Last week, we ran a story on the upcoming fourth entry in the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ film series. I know, you’re shocked. Specifically, that story dealt with the film’s competing scripts. Speaking with ET Canada, series star Zachary Quinto suggested that there were at least three scripts in the works for the upcoming film. That included one that dates at least as far back as the release of ‘Star Trek Beyond‘, another based on the recent pitch by Quentin Tarantino, and one by ‘Beyond’ co-writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung.
It now seems, however, that Quinto is subject to the same confusion about the franchise’s future as the rest of us. Speaking on the ‘Happy Sad Confused‘ podcast, Simon Pegg took the opportunity to clear up some of that confusion. Turns out there are only two scripts after all. As Pegg explains:
“Doug and I were never going to write the fourth. That was never the deal. Doug and I are doing something together at Bad Robot, which I probably can’t talk about just yet. So, Payne and McKay, who wrote the abortive [‘Star Trek Beyond’] script with the previous director [Roberto Orci], they are writing a fourth one. That as far as I know was the kind of Hemsworth thing. That is as much as I know.”
So where does that leave us? We know there are two scripts in one stage of development or another. One, written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (whose ‘Star Trek’ work seems to be “always a bridesmaid, never a bride”) provided the basis for the 2016 announcement that Chris Hemsworth would be returning as George Kirk, and has by all appearances landed on the backburner for one reason or another. The other, of course, is the much ballyhooed script by Mark L. Smith. Smith’s effort has been in progress since late 2017 and is based on a pitch by Quentin Tarantino. If there is a third script, Pegg hasn’t heard about it, and he certainly isn’t writing it.
Of course, whether either of these scripts actually makes it to the screen is anyone’s guess at this point, given that they seemed to be committed (or committed enough, at least) to the Payne/McKay script, right up to the moment they weren’t.
In any case, be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘Star Trek 4’ as it develops!