The number one movie this weekend is Paramount Dreamworks comedy Tropic Thunder from director (and Trekkie) Ben Stiller. So far it is even beating Star Wars The Clone Wars in box office and that is all because the film actually contains a clip from Star Trek: The Original Series. OK maybe not just because of that, but it does have one.
Tropic Thunder Trek
Paramount’s Tropic Thunder tells the tale of three actors working on a war movie in Vietnam who actually get caught up in a real life battle. In one scene Ben Stiller’s character Tugg Speedman is seen in the jungle watching a clip of the famous Kirk v Gorn fight scene from Star Trek’s "Arena" on his iPod.
Stiller’s character looks for fight tips from the master
Stiller = Trekkie
It is no accident that there is a Trek reference in Stiller’s new film, as he is a huge Trek fan and has been one since he was a kid. The 1977 book "The Making of the Trek Conventions" by Joan Winston recounts how his mother Anne Meara took him to a Trek convention back in 1976 when he was 11 years old. His production company is called ‘Red Hour Films’ which is a reference to the ‘red hour’ from the TOS episode "The Return of the Archons."Stiller’s friend and collaborator Jeneane Garofalo told USAWeekend that Stiller "can recite every line from Star Trek." He even got to cast his childhood hero William Shatner in the 2004 Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. And just a few months ago he was one of the celebrities that dropped by the set of JJ Abrams Star Trek.
In some video clips below, Stiller shows off his Trekdom, appearing on UPN’s Star Trek 30th anniversary show, Shatners Comedy Central Roast and also in clips from his TV shows on MTV and Fox.
Stiller at the Star Trek 30th Anniversary
(sorry about watermark, trying to get one without)
Stiller’s Trek spoof on MTV
Stiller’s taped message for Shatner’s Roast
(not for the kids or the easily offended)
For more on Tropic Thunder, visit the official site. Here is the trailer.
Thanks to all the fans who sent in tips on Tropic Thunder, including my brother David and David of CinemaViewfinder. Thanks to John Tenuto for more Stiller/Trek connections.