Though Star Treks IV and VI are fantastic movies which have stood the test of time, Star Trek V is without question one of the worst movies ever made. It’s plot involves the Enterprise crew following around a Vulcan madman on a quest to find God and in addition to being horribly written it’s pretty badly directed by William Shatner, in his only feature directorial effort.
But it could have been even worse.
The film’s Vulcan madman, Sybok, was played by Laurence Luckinbill. Originally the production pursued Sean Connery for the part, but when he passed they went with Luckinbill. Apparently though, they almost went with Leonard Nimoy.
I’m not sure how this could possibly have worked but Luckinbill tells StarTrek.com that Nimoy wanted the film’s producers to let him play a dual role in the movie as both Spock and Sybok. He explains, “That was the scuttlebutt, and I got that from very high up in the food chain of information, that Leonard wanted to play Sybok and play Spock. That would have been a tremendous thing to do that, but since they weren’t twins, they cast me.”
Sybok was written as Spock’s half-brother. Perhaps they could have changed the script to make them twins or something, but it’s hard to imagine that accomplishing anything besides making Trek V an even bigger mess. A better idea might have been to make Spock himself the villain of the film. After all he has just spent the entirety of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home wandering around like he’s on LSD, the after effects of being dead for a few months are bound to be pretty severe. Getting resurrected from the dead sounds like exactly the sort of thing that might make an otherwise logical Vulcan go on a mad quest for god.
Sadly Spock as a villain doesn’t seem like it was ever considered. Nimoy, however, really wanted to do the dual role thing. So much so that Leonard was pissed when he didn’t get it and Luckinbill says of Nimoy, “He did not say one word to me for quite a long time, other than ‘Hello'”