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William Shatner originally didn't want TV series elements in Star Trek II

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan William Shatner

Although STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE succeeded in bringing the Star Trek franchise to the big-screen, the mixed reviews and bloated budget meant that Paramount Pictures would be approaching a sequel quite differently. First, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's role was greatly reduced and the budget was slashed significantly, but as luck would have it, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN would go on to become one of Star Trek's best works. However, not everyone agreed that bringing Ricardo Montalban back to reprise his role of Khan Noonien Singh was the best way to go, including William Shatner, who believed that it would be foolish for the sequel to return to elements from The Original Series.

In celebration of THE WRATH OF KHAN's upcoming return to theaters, IGN spoke with William Shatner to ask him what he had thought of the sequel while it was in its early stages.

Well, that takes me back. Did I know what was going to take place? Yes … I recall that they began to talk about the second movie, and the talk began to be about what segment of the 79 [TV episodes] that we shot would be useful. And I kept saying, why do we want to go to a segment? Why don't we invent something absolutely new? And the people in charge were much more aware than I was that the fans would be more sympathetic to… [it] would be a better vibration if it echoed a popular hour from the series, and make that, and then further the story as a film.

William Shatner admitted that "they were absolutely right" by bringing Khan back, especially as Ricardo Montalban was able to reprise his role. I can certainly understand where Shatner was coming from at the time - why dive back into the same well when you can create something new? But Star Trek needed a win, and thankfully THE WRATH OF KHAN gave the series a major boost, enough to keep the franchise going for decades to come. Although Kirk and Khan never met in the flesh during the film, the villain nonetheless posed a powerful threat which served to highlight Kirk's character.

Well, it's a… I guess a known fact, it's a truism, that the more powerful the villain is the more powerful the hero. If the hero can overcome a powerful villain, look how much stronger that makes the hero. So the better the villain, the better the hero. Here was an enormously powerful individual, but even more than that… Ricardo himself, even though he was hurting with his legs, his upper body was so powerful, and he was such a good actor that he made a magnificent character.

STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN will return to select-theaters on September 10th and 13th via Fathom Events.

Source: IGN

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