Star Trek: Planet of Titans
The original Star Trek show ended in 1969, but that didn’t stop fans from falling in love with the show. Syndication put Star Trek reruns on the television, making the show a cultural phenomenon. By 1975, the show was generating so much money in syndication, Paramount purchased the movie rights and contacted Gene Roddenberry about making a movie. With dollar signs in his head, Roddenberry said yes.
Paramount went forward with a film named “Planet of Titans,” but didn’t agree on a single plot or a cohesive script. Most versions were about Kirk getting stranded on an alien world for years. For some reason, his crew just leaves him there, but ultimately Spock stops being a jerk and rescues his captain.
When the Enterprise shows up, they find Klingons encircling the planet, the enemy race having found this home planet of the Titans. Hijinks occur. In some versions, Spock trips out with a Klingon and discovers the secrets of sex. If that doesn’t make you want to see the film, what does?
The Paramount Problem
Possibly due to the Spock acid trip scenes, Paramount was smitten. Ralph McQuarrie, a concept artist from Star Wars, came on board and drew a redesigned Enterprise. However, in 1977, when all involved were ready for the movie to start, Paramount cut the project.
Nobody knows why, though it may have had something to do with Star Wars. Paramount realize the funding nightmare George Lucas had and got nervous there wasn’t a market for science fiction.
Not all the pre-production work was lost, happily. McQuarrie’s concept art got used for Star Trek: Discovery. Eventually, Paramount made Star Trek films. Worse off were the screenwriters. For all their trouble, they only got Star Trek t-shirts.