Star Trek: Nemesis, the last film featuring the Next Generation cast, is perhaps best known for killing Data, having that Picard clone (played by then relatively unknown Tom Hardy) and a bunch of ugly Remans as the Big Bads of the film. But what's really shocking is to learn that Nemesis almost happened without any of the TNG cast.
That's what Star Trek producer Rick Berman recently revealed in his interview with Star Trek.com—but Berman fought the studio tooth and nail to keep the beloved crew of the NCC-1701E on board for at least one more voyage on the starship Enterprise.
Nemesis will always be baffling to me. Patrick [Stewart] and Brent [Spiner] came into my office one day. This is something I've never really discussed before ... The head of the studio had really tried to convince me to do a movie without the TNG cast. The feeling was "These guys have all gotten kind of older. It's time to introduce some new, fresh blood." There was an attitude that I should go out and find a new Tom Cruise.
I felt strongly against that for two reasons. One reason was that when we were developing this movie, the Enterprise series was coming out. So the Star Trek audience was about to get introduced to a whole new cast of young characters on television. For us to simultaneously introduce them to a whole new cast of young characters in a movie seemed to be insane to me.
The other reason was I felt that after a four-year absence from the screen, the fans really wanted to see Patrick, Brent, Jonathan [Frakes] and company again. I could have been wrong on one or both of those beliefs, but I felt strongly it should be another TNG movie.
Insane, indeed. We're having a hard time, too, wrapping our heads around Nemesis being made with a completely new cast.
Unfortunately, Nemesis didn't become the box-office draw everyone was hoping for, which sort of took everyone by surprise, since plans were already in motion for a fifth TNG film. In the end, fans were denied a real, final farewell to Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew.
What do you think? Are you shocked to learn that Star Trek: Nemesis almost got made with a completely new cast? And if it had gone ahead that way, do you think it would have changed the future of the franchise?