The initial script of the original Star Trek film had a scene in which Captain Kirk would have punched Jesus Christ.
Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry wrote the script for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, released in 1979. An early draft written in 1975 ended with Kirk, played by William Shatner, facing an alien which had assumed the body of Jesus Christ in order to trick Kirk into thinking it was a force for good.
Unconvinced by the alien’s disguise, Kirk got into a fight with it on a bridge. The scene was revealed by director Richard Coller in The Hollywood Reporter’s new Star Trek book The 50 Year Mission.
Coller said: “The Enterprise went off in search of the thing from outer space that was affecting everything. The alien shapeshifts into the form of Christ and Kirk tells it ‘Now I know who you are.’”
The script was rejected by Paramount studio boss Barry Diller, who was a devout Catholic. It was eventually made into a novel, The God Thing by Michael Jan Friedman. The author said he was “dismayed” at the poor quality of Rodenberry’s script, saying it bore little resemblance to the characters from the TV series.
Friedman said: “There was some mildly erotic, mid-life crisis stuff in there that didn’t serve any real purpose.”
The new Star Trek film Star Trek: Beyond written by Simon Pegg is out on July 22.