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$474M Steven Spielberg Movie is Why Robin Williams Couldn’t be in Star Trek – 6 Other Stars Who Turned Down the Gene Roddenberry Franchise

$474M Steven Spielberg Movie is Why Robin Williams Couldn't be in Star Trek - 6 Other Stars Who Turned Down the Gene Roddenberry Franchise

When one speaks about renowned franchises, Star Trek often appears at the top of the list. Surviving through generations and offering enticing storylines, the franchise spanned over decades since Star Trek: The Original Series in 1966. Since its inception, Star Trek has featured several famous stars and even offered actors like Robin Williams to join the franchise. 

Star Trek
Star Trek

However, Robin Williams refused to join Star Trek, like many other actors. But certainly, there were no hard feelings, only scheduling conflicts for the late actor. Thus, we have curated a list of other Hollywood actors who were offered the chance to join Star Trek but ended up refusing the opportunity. 

Also read: “Robin knew what I was going through”: Robin Williams Did 15 Minutes of Stand-ups on Phone Every Night to Make Steven Spielberg Laugh During ‘Schindler’s List’

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1. Robin Williams 

Renowned actor and comedian, Robin Williams was evidently sought after to make a guest appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation. When the seven-season run gained immense popularity among fans, the writers of the show wanted a way to fit Williams into the storyline. 

Robin Williams
Robin Williams

Being a publicly self-professed fan of Star Trek, the actor was supposed to accept the opportunity. But it was because of his commitment towards Steven Spielberg’s $474M film Hook (1991), that led the actor to refuse Star Trek out of scheduling conflict. 

2. Sean Connery

Just like Robin Williams, another veteran actor Sean Connery was eyed for a role in the 1989 film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The movie introduced Spock’s long-lost older brother Sybok, and the particular character was written for Connery. However, the actor turned down the opportunity to appear in Star Trek

Sean Connery
Sean Connery

According to, Sean Connery rejected the role of Sybok, due to his commitment towards Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Therefore, the role eventually went to Laurence Luckinbill, who ended up delivering a phenomenal performance. 

3. Eddie Murphy

When director and co-writer Leonard Nimoy learned about Eddie Murphy being a huge fan of the Star Trek franchise, he decided to feature Murphy in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. And in order to include Murphy, Nimoy added a part specifically written for the actor, in the early script. 

Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy

However, Eddie Murphy never appeared in the movie as negotiations with him reportedly broke down before filming. Thus the actor dropped out from the project and his character never saw the light of the day. 

Also Read: “Don’t pump me again, motherf—kers”: Not Joker, Robin Williams Wanted to Play Another Batman Villain That Was Allegedly Offered to Leonardo DiCaprio

4. Matt Damon

After speaking about several veteran actors, here’s a younger cast who was widely rumored to be considered for the role of James Kirk. It’s none other than Matt Damon who was eyed for the infamous role. But Damon was quick to debunk the rumors and soon Chris Pine landed the role of the iconic Starfleet captain. 

Matt Damon
Matt Damon

But later on, according to an interview with MTV, filmmaker J.J. Abrams clarified that Matt Damon was indeed approached with a role in Star Trek, but it wasn’t of James Kirk. Apparently, the actor was requested to play James Kirk’s father George. But, Damon graciously turned down the role. 

5. Adrien Brody

In 2009 when filmmaker J.J. Abrams came up with a reboot film and treated the audiences to a bold reinvention of the Star Trek franchise, he sought after Adrien Brody, for the role of Spock. However, Brody never appeared in the franchise, and thus the opportunity went to Zachary Quinto. 

Adrein Brody still
Adrien Brody

During an interview with MTV, Adrien Brody confirmed being approached for the role of Spock. However, he never really mentioned why he didn’t appear as the iconic science officer. But, he certainly expressed his regret. 

6. Benicio Del Toro

Although 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, has been a strange sequel, it aimed for a stellar cast and thus entered Benicio Del Toro in the negotiation to play the role of Khan in the rebooted iteration. But unfortunately, Del Toro withdrew himself one month before filming. 

Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro

According to Vulture, the actor allegedly faced issues with salary negotiations, which landed English actor Benedict Cumberbatch the opportunity to play the role of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness

7. Rita Wilson

Ending the list with a renowned actress Rita Wilson, who appeared among plenty of other names for Deep Space Nine. Apparently, the prolific actress and wife of Star Trek fan Tom Hanks, Wilson, was on the leaked casting memo for Kira. However, unfortunately, Wilson turned down the role. 

Rita Wilson
Rita Wilson

Citing that she wasn’t interested in working in television at that time, Rita Wilson gave up the role to Nana Visitor, who played Kira in Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Lower Decks. Eventually, Wilson went on to play numerous notable roles in television and films. 

Watch Star Trek movies on Paramount+. 

Read more: “It’s the one thing I don’t do”: Robin Williams Was Betrayed By Disney Despite Agreeing To Work For Only $75,000 For Iconic Disney Movie That Grossed $504M At The Box-Office

Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Finding her escapism in art and fiction, Krittika joined our team at FandomWire with a penchant for creativity. But when she's not working, this diehard Potterhead sets out to explore the world and learn new things.