The original Star Trek cast—who had agreed to appear in the new movie, with contracts as-yet unsigned pending script approval—grew anxious about the constant delays, and pragmatically accepted other acting offers while Roddenberry worked with Paramount. The studio decided to turn the project over to the television division, reasoning that since the roots of the franchise lay in television the writers would be able to develop the right script. A number of screenwriters offered up ideas that were summarily rejected. As Paramount executives' interest in the film began to wane, Roddenberry, backed by fan letters, applied pressure to the studio. In June 1976, Paramount assigned Jerry Isenberg, a young and active producer, to be executive producer of the project, with the budget expanded to $8 million. Povill was tasked with finding more writers to develop a script. His list included Edward Anhalt, James Goldman, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Ernest Lehman, and Robert Bloch. To cap off his list, Povill put as his last recommendation "Jon Povill—almost credit: Star Trek II story (with Gene Roddenberry). Will be a big shot some day. Should be hired now while he is cheap and humble." The end result was a compiled list of 34 names, none of whom were ever chosen to pen the script.
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