It’s tough to think about whatStar Trek: Deep Space Nine would have been like with out Avery Brooks as Commander, later Captain Benjamin Sisko. His portrayal of Star Trek’s first Black lead character was important to the show’s success as the collection targeted rather more on its lead than earlierStar Trek exhibits.
However, Brooks was not the producers’ first selection for the function. They had a number of different A-list actors in thoughts, some of whom they provided the function earlier than it went to Avery.
Here are some of the big-name stars that turned down the function of Commander Sisko.
James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones is one of the best-known and most well-respected actors in Hollywood. He’s won multiple awards together with an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Grammy, a number of Emmys, and a number of NAACP Image Awards. He’s one Tony Award quick of being an EGOT. Jones is finest recognized for his roles as the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise, the voice of Mufasa in each variations ofThe Lion Kingand Admiral Greer inThe Hunt for Red October.
In an interview withStarTrek.com, Ron Surma, one of the casting administrators for DS9 revealed that Jones was on the “wishlist” for the function of Commander Sisko. Surma chatted with Jones’ representatives about the function, however he was rejected fairly shortly. His reps stated that Jones did not wish to take on the dedication of a seven-season tv show since it will restrict his means to take on different alternatives.
Surma instructed the publication that they did not quit on asking till proper earlier than they cast Brooks as a result of “you by no means quit on the want listing till it is too late.”
At the time that DS9 was on the lookout for its Commander Sisko, James Avery was recognized to the world as Uncle Phil fromThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He was one of TV’s favourite dads, and his portrayal of a robust, profitable Black man helped change the narrative round Black success.
A casting document from the desk ofStar Trek’s casting director of Junie-Lowry Johnson, who cast Trek’s most iconic roles, revealed that Avery was additionally on the wishlist for Sisko. However, the notes subsequent to his title acknowledged that he wasn’t accessible as a result of of his work onFresh Prince.
Versatile and proficient actor Tony Todd, who’s finest recognized for his iconic function in Candyman,was already aStar Trek veteran by the time he auditioned for DS9. He played the Klingon Kurn in three episodes ofStar Trek: The Next Generation.
In an interview withStarTrek.com, Todd stated that he was in the working for Sisko, however Brooks finally beat him out for the function. He additionally revealed that he and Brooks had labored collectively earlier than, on a manufacturing that Todd was fired from! Todd stated that Brooks was very sort to him at the time.
Todd would later seem in DS9 as an older model of Sisko’s son Jake.
Other A-Listers Who Turned Down the Role
Lowry-Johnson’s casting document revealed an infinite listing of A-list actors who have been thought of for the function or provided the function earlier than they gave it to Brooks. Not all of them have been severely thought of for the function, however some of them have been contenders.
Before the producers determined they wished a Black main man, the function was provided to James Bond himself, Pierce Brosnan. The notes on the casting doc indicated that he did not wish to decide to a tv show at the time. Colin Firth, Gary Busey, Liam Neeson and Bill Paxton have been additionally thought of, however none of them had any curiosity in tv.
When the producers determined to go along with a Black lead, just a few different A-listers have been extra severely thought of.
Laurence Fishburne, who would later play Morpheus inThe Matrix, was excessive on the wishlist. However, he was targeted on his film profession at the time and did not wish to spend time on tv. Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. was accessible, however not very all in favour of the function, although the provide was made. Carl Lumbly, who would later star inAlias, was additionally provided the function however wasn’t accessible on account of his function inGoing to Extremes.
It’s attention-grabbing to think about every of these actors taking part in the function of Sisko. However,Star Trek followers know the function would not have been the similar with out Brooks.