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Director J.J. Abrams fulfilled a terminally ill Star Trek fan’s wish to see Star Trek Into Darkness before his health worsened. Abrams heard about the man’s story thanks to the Internet, proving how powerful it can be when used for the right causes.
It started when a Reddit user Doug wrote about his friend Daniel Craft, 41, who had leukemia, an unrelated cancer and other health problems. They had just seen The Hobbit just to see the 9-minute teaser to get a taste of Into Darkness, since he was unsure what his condition would be in May, when the film finally comes out.
However, the theater they went to didn’t show the preview, which disappointed Daniel. According to CNET, the Reddit post was picked up by other Trek sites and one Twitter user tweeted the link to Abrams.
Abrams actually called Daniel up and offered to let him see the film months before anyone else.
“A day or so after the thread began, Paige, Dan’s wife, got a voicemail from JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof that was very nice and very straightforward: a producer for the movie would get in touch with them,” Hendrix wrote. “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 non-disclosure agreements they watched the film and had a blast.”
Hendrix later told THR, “J.J. Abrams and the producer who came to give them the early cut told Paige and Dan, 'Please don't judge this -- it's very rough, but we wanted you to see what we had.’ Of course, he loved the film. It was the last thing he got to do before he passed away.”
Sadly, just hours after seeing the film, Daniel died with his wife and brother at his side.
Daniel was more than a Trek fan, though. He was a founder of the New York Asian Film Festival, Hendrix said, and even appeared as an extra in Kill Bill, Vol. 1.
“Dan would be rolling his eyes at being 'the inspirational cancer story,' but he's done a lot for movies over the years,” Hendrix told THR. “It's nice that the movies finally did something for him.”