The legendary funnyman was cast as an astrophysicist in the movie, according to script writer Steve Meerson, but studio executives feared his part didn't work.

''It was always the same story that got approved, but the original draft included a part for Eddie Murphy," Meerson tells The Hollywood Reporter.

"Eddie was on the lot at Paramount at the time and arguably was the biggest star in the world. They had told us he was a huge Star Trek fan.''

The film featured the original Star Trek cast, including William Shatner and the late Leonard Nimoy.