'Free Enterprise 2' May Reunite Shatner, NimoyBy Michelle
October 18, 2005 - 7:39 PM
If writer-director Robert Meyer Burnett has his way, the film Free Enterprise 2 will feature Leonard Nimoy alongside William Shatner, the object of parody in the original Free Enterprise playing an eponymous character whose career has gone to booze, porn and bad roles.
"We've yet to approach Mr. Nimoy, but Shatner said he could get him to be in the movie," Burnett told Israeli fan group Starbase 972. "I wouldn't want to make it without him. In the original draft of the script, Nimoy finds Shatner at the top of Masada, in a secret base, studying to be a Rabbi. To get him to come back to the states, the Orthodox Nimoy then goes head to head with Shatner in a battle to see who knows more about Old Testament scripture. If Shatner wins, he'll stay and finish his teachings, hiding forever from the real world. If Nimoy wins, he'll haul Shatner back to Las Vegas to perform Rob's wedding ceremony at the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas."
This reversal of roles from Spock's Kohlinahr experience in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, from which Captain Kirk summoned him back, is being scripted by Burnett along with writing partner Mark A. Altman. "I'm finishing up the screenplay," he said. "In the story, Mark and Rob's lives have changed. They've drifted apart as friends...basically, they're unhappy with who they've become." Then Shatner disappears, and the characters named after the writers turn to "the one man who knows Shatner better than they do...Leonard Nimoy." The three of them join together in, "well...a Search for Shatner!" The climax of the film will take place at a wedding with Shatner and Nimoy singing "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof.
A long-time fan, Burnett said he has been disappointed with Star Trek "since the second season opener of Voyager, 'The 37's,' when the crew encountered a '30s pick-up truck floating in space...rather than reflect the current state of humanity, Star Trek now seems more about temporal anomalies and internal Trek history than anything relating to the current state of the world. Even the film First Contact was really only about internal Star Trek continuity and didn't really have much to say about the human condition, unlike Wrath of Khan." He felt certain that even with Enterprise off the air, a series would return soon.
Burnett also worked at Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton, where he oversaw the video portion of the museum. "All I did each day was watch about ten episodes of Star Trek and log the material I'd later use to create the videos. And I was getting paid for it!" he recalled of this dream job. "I tried to distill Trek down to its components. Characters, aliens, starships, philosophy...so anyone coming to the attraction, even those who didn't know much about Star Trek, could clearly understand what all the fuss was about."
For more, including Burnett's feelings about visiting Israel, see the full interview in Hebrew and English at Starbase 972.