Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 by Devindra Hardawar
Harlan Ellison is a notoriously prickly fellow. Aside from his many works, Ellison is infamous for his decade-long feud with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry after he rewrote much of Ellison’s only Trek episode, “The City on the Edge of Forever.” Now that the franchise is in the hands of J.J. Abrams, Ellison is offering his services for the second film in Abrams’ reboot (for a price, of course).
Writing on his blog (which, by the way, will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Internet circa the advent of animated gifs), Ellison says he would “jump at the chance” to work with “the inordinately-talented” Abrams. Of course, he would love to pitch his own film idea first:
Yes, I would likely try to steer him toward the original film idea I was asked to pitch, by the late Gene Roddenberry and a production exec whose name I have blissfully flensed from memory (but he had been, if I recall, a hairdresser or clothing designer or ex-boyfriend of someone or other, and he kept trying to press me to include the Mayan Calendar).
But he would be fine if Abrams didn’t buy his concept, “If the very smart Abrams didn’t want to go that way, I would be wide-open to rethinking such a film from the git-go.” Ellison goes on to say that Paramount will need to pay him “from the first meet git-go”, but otherwise nothing is stopping him from working with Abrams.
When some of his readers expressed skepticism about him working in the Trek franchise again, he went off (as seems to be the trend):
What the hell are you guys…nuts? Where’s the ‘downside’ to getting topside the radar of J.J. Abrams? This guy ain’t Roddenberry! He also ain’t the ex-hairdresser with the jones for Mayan calendars! He’s a writer I respect, whose work has frequently blown the lid off my box of surpriseability. But, then, he already KNOWS that. It isn’t as if I’d kept my admiration chained in the darkest cell of the basement of Bedlam.
Ellison certainly isn’t keeping his admiration for Abrams a secret, that’s for sure.
I don’t think we’ll actually see Ellison working on Star Trek 2 (which is the working title for now, no more complaints people), but he could certainly add a bit of old-school hard sci-fi juice to the project.
Ellison invites Abrams, or someone else involved with the production, to get in touch with him if they want to tap into his genius, “I am without full-time film-agent representation, by choice, at the moment; so if the job presents itself, I will work for pay.”
Discuss: Would you like to see Harlan Ellison contribute to Abram’s Star Trek sequel?