The story centers around Kirk, Spock, and their crew traveling back in time to 1986 on a mission to retrieve two humpback whales and bring them to the 23rd century to save the Earth from an alien probe.
Talking to THR, screenwriter Steve Meerson opened up about the development of the film and revealed that Eddie Murphy originally had a role in it. He said:
“They knew they wanted to make a movie that would make a statement about the environment. They knew that they wanted it to include whales. They had a notion that time travel might enter into it. But it’s basically all they had.”
He and his screenwriting partner Peter Krikes wrote around seven to ten drafts of the script, and the final one that got approval included a role for Murphy that never never happened.
“It was always the same story that got approved, but the original draft included a part for Eddie Murphy. Eddie was on the lot at Paramount at the time and arguably was the biggest star in the world. They had told us he was a huge Star Trek fan.”
It was then revealed that Murphy was going to play an astrophysicist at Berkeley, and that the original story did not include Dr. Gillian Taylor, who was played by Catherine Hicks. She was the marine biologist and love interest for Kirk. She replaced Murphy when his deal fell apart.
“At the beginning of the process, it was actually a lot of fun. As the process progressed, it became less fun, because it became more political. And I don’t say that with any bitterness. It’s just the way things work in all businesses. We began to feel like at a certain point that this was going to be taken away from us, which in fact, it was.”
It must be fun to see Murphy in Star Trek, his earlier movies were so much fun and he was brilliant in whatever movies he has done sad that it never worked out with Star Trek.