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.