Thursday, March 5, 2015

Harve Bennett 1930-2015

Long time Star Trek producer and writer Harve Bennett died Wednesday, March 4th at the age of 84. Bennett produced Star Trek movies 2 through 5 along with a writing credit on each. He also was one of the first to consider an "Academy Years" prequel concept that eventually was sorta picked up by the reboot. His other writer-producer credits include the Mod Squad, The Invisible Man, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman and more.

In an interview with he said his greatest accomplishment was "[resurrecting] the franchise (at the time) [after Star Trek 1 failed to perform as expected]. That would be my contribution. There might not have been another Star Trek and certainly there would not have been spin had not Star Trek II been such a very viable hit."

He continued, "When I first took the Star Trek assignment, one of the problems was that Leonard Nimoy had already written his book I Am Not Spock. He had publically put it out there that he’d never do Spock again. And one of my first challenges was to convince Leonard that he should come back, because it wouldn’t be Star Trek without him. I finally convinced him with a very simple, actor-proof argument. I said, “Leonard, if you come back, I’m going to give you the greatest death scene since Janet Leigh in Psycho. One third of the way into the picture, we’re going to kill you. The audience will be shocked. It will be the end of your problems with Spock and we will go on to complete the story.” He said, “That’s good. I like that.” So he signed on. For a variety of reasons, including Gene (Roddenberry) and the 100,000 letters the studio received from fans after it got out that we were going to kill off Spock, we couldn’t do it the way we planned. Hence a rewrite and when Nick Meyer, God bless him, came on board we found a way to extend Spock’s role. And it was much better, because I think Wrath of Khan might have been a failure if Spock had died one third of the way through it. So we got Wrath of Khan done, Nick Meyer was brilliant, and the rest is history."

Condolences to Harve Bennett's family and friends.

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