Sometimes, movie magic can exist in real life. At least, that’s what happened for one film fan who got the chance to see an early cut of the new Star Trek film just days before he died. New York film aficionado Daniel Craft didn’t have much to look forward to after being told he had terminal cancer less than six weeks ago—that was, until J.J. Abrams got involved. The director of the upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness film heard a plea from family members and friends of Craft after it went viral thanks to the popular website Reddit, and granted Craft the opportunity to see a very early edit of the film in his final days.
According to a follow-up post on Reddit from Craft’s friend, Grady Hendrix explained how the events took place. “A day or so after the thread began, Paige, Dan’s wife, got a voicemail from J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof that was very nice and very straightforward: a producer for the movie would get in touch with them.”
After that? Preparations were made so that Dan would be comfortable sitting through an entire film, and “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, … and after signing about 200 non-disclosure agreements they watched the film and had a blast.”
Hendrix went on, lauding the great kindness of strangers, and how a simple act gave his friend peace and serenity in his final days. “At a time when he didn’t have a whole lot to look forward to, r/StarTrek, JJ Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Bad Robot performed a simple act of kindness for a total stranger and gave Dan something to be excited about for a couple of days. The movie did exactly what movies are supposed to do, it helped him forget about his problems for a couple of hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but in this case it was.”
But Craft was no casual movie fan—quite the contrary. His love of films gave rise to his becoming one of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, where his work was an integral part in bringing Asian movies to the United States. And Craft didn’t stop there—he was fluent in Mandarin and had a few small roles on Chinese television and in Kill Bill Vol. 1. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hendrix explained that Craft had done a lot for the movie industry over the years, and “it’s nice that the movies finally did something for him.”
[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]
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