On the January 26, 2023 episode of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Murphy discussed the offer and why he declined. As he told Kimmel:
“It was the one where they go to San Francisco and they get the whale and all that stuff. I was going to be the one that they met when they got to San Francisco, and I was like, ‘[disappointedly] No… I want to be beamed up and be on the ship,’ ya know? So, I didn’t do it. Yeah, they had me, like, talking jive to Spock in San Francisco.”
Murphy’s role was eventually rewritten to be Dr. Gililan Taylor, the cetologist love interest of William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk. Murphy’s character would’ve been a Berkeley astrophysicist. As to whether he would’ve also been a love interest for Kirk, we can at least dream that glorious dream.
If it’s news to you that Murphy is a Trek fanatic, you haven’t been paying attention. He’s sprinkled references to the show here and there throughout his career, most memorably in Reginald Hudlin’s “Boomerang,” where he romances Halle Berry’s Angela with an off-handed riff about Spock’s last name. “Spock Jenkins. He’s one of them Jenkins boys from Vulcan.”
With the future of the “Star Trek” film series up in the air, I believe it is time to go boldly adventuring with them Jenkins boys from Vulcan. Cast Tracy Morgan or Chris Rock, and the big-screen franchise is saved.