George Takei Talks About His New Project With Comedy Legend Mel Brooks

George Takei and Mel Brooks

Paramount / MGM George Takei and Mel Brooks

George Takei has made a name for himself outside of “Star Trek.” As a voice actor, he’s appeared in films such as Disney’s “Mulan,” on television shows like “The Simpsons” and the upcoming “Star Wars: Visions” series, and as a contributing voice on the Howard Stern Show

While on the Stern show, Takei has been known to discuss nearly anything and has even talked about his former “Star Trek” co-star, William Shatner. 

George talks about ‘Bill’

In a recent appearance at Washington, D.C.’s AwesomeCon, Takei held court and spoke on many topics, including Shatner.  

During his talk, which took place on August 21, 2021, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Takei spoke on some of his upcoming projects, including a reboot project spawned by the mind of Mel Brooks. 

For those who aren’t aware, Brooks is considered by many to be a comedic genius and is responsible for some of the best-loved comedy films of the 20th Century. These include “Young Frankenstein,” “The Producers,” “Robin Hood: Men in Tights,” and many others. 

‘Star Trek’ spoofed in ‘Spaceballs’

Fans of “Star Trek” will undoubtedly recognize his science-fiction spoof, “Spaceballs,” which lampooned Trek, “Star Wars,” “2001,” “Alien,” “Battlestar Galactica,” and even “Jaws.”

At 95, Brooks just released a memoir that recaps many of his most memorable projects, adventures, and stories about co-stars and friends in Hollywood. One of his most beloved films, a parody of the cowboy movie that was so popular in the 1960s and ’70s, still resonates today. “Blazing Saddles,” according to Brooks himself, is the “funniest movie ever made.”

“It still gets huge laughs when we show it,” Brooks told Rolling Stone in 2016. “Some movies are diamonds, and a wise man once said, diamonds are forever. I mean, Chaplin’s ‘City Lights’ still holds up, and it’s, what, over 80 years old. ‘Sullivan’s Travels,’ same thing — it was made in the Forties, and it’s just timeless. I really believe that it’s the funniest movie ever made. Sometimes you get lucky.”

This might be why Brooks and others are changing the details of “Blazing Saddles” to create a new story, “Blazing Samurai.” It is this new project that Takei shared with his fans at AwesomeCon. Takei serves “Blazing Samurai” as a voice actor. At the same time, Brooks gives his voice and is also an executive producer of the animated film. 

“Just the combination of the two words — blazing and samurai is a ridiculous combination,” Takei said to the audience. “But, in this story, all the characters are cats.”

The audience laughed as Takei explained.

Cats and Swords

“But there is one character who is not a cat — the hero,” said Takei. “He’s a dog. And the dog is the samurai and a powerful samurai. But he doesn’t know the cat culture… and was in a village of poverty-stricken cats is in danger because there is a bad group of cats … every year comes and raids the village and robs them.”

“The best samurai in all of catdom is this [dog],” said Takei. “But you know how dogs and cats get along. So there’s that comedy element, too.”

“I play a cat general,” said Takei. “A samurai general… a lord who wears the samurai armor with the helmet and all. And they thought my voice sounded like a general’s voice.”

“But I have a lord that I work for who’s a tiny cat,” said Takei. “But you know, these tiny cats are the ones who are the know-it-alls. And that tiny lord cat is given voice by … Ricky Gervais. So high pitched Ricky Gervais is my boss!”

The film, which is in production now, will be released by The Align Group and directed by Mark Koetsier.

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