Star Trek Guide

Galaxy Quest: Tim Allen Equates Harold Ramis' Version to Spaceballs

Before Dean Parisot signed on to direct Galaxy Quest, Harold Ramis was supposed to helm the movie, which was initially titled Captain Starshine. However, according to Tim Allen, if Ramis directed the film, it wouldn't have just been titled differently -- it would have looked quite different as well.

Allen played the lead actor in the film, Jason Nesmith, and he is part of the reason Ramis exited the project. Speaking with THR, Allen recounted a "peculiar lunch" he had with both Ramis and Jeffrey Katzenberg about the movie.

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"Katzenberg pitched me the idea of the commander character and then they started talking and it became clear that Ramis didn’t see me for the part," Allen said. "It was pretty uncomfortable."

According to Allen, Ramis didn't want a comedian to come in and take on the role of an action hero. Instead, Ramis was looking for an action star that could be funny, and he compared Ramis' vision to Spaceballs.

Both Galaxy Quest and Spaceballs were satires, but the Mel Brooks movie was more of a spoof comedy while Galaxy Quest was so sincere that many Star Trek fans hold it in high regard. In fact, at a 2013 convention in Las Vegas, Trekkies named it the seventh-best "Star Trek movie" ever made.

Interestingly, Sigourney Weaver also wouldn't have gotten her role as Gwen DeMarco in Galaxy Quest if Ramis had directed the film, despite their relationship from Ghostbusters. "I had heard that Harold was directing a sci-fi movie but he didn’t want anyone who had done sci-fi in the film," she said. "Frankly, it’s those of us who have done science fiction movies that know what is funny about the genre."

For his part, Ramis reportedly conceded Allen was perfect for the role. Producer Mark Johnson said Ramis called him after seeing Galaxy Quest in theaters and said, "it was a great film and that Tim Allen was a fantastic commander.”