J.J. Abrams Screens Next Star Trek Movie for Dying Fan
The next installment in the Star Trek movie-verse, “Star Trek: Into Darkness”, doesn’t come out for another five months, but unfortunately for film buff Daniel Craft, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer with only weeks to live.
In a message posted to the popular Internet message board, Reddit, Daniel’s wife, Paige wrote about how her husband had battled leukemia for 10+ years, only to be stricken with an unrelated, aggressive form of cancer, shortening his time left even further.
Within a few days after that message was posted, Daniel and his wife received a voicemail from J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, the director and one of the producers of the film respectively, and said that a producer would get in touch with them.
According to Daniel’s friend who goes by the username GradyHendrix, “The next day, one of the film’s producers showed up at the door of their apartment with a DVD containing a very rough cut of Star Trek: Into Darkness in his hands. Paige had made popcorn, Dan had spent the previous day resting so he could sit through the movie, and after signing about 200 nondisclosure agreements they watched the film and had a blast…Of course he loved the film. It was the last thing he got to do before he passed away." Daniel passed away a few days after watching the movie.
Daniel wasn’t just your regular, run-of-the-mill Star Trek fan. "As one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, he was instrumental in bringing Asian cinema to the U.S. Jackie Chan, Jet Li — these actors have careers in the U.S. because of people like Dan bringing their movies over when distributors weren’t doing it … But like the other directors of NYAFF, Craft was merely fulfilling a passion. He still had a day job: working in the data department for MTV until, due to his illness, he was no longer able to work. The film buff was also fluent in Mandarin, and even tried his hand at acting in a few Chinese television series. ‘He always played the evil white guy,’ Hendrix says. His biggest claim to fame might have been as an extra in Kill Bill Vol. 1, where Hendrix says Craft was ‘the bald white guy dancing on a dance floor.’
While thanking the people at Bad Robot, Abrams, Lindelof and the Reddit community for their generosity in helping a stranger, Hendrix [says] that Craft would have never asked for the kind of attention he is now receiving. ‘Dan would be rolling his eyes at being ‘the inspirational cancer story,’ but he’s done a lot for movies over the years,” Hendrix says. ‘It’s nice that the movies finally did something for him.’” [HollywoodReporter]