HOLLYWOOD -- Actress Nichelle Nichols can celebrate many historical firsts in her acting career. She was the first film and television African-American actress to play a role other than a maid and a servant when she was selected by television producer Gene Rodenberry to play "Uhura" the Communications Commander of the Star Ship Enterprise in the original Star Trek series. When Nichols kissed William Shatner she became the first African American actress to perform an interracial kiss in film and television.
Nichelle Nichols is preparing to embark on another first. As the Executive Producer of a feature film entitled "Omaha Street" Nichols is about to demonstrate that compassion has no color. She describes "Omaha Street" as a step up from the film "Blindside."
"Omaha Street" is about a white teenager who runs away from a foster home steals a car and accidently runs down a black youth in an intersection. When the white teenager is brought before the court for sentencing the mother of the black youth stands before a shocked court room and pleads that the white teenager be sent to live with her family. "Blindside" is based on a true story. When Nichelle Nichols was asked recently by a reporter if "Omaha Street" was based on a true story, she said " No, but who is to say it could not happen. As long as we leave our minds open, it could happen."
Nichelle Nichols remembers the problems Gene Rodenberry went through when he selected her to play the role of "Uhura" Commander of Communications in the original Star Trek series. Everyone from the sponsors to the network voiced disapproval. Roddenberry refused to budge. Nichols says "Gene's decision was ground breaking." Nichols however offered to tender her resignation from the series. When the late Dr. Martin Luther King heard she was going to quit Star Trek he told her " you can't quit, you are making strides for our people by staying the course."
When film producer Gilbert Bell told Nichols the story over lunch she cried. When Bell purchased the screenplay it was white on white he rewrote the screenplay making it black on white. Nichols has said "you can dream the impossible dream, and know that if the story has not happened, it is possible it will happen because of "Omaha Street."
Nichols wants Eminem Eminem (Marshall Mathers) to play the high school music director in "Omaha Street."
Legendary horror film producer Christopher Webster (Heathers and Hell Raiser I and II) is leaving horror behind and taking on the role of Line Producer for "Omaha Street." Webster believes "Omaha Street" has Academy Award written all over it. Webster is talking with Cuba Gooding Jr. to play the role of the father of the black youth who was accidently killed by the white teenager. Webster worked with Gooding on two previous films.
Nichelle Nichols is working to complete funding for "Omaha Street." The budget is estimated at $15,000.000. Nichols wants to begin shooting in the Spring of 2011 in Louisiana. Nichols and Gilbert Bell are looking for a Christmas 2011 release.