Steve Meerson, the screenwriter of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, says they had originally written a small part for actor Eddie Murphy in the film but when his casting deal fell through, they worked on the character of Catherine Hicks.
Meerson worked on the screenplay with his writing partner Peter Krikes. The duo wrote somewhere between seven and 10 outlines, with the final one getting approval. It included a role for Murphy that never would materialize, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“It was always the same story that got approved, but the original draft included a part for Eddie Murphy. Eddie was on the lot at Paramount at the time and arguably was the biggest star in the world. They had told us he was a huge Star Trek fan,” he said.
Murphy was going to play an astrophysicist at Berkeley, and the original story did not include Dr Gillian Taylor,
which was played by Hicks.
Eventually, Murphy’s deal got canceled and Gillian Taylor was worked into the script to replace him.
“At the beginning of the process, it was actually a lot of fun. As the process progressed, it became less fun, because it
became more political. And I don’t say that with any bitterness.
“It’s just the way things work in all businesses. We began to feel like at a certain point that this was going to be taken away from us, which in fact, it was,” Meerson said.