Just in time for the film’s 35th Anniversary, the long-awaited oral history of Star Trek: The Motion Picture will be released this week from author Preston Neal Jones and Creature Features Publishing. More info after the jump.
The Human Adventure begins again in 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.
“Return to Tomorrow” is a 672-page book that 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.
The book is now available for shipping. Order details can be found here.
TrekMovie will have a full review in the weeks ahead.