that wasn’t how it turned out…wow!
The Voyage Home didn’t need Eddie, as it was very popular, made the most money of all the movies, and is admired by non-fans even to this day.
Maybe he would have saved Star Trek V, though, playing a renegade Vulcan who tries to find God. A passionate Vulcan with misplaced priorities but with a sense of humor.
Yeah, Eddie wanted to be a Vulcan, and that approach just might have saved that movie. They would have lost the Spock’s brother angle, but the plot device really didn’t work in the first place.
I doubt William Shatner would have wanted to share the spotlight in HIS Trek movie, however.