Eddie Murphy considers himself a Trekkie, but he passed on the opportunity to be in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
One of the scripts for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home originally had a large role written specifically for Eddie Murphy, who, at the time, was a box office star, coming off the heels of the successful film, Beverly Hills Cop. And initially, Murphy was interested in appearing in the movie as he was a big Star Trek fan. He even met with producer Harve Bennett and director Leonard Nimoy to discuss his part which he ultimately decided not to take.
When he turned down the role, originally he said it was because he thought making the movie The Golden Child would be better for his career, but he offered up another explanation on a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live [via Trekmovie].
"“Yeah, you know which one it was, it was the one where they go to San Francisco and they get the whales… I was going to be the one that they met when they got to San Francisco, and I was like, “No, I want to go and beam up and be on the ship,” so I didn’t do it.”"
If Eddie Murphy was going to be in a Star Trek movie, he wanted to be on the ship with the crew.
When Murphy told Kimmel he wanted to be on the ship, Kimmel came back with, “you have to be on the Enterprise for Star Trek,” but in Star Trek IV, Admiral Kirk and his crew took a Klingon Bird of Prey back in time to San Francisco. So there wouldn’t have been an opportunity for Murphy to be aboard the Enterprise anyway.
Murphy said the script had him “talking jive to Spock,” revealing clearly that Murphy’s part was solidly on the ground in the city and not warping through space or being part of the Enterprise crew. One can certainly understand why that would be disappointing to a Trekkie. Fortunately, Star Trek IV managed to do quite well with a different script, and Eddie Murphy continued a successful career in Hollywood.