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Leonard Nimoy Almost Passed on Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Star Trek movies almost had a completely different feel to them. Back in the 1970’s Leonard Nimoy had no interest in returning to his iconic role of Mr. Spock. He was involved in a feud with series creator Gene Roddenberry over a role in another series that he was promised and then cut from. He was suing Paramount Pictures for using his likeness as Spock without permission. According to Imaging advantage he even reportedly told his agent that is he ever called about Star Trek again the man would be fired.

The story seen here tells the history of how the actor was convinced to join castrates and help make history. The star was convinced to join through the efforts of director Jeffrey Katzenberg. The director flew to New York where Nimoy was working in a play. After discovering the causes of his reluctance, Katzenberg pushed Paramount to reach a settlement with the actor and worked to keep him and Roddenberry as separate as possible during shooting. This task became much easier after Roddenberry failed to come up with a workable third act for the film and was pushed out.

All of these events combined to bring Nimoy back into the franchise. He would go on to direct the second and fourth sequel and participate in the first six Star Trek films, episodes of the Next Generation and the first two of the modern film reboot films. He had a successful run as a director of other films, such as Three Men and a Baby, which could have been missed if he had continued to hold a grudge.