Back in 1989, Paramount Pictures released the fifth movie in the Star Trek film series. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was even more anticipated than usual for a Star Trek movie, coming hot on the heels of the highly-successful Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, at the time, the most popular and profitable Star Trek film released. Paramount, feeling cocky we assume, let a first time feature director named William Shatner take the helm of the new movie, and the result was, shall we say, disastrous. But several years, and several movies later, Shatner can now talk candidly about his mistakes, and frankly, it was all Paramount’s fault, for letting him spend their money badly.
In an Entertainment Weekly bit called, “Sorry About That,” Shatner, along with Henry Winkler, were asked to apologize for their past sins, which in Shatner’s case was Star Trek V.
I got the chance to direct a several-million-dollar movie, Star Trek V, and I did not get the help I needed in allocating my budget, so when it came to shooting the ending — needing a good villain and lots of computer graphics — I had run out of money. Sorry about that. [Laughs.] I had to use footage that I had already shot — and spit on it a lot. I wanted to give [the audience] earth-breaking granite monsters spewing rocks and fire. Instead, I had a few pebbles in my hand that I threw at the camera.
So there you go, Star Trek V sucked because Shatner didn’t have an accountant. It’s long since been a fact of filmmaking lore that Shatner’s original ending, where Captain Kirk fought rock monsters not unlike this scene from Galaxy Quest, had to be changed because the production ran out of money. Instead, God chased Kirk up a mountain where Spock shot God in the face using the phasers on a Bird of Prey. So that’s practically the same, right? It’s nice to know that after 27 years, Shatner’s finally found the courage to admit that Paramount didn’t give him the help he need to spend their money correctly.