Star Trek: The Motion Picture is setting a return course for the big screen. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Fathom Events and Paramount will screen the film in theaters for two days in September. The film will appear in 500 theaters in its original widescreen aspect ratio on September 15th and 16th, according to Entertainment Weekly. Screenings will also include the behind-the-scenes documentary short "The Longest Trek: Writing the Motion Picture."
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a major milestone in the history of Star Trek. For a time, there were plans to bring Star Trek back to television, but the series would have lacked Leonard Nimoy's Spock. The success of Star Wars convinced Paramount to take a chance on Star Trek as a movie instead, luring Nimoy back to his role from The Original Series. Star Trek: The Motion Picture thus reunited the original Star Trek cast — Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForrest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and James Doohan — for a new adventure on-screen for the first time since the show's cancellation a decade earlier.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture sees Admiral James T. Kirk taking back command of the USS Enterprise. He and his crew embark on a mission to intercept a powerful alien spacecraft headed for Earth.
The film — directed by Robert Wise, from a screenplay by Harold Livingston based on a story by Alan Dean Foster — went through a complicated production process. It was heavy on special effects for its era, many of which were not finished to Wise's satisfaction by the time the film debuted in theaters on December 7, 1979. The film received mixed reviews and grossed $139 million worldwide on a $46 million budget. It wasn't the success Paramount hoped for, but it did well enough for Paramount to greenlight a sequel with a slimmer budget. The Star Trek film series now includes 13 movies in total, the first six of which starred the cast of The Original Series.
While the film proved polarizing at the time of its release it has become better appreciated in the years since. Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director's Edition, released in 2001, allowed Wise the opportunity to complete portions of the film he considered unfinished at the time of release. Most feel the adjustments improved the viewing experience. Criticized upon release for lacking the action of The Original Series, some have come to appreciate the film's more mature, thoughtful tone.
Will be going to theaters to see Star Trek: The Motion Picture? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: The Motion Picture returns to theaters on September 15th and 16th.