July 14 2024


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Luckinbill: Nimoy Wanted Another Role In Star Trek V

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If things had gone his way, Leonard Nimoy would have had two roles in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

Luckinbill played the older Vulcan half-brother of Spock who was on the hunt for Sha Ka Ree and God.

It was said that Sean Connery was up for the role of Sybok, but Luckinbill got it due to his work in a play, Lyndon. “Bill (Shatner) told me that he was watching Public Television one night and he said, ‘That’s the guy to play Sybok.’ They looked me up and they looked at my filmography, without the Lyndon makeup on, and Bill was even more convinced. He just decided, and Harve Bennett and the other producer went along with it.

“They called me in. When an actor goes to a studio, whether he’s been asked to go or his agent has sent him, you can tell when you go through the gate where you stand. When I arrived at Paramount to talk to these guys, there was no audition. It was just a discussion, a conversation. I found a guy at the gate waiting for me with a car to take me to the bungalow where we were going to have the discussion. That’s rare. Usually, you park your car, walk, find the place, then you walk in and wait with the other actors. This was a special deal. I got in the car, we drove about two blocks within the studio, I walked up the stairs and sat down with Harve and Bill. In about ten minutes they said, ‘You’re good to go. We want you. Let’s get you into the mix here.”

But someone else was a bit put out that Luckinbill got the role. “[Leonard Nimoy] did not say one word to me for quite a long time, other than ‘Hello,’ because, I found out later, he had really, really pushed hard to have this be a double role, a dual role for him,” said Luckinbill. “I don’t know if this is absolutely true. That was the scuttlebutt and I got that from very high up in the food chain of information, that Leonard wanted to play Sybok and play Spock. That would have been a tremendous thing, to do that, but since they weren’t twins, they cast me. I think that Bill wanted a separate actor, and he was right. We were very different people.”

Although it took a while, Nimoy came around. “The best compliment I got was, in the last scenes, twenty or twenty-five weeks later, Leonard looked at me and said, ‘You know, you’re terrific in this.’ I thought that was a great send-off.”

Luckinbill is currently working on a one-man show, where he does “great Americans on stage, by myself, and [exploring] the issues they confronted. His current one-man show is The Abraham and Larry Show, which is his “take on Genesis…how Abraham arrived at the place he arrived at and what he did with Isaac.”

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13 thoughts on “Luckinbill: Nimoy Wanted Another Role In Star Trek V

  1. It’s true, whenever one has to cast a vaguely respectable character in a piece of sci-fi B-movie drivel, David Warner is always available.

  2. Similarly, Patrick Stewart playing Shinzon would have been fun. Tom Hardy may be popular now and getting people to give the film a few curious second looks, but he’s ill-served by his material and direction. Stewart just by way of casting would have been very unnerving. Not sure they would have kept the Troi mind rape scenes though…

  3. Considering how much dislike for the script that Nimoy and De Kelley had… I’m calling Hollywood PR BS nonsense on this story. It is no secret that both these main actors thought the script was a disaster from the very beginning – and both requested major changes because they felt their characters were not in keeping with the way they had portrayed them… So for Nimoy to want to play a 2nd character in a story arc (Spock supposedly still feeling inferior because of his human side) that he felt had already been wrapped up… yeah – no – can’t see it. It sounds more like a story told to Luckinbill to soften the blow of being treated coldly by Nimoy.

  4. Go watch Time After Time, and then come back and apologize. David Warner can play an excellent, charismatic villain.

  5. “Anybody but Lawrence Luckinbill” should have been Sybok. I’m sorry, but the man has the screen presence of a wet can of dog food. They needed a more charismatic performer.
    Better still, Sybok should not have been Sybok. It was a horrible idea in the first place, and like Gene Rodenberry, I would prefer to pretend it just never happened.

  6. Fine, whenever one has to cast a respectable character in a piece of sci-fi B-movie drivel, David Warner is always available.
    And probably very cheap.

  7. Or Malcolm McDowell. Neither one of them ever turns down a job, no matter how um… crappy.

  8. Or Sir Ben Kingsley, for that matter. Did he get his OBE for never turning down a role? Prince of Persia… Thunderbirds… Oh ye gods, Thunderbirds, why???

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