Every science fiction fan knows that writer Harlan Ellison has had some loud, yelling-at-the-top-of-his-lungs problems with Star Trek, starting from when Roddenberry changed his script for the classic, Joan-Collins-ruins-the-world episode The City On The Edge Of Forever. He tended to also get the last word though, winning a Writer’s Guild of America award for the original script. He also got the original draft published as a book -featuring introduction longer than the screenplay detailing his problems with Roddenberry, who Ellison describes as someone who “couldn’t write worth sour owl poop.” Oh, and he also sued CBS last year for profits from the episode.
But, it looks like Ellison isn’t entirely against Trek, as he’s posted on the Unca Harlan’s Art Deco Dining Pavilion forum that he’d be willing to work write the next Star Trek film if J.J. Abram wants him to. (Although, at this point, it would be bigger news if we could find someone who wouldn’t write it.)
Yes, I would likely try to steer him toward the original film idea I was asked to pitch, by the late Gene Roddenberry and a production exec whose name I have blissfully flensed from memory (but he had been, if I recall, a hairdresser or clothing designer or ex-boyfriend of someone or other, and he kept trying to press me to include the Mayan Calendar).
The script he’s referring to is one that he was asked to pitch for the original Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which reportedly involved the Enterprise crew travelling through time and having to decide whether or not to destroy a race evolved from dinosaurs to preserve the human race. That exec he mentioned asked him to add in the Mayas after reading Erich von Däniken’s space-travellers-helped-build-the-pyramids book Chariots of the Gods, ticking off Ellison to no end.
A J.J. Abrams/Harlan Ellison Star Trek film with dinosaurs? Someone’s been reading our fanfic.