In a new interview with the 3 Black Geeks podcast, Kelvin Timeline actor Jason Matthew Smith – aka Lt. “Cupcake” Hendorff in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness – revealed that his character was supposed to die in the 2013 film, but that his death was cut before final release – allowing the security officer to return for STAR TREK BEYOND.
Here’s the thing about [the Qo’noS mission in “Star Trek Into Darkness”]: the actual footage of me [in the final] film is so brief, it’s right when Kirk comes in – and then you really don’t see me after that.
When I went to go see the premiere with my wife, it was a cast and crew screening, my wife had already known I was gonna die. So I went into the theater, and I had shot all of this footage – I shot for three months! When my scene was coming up, and I didn’t die, I kind of let out a verbal “I’m alive!”
Then I was like, well, maybe thay saved it for the deleted scenes – so I had to wait for the DVD to come out and see, and it wasn’t [included]… and then I heard they were coming out with the third film.
Nobody was calling me, and I heard Simon Pegg was coming on board as a writer. I had Simon’s email from the first movie, and I had never written him in eight years, so I decided to send him a quick email.
He emailed me right back, and said, “We’ve got something for you in this new film, and we’d love to see you up in Vancouver. We gotta keep the band together.”
I was blown away, and I was very appreciative, and very fortunate to do three. I still can’t believe I’ve done three Star Trek films.
In the Into Darkness novelization, Hendorff is killed by a bat’leth during the mission – and this confirms that sequence was actually shot on set.
As we saw in one of X-Box Live deleted scenes that didn’t make it to the Into Darkness Blu-ray release, Hendorff’s partner (played by Ser’Darius Blain) was killed during the Kronos mission, gunned down by a Klingon soldier in front of Kirk’s eyes.
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UPDATE: Despite his return for filming, Smith’s scenes were all cut from the theatrical presentation of STAR TREK BEYOND.
Smith’s Hendorff returned to the Enterprise for the third movie in the rebooted Star Trek series, “Star Trek Beyond,” which opened this week. And again he was supposed to die. But — spoiler alert — Hendorff lives to see another day, although that was a surprise to Smith.
“I went to the premiere, and all of my scenes were cut out,” Smith said Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. “I was supposed to die at the hands of (Idris Elba’s) Krall in the third one. So this is two movies in a row.”
Producer J.J. Abrams told Smith that, once again, Hendorff had been spared from death because of tweaks to the story during the editing process and said that the red shirt would return for an almost unheard-of fourth time in the next sequel.
Guess we’ll look for Hendorff in STAR TREK 4.