On August 19th, 1921, Eugene Wesley Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas. He grew up to become a member of the Air Force during World War II, a member of the LAPD afterward, and a burgeoning TV screenwriter. And, oh yeah, he created one of the most beloved and enduring science fiction franchises of all time. The man deserves his own biopic, and now that’s exactly what he’s getting.
Announced earlier today, on what would have been his 100th birthday, Roddenberry will be getting his own biography movie from—who else?—his son Rod Roddenberry and Roddenberry Entertainment. Star Trek: Discovery and Picard’s Trevor Roth will co-produce the movie with the younger Roddenberry, which Deadline reports will have a script from Adam Mazer, who also wrote You Don’t Know Jack, a 2010 biopic from HBO that examined the life of Dr. Kevorkian as played by Al Pacino. Obviously, the two subjects have very little in common, but Jack was critically acclaimed and equally beloved by audiences, according to Rotten Tomatoes, so there doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about. Besides, I’m sure Rod will step in to do his dad proud if the need arises.
The question is: Who should play Gene Roddenberry? Who could do him justice? I’m coming up with a complete blank, so I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments. While you’re doing that, you might well make your dream cast for the actors playing the Star Trek: The Original Series cast, i.e. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, DeForrest Kelly, and the rest. There’s absolutely no way the Abrams, Kelvin-universe Trek actors will reprise the roles as the actors instead of the characters (they’d be too old, anyway). But Ethan Peck, who played Spock on Star Trek: Discovery and will do so again in the upcoming series Strange New Worlds, probably has an edge when it’s time to cast Nimoy.
However it shakes out, this is a hell of a birthday present for Gene, and a well-deserved one, too.
Correction 8/19/2021 7:26 p.m.: A previous version of this story read as Roddenberry being born in 2021.
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