The Real Reason Leonard Nimoy & DeForest Kelley Turned Down Star Trek Generations

While Leonard Nimoy’s Spock was once planned to be a part of the narrative for “Star Trek Generations,” that’s not quite the full story on the actor’s involvement with the project. In reality, Nimoy was once meant to be more intimately involved with the movie than any of his other castmates, as he was initially approached to be the film’s director.

Diehard “Star Trek” fans may already know that Nimoy sat in the director’s chair for both “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” His streak of directorial credits in the franchise was set to continue with “Star Trek Generations,” but he had a profound distaste for just about everything in the movie’s original script — barring the resolution of what happens to Data (Brent Spiner) and his emotion chip. “My God, what were they doing?” Nimoy said in “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years,” referencing his feelings on the script. “Why that scene? What’s this scene about? Where are they going with this?”

Nimoy subsequently requested a complete rewrite of the film’s script, which producer Rick Berman outright rejected. Negotiations for Nimoy’s involvement completely broke down, and the rest is history — though Berman acknowledged in hindsight that a more favorable outcome for all parties could have been reached. “It was unusual for us to write a script with no director involved at all,” he said. “Mr. Nimoy is right that he probably should have had a pass at the script.”

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