Paramount was heavily committed to the Eddie Murphy business in the 1980s. After the "Saturday Night Live" star went supernova with the blockbuster trio of "48 Hrs.," "Trading Places" and "Beverly Hills Cop," the studio, which had him under a long-term contract, sought to synergize their superstar with some of their pre-existing franchises.

One of the most bizarre attempts at wedging Murphy into an ongoing series was "The Godfather Part III." As Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo balked at participating in a third film throughout the 1980s, Paramount ordered 15 treatments and scripts by nine or so different screenwriters (one of which was penned by future Disney CEO Michael Eisner). One of these proposed sequels had a role for Murphy, who once said "I would act in 'The Godfather' for nothing." Unsurprisingly, this iteration never made it anywhere close to the runway.

A more realistic scenario presented itself in the mid-'80s when Paramount approached Murphy to take a prominent role in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." Murphy turned the part down, but only did so because he is a massive Trek fan.

An Intergalactic Adventure Best Kept In Dry Dock

On the January 26, 2023 episode of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Murphy discussed the offer and why he declined. As he told Kimmel:

"It was the one where they go to San Francisco and they get the whale and all that stuff. I was going to be the one that they met when they got to San Francisco, and I was like, '[disappointedly] No… I want to be beamed up and be on the ship,' ya know? So, I didn't do it. Yeah, they had me, like, talking jive to Spock in San Francisco."

Murphy's role was eventually rewritten to be Dr. Gililan Taylor, the cetologist love interest of William Shatner's Captain James T. Kirk. Murphy's character would've been a Berkeley astrophysicist. As to whether he would've also been a love interest for Kirk, we can at least dream that glorious dream.

If it's news to you that Murphy is a Trek fanatic, you haven't been paying attention. He's sprinkled references to the show here and there throughout his career, most memorably in Reginald Hudlin's "Boomerang," where he romances Halle Berry's Angela with an off-handed riff about Spock's last name. "Spock Jenkins. He's one of them Jenkins boys from Vulcan."

With the future of the "Star Trek" film series up in the air, I believe it is time to go boldly adventuring with them Jenkins boys from Vulcan. Cast Tracy Morgan or Chris Rock, and the big-screen franchise is saved.

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