Michael Dorn Had a Good Reason for Turning Down the Chance to Play Worf's Ancestor on Star Trek: Discovery

This rumor’s been “popped.” Image: Paramount
This rumor’s been “popped.” Image: Paramount

The Star Trek rumor mill has been full of reports that The Next Generation actor Michael Dorn would return to his Klingon roots on Star Trek: Discovery. Turns out, nope, that’s not happening. However, it sounds like he was offered a part, but turned it down after hearing how small his paycheck would be.


The rumors started after Dorn, who played Lieutenant Worf on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, appeared at an event at the Orland Shakespeare Theater, where he’s performing in Antony and Cleopatra. A website covering the event posted an article claiming that Dorn discussed his role in the upcoming CBS show Star Trek: Discovery. He would be playing Worf’s great-great-grandfather, or thereabouts.

However, TrekMovie has debunked the rumor. According to Dorn’s publicist, the actor was misquoted, and he’d actually said he had “a couple of conversations with producers last summer” about appearing on the show. A reporter from Orlando Sentinel confirmed this, adding that Dorn had mentioned he turned down a role because they only offered him less than one percent of what he’d made the last time he played the character. That would be Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. Of course, actors tend to get paid more for motion pictures, but many of the mainstay actors on The Next Generation were getting paid $1 million per episode by the end. Dorn wasn’t doing too shabby either way.

So there you go, a rumor about Discovery debunked that kind of ends up starting another one. It’s a little disconcerting that CBS and Paramount would reportedly offer Dorn, one of the most iconic actors in the entire series, 0.65 percent of what he’d previously made on Star Trek (seriously). That would suggest they either don’t value the original characters enough to make it worth the actors’ while, or the pockets on this thing are way too shallow to turn out something solid. Given all the other crazy updates and rumors surrounding this production, it’s cause for even more concern.


Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.



Dorn’s response right after CBS made such an insulting offer;