Of all of the voyages which William Shatner took on the Starship Enterprise as Captain Kirk, it seems that ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’ may have been his least favorite. It was the one “Star Trek” movie which Shatner directed and it has been a regret he has had ever since. Many consider this to be one of, if not the worst, film in the franchise. While that is undoubtedly a factor as to why Shatner feels this way, it was also because the story that ended up on screen wasn’t the story that he wanted to tell.
The actor revealed in his memoir ‘Live Long and… What I Might Have Learned Along the Way’ that while he had only directed a couple of episodes at that point, there had been a “favored nations clause” in the contract where he and Leonard Nimoy would have same pay. A contract dispute came up and with Nimoy having already directed ‘Star Trek III: The Search for Spock’ and ‘Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,’ it meant that Shatner would get his chance at the helm for the next feature film.
The problem was that his view for the film went against what both Gene Roddenberry and Leonard Nimoy had in mind for it.
Shatner’s original idea had been born during the time he couldn’t get enough of televangelists. Not because he believed in them, but due to the feeling that they were “strangely horrifying” and the original take on Zar, later Sybok, was directly linked to this view. This ended with the search for God being part of the story. Roddenberry did not want the idea of God from Western religions being front and center in a “Star Trek” film and because of this, things went from bad to worse between the two.
According to Shatner:
“I had a choice. I could accept the compromise or refuse to direct the movie. I made a mistake; I accepted the compromise, which doomed the picture from the beginning.”
While the movie ended up having the highest opening of any of the films to date at that time, the second weekend was a failure with how poorly it had been received.
Do you feel that William Shatner shouldn’t have directed ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’? Would the film have been more of a success had the actor been able to follow his original vision for the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: Movie Web