Movie Fact #20 - September 6th, 2020
The original series for Star Trek was cancelled in 1969 and would take nearly ten years before the original cast returned for the 1979 film Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The path to it was an odd one that essentially saw series creator Gene Roddenberry constantly at odds with Paramount Pictures. Roddenberry first lobbied to the studio to continue the franchise through a feature film right after the original television series was cancelled. The studio wasn't convinced nor approved of work on a film until 1975 when the series saw success in syndication. But then Paramount became dissatisfied with pitched stories after a series of writers attempted to craft a "suitably epic" script so the projected was in 1977, notably the year Star Wars hit theaters. Paramount felt that no other science fiction film could rival it after it's massive success in theaters, but the success of Close Encounters of the Third Kind later that year convinced Paramount that science fiction films other than Star Wars could do well. So, they cancelled the new television series they were working on titled Star Trek: Phase II, which Paramount was hoping to use to return the franchise to it's roots.
However, the story for that proposed show's planned pilot, titled "In Thy Image" would ultimately serve as the foundation for the film as writers rushed to adapt it into a film script. It was so rushed that constant revisions to the story and the shooting script continued to the extent of hourly script updates ON the days those scenes were meant to be shot. Still, the film happened and it spawned 5 sequels, allowing the franchise to grab a larger audience and eventually renewing interest so that the numerous other series and films could happen. And now, Star Trek continues to prosper over 50 years later. Stay tuned!