A lost Star Trek script titled “He Walked Among Us” will be filmed decades after it was first penned.
Veteran screenwriter Norman Spinrad recently confirmed the news on his Facebook page, writing: “A lot of people have asked, so I’ve just had a conversation with James Cawley [of Star Trek: New Voyages], and the plan is to shoot ‘He Walked Among Us’ in the Fall, with me directing.”
For those of you who aren’t ardent Trekies, Star Trek: New Voyages (aka Star Trek: Phase II) can best be described as a group of fan filmmakers, led by producer James Cawley, who employ a number of original actors from ST including George Takei and Grace Lee Whitney.
ST: New Voyages also works with original screenwriters like D.C. Fontana (“Journey to Babel”), David Gerrold (“The Trouble with Tribbles”) and Marc Scott Zicree (Babylon 5, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).
Now, for those who just can’t wait until 2013 or beyond to see “He Walked Among Us,” well, it seems as if you’re in luck, because Spinrad (in conjunction with Cawley Entertainment) is selling a printed version of the screenplay (as well as an ebook iteration), which was commissioned by Gene Roddenberry as a vehicle of sorts to help portray Milton Berle (aka Uncle Miltie) as a serious actor.
According to Spinrad, the original version was rewritten into an “unfunny comedy” by line producer Gene Coon – who was apparently unaware that Uncle Miltie was also a serious dramatic actor and a good one.
“It was so bad that I complained to Roddenberry: ‘This is so lousy, Gene, that you should kill it!… You can’t, you shouldn’t, shoot this thing! Read it and weep!’ Gene did, and he agreed with me. I killed my second Star Trek, which, down through the years has cost me tens of thousands of dollars in lost residuals,” Spinrad wrote on the Cawley Entertainment website.
“I thought the text of my original version – written on a typewriter! – was lost forever until recently a fan asked me to autograph a faded copy he had bought somewhere. I did, and in return he sent me a pdf off a scan, and that’s what I’ve put on Amazon, available as an eBook. This printed version is cleaned up and is a pristine script, the way I handed it to Gene Roddenberry back in 1967.”