1. Nicholas Meyer, director of both Wrath of Khan and Undiscovered Country, was approached to direct Star Trek: Nemesis by producer Rick Berman. Meyer was interested, but insisted that he would want to do a complete rewrite of the screenplay before production. Berman was forced to refuse, as he had already promised John Logan full control over the screenplay, and so Meyer respectfully turned the offer down. At this stage Berman was considering offering LeVar Burton the chance to direct a Star Trek movie, however Paramount overruled his suggestion and ordered him to hire someone else...
2. Paramount wanted US Marshals director Stuart Baird to film Star Trek: Nemesis, in the hope that he would bring "fresh blood" to the franchise after the disappointing critical response to Star Trek: Insurrection. Baird, in his own words, was aware of Star Trek but didn't consider himself to be a fan or an expert, he also hadn't seen a single episode or movie featuring The Next Generation crew- and after signing up to direct he decided to keep it that way!
In later interviews Baird stated that his approach caused some resentment on set, with the cast frequently questioning any direction he gave them - possibly unsurprising given his lack of knowledge of the franchise and characters. Both LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) and Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi) have spoken critically of Baird's decision to not watch any Next Gen episodes. Burton said that Baird repeatedly called him "Laverne" and originally thought Geordi was an alien rather than a human with cybernetic eyes. Sirtis went so far as to tell the Destination Star Trek 3 crowd,
"The director was an idiot!"3. With no knowledge of the franchise you might think it would be helpful to have someone like Jonathan Frakes among the cast - after all he had directed the previous two Star Trek movies. But Frakes later revealed that Baird never once asked his opinion on anything to do with the production, it was made very clear to him that he was simply there to play William Riker and nothing more.
Frakes went on to say that although he was never approached to direct the film, if he had been asked he would have accepted. He also went on record to say that if he had been behind the camera he was sure the film would have made more money!
4. Nemesis was to have been the first Star Trek movie to feature the character of Wesley Crusher (played by Wil Wheaton). However his scenes were almost entirely cut, leaving only a brief, silent cameo during the wedding (which itself is only visible in cinemascope presentations, as he sits at the far end of the table).
If you own the collector's-edition of the DVD there is a deleted scene featuring a brief conversation between Wesley and Captain Picard, as Wesley reveals he is now a lieutenant in operations-division gold, has returned to Starfleet and is a member of Captain Riker's engineering crew on the USS Titan.
5. Baird and Berman put a casting call out for someone who resembled Patrick Stewart but aged about 25 years younger. Berman was keen to cast Jude Law in the role, but Baird felt he wanted an unknown actor, and he found one in Tom Hardy...
Hardy was in Mexico filming the movie Deserter at the time, and so he did his initial audition by tape. He'd been sent some dialogue to perform, but instead managed to come into possession of a leaked script for Nemesis and picked a different part he felt was stronger - and filmed himself performing it partly nude!
It worked, as Hardy was flown to Los Angeles to do a screen test with Stewart, and although he felt his performance there was "appalling" he was cast as Praetor Shinzon a few days later.
6. Jeri Ryan revealed that at one time there was a plan to include Seven of Nine in Star Trek: Nemesis.
"The call came and they said ‘put Jeri Ryan in the movie’, and I’m like okay… in what way are you going to put Jeri Ryan in this movie? ‘Well, we’re going to replace one of the characters with Seven’…which makes absolutely no sense"Ryan said "No!". Partly out of fear of being typecast, and partly because she felt it just wasn't logical to include a totally unrelated character in the film.
"She never interacted with any of the characters on [Star Trek: The Next Generation], she’s never met them. Why would she be there? They would be plugging her in just to plug her in. It was just odd. So it wasn’t the right thing to do…They understood, but then he was like "Do you want to do a cameo at the wedding?" And I was like "no, if I don’t want to be in the movie, why would I want to do a cameo."Makes you wonder who came up with that idea *cough* Baird *cough*.
7. Bryan Singer, of the X-Men movie franchise (which features Patrick Stewart), has a brief uncredited cameo in Star Trek: nemesis. Singer plays Kelly the replacement tactical officer.
8. Brent Spiner had long championed for his character, Data, to be killed off, feeling he had out-aged the part of an ageless android. The first time the idea was considered was during production for Star Trek: First Contact. When Spiner heard that Insurrection was in pre-production he asked for Data's demise to be written into the script - which it was. At first. But subsequent re-writes saw that idea disappearing from the movie.
So Spiner came up with his own story-line for Data, Berman liked it and alongside John Logan, Spiner received a co-writers credit for Nemesis. But he still couldn't get himself killed off! Spiner's early idea was for B-4 to be played by someone else, but Logan convinced him that it would work much better if he played both roles!
9. Star Trek: Nemesis opened on Friday 13th December 2002, and it sure proved unlucky for the movie! It was released around the same time as, and in direct competition with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Die Another Day, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, so it was always going to be a struggle against those blockbusters.
Nemesis became the first Star Trek film to not debut in the number one spot at the box office. However, it wasn't held off poll position by any of the three big pictures above, but rather by the Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy Maid in Manhattan!
Nemesis went on to lose over 76% of its business the following weekend, which at the time was the worst revenue drop of any major studio film in box office history. The movie's final box office total was $67,312,826 worldwide, against a production budget of $60 million.
10. It was later revealed that during production John Logan and Brent Spiner were working on a script for a fifth and final film featuring The Next Generation cast which would have wrapped up the adventures of the Enterprise-E crew, with tie-ins to historical aspects of the Star Trek franchise. However, the poor performance of Nemesis at the box office convinced Paramount that Star Trek was suffering from 'franchise fatigue', the script was abandoned, and Star Trek's cinematic adventures were put on extended hiatus...
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