Eddie Murphy Reveals Why He Turned Down a Star Trek Movie Role

Written by on January 31, 2023

Comedy legend Eddie Murphy has opened up about why he passed on the possibility of joining the Star Trek universe. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home‘s original script included a role meant for Murphy. However, as fans will recall, The Voyage Home is “the one with the whales,” where the USS Enterprise crew travels back in time to 1980s Earth. Murphy’s character wasn’t from Star Trek’s time, but a college professor from the 20th century who believes in aliens. He would have greeted the Enterprise crew and helped them navigate the era. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Murphy explained that if he was going to be in Star Trek, he wanted to whole Star Trek experience. That role wasn’t it.

“Yeah, you know which one it was? It was the one where they go to San Francisco and they get the whales,” Murphy said. “I was going to be the one that they met when they got to San Francisco, and I was like, ‘No, I want to go and beam up and be on the ship,’ so I didn’t do it… Yeah, they had me like talking jive to Spock.”

When Murphy passed on the role, later drafts of the film’s script removed his character. Catherine Hicks’ role as marine biologist Dr.  Gillian Taylor expanded to take its place. 

The end of Star Trek’s “Genesis Trilogy”

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home concluded what fans unofficially refer to as “The Genesis Trilogy.” That story began with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan then continued in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, finishing with Star Trek IV. With those films recently coming to 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray for the first time, ComicBook.com spoke to Rod Roddenberry, head of Roddenberry Entertainment and son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, about what makes those films special.

“I don’t know if this is what you’re expecting, but I think the original series did a great job of showing a crew that was a family, but it still was a Kirk, Spock and DeForest Kelley, and Bones with, I hate to call them supporting cast, but almost supporting cast with the show, George and Walter,” he said. “The movies brought that family together. The movies gave life and purpose and cohesion to all of those characters, and you get to see them interact more and come together and work together, not just as a crew, but as a group of people who loved each other and cared for one another. And I think, as you just said, II, III, and IV, and of course the first one, but II, III, and IV really did a phenomenal job of dealing with that. And how they dealt with the loss of Spock. And then he comes back, but how does he now fit back into the family? I think you nail it with that question. And I think that is a great sort of a three-part version of Star Trek, which just shows the love between them.

(h/t TrekMovie)

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