If you’re a ‘Star Trek’ fan, odds are you feel pretty strongly about the alternate reality reboot that kicked off with J.J. Abrams’ first ‘Star Trek’ film in 2009. For nearly ten years, it’s been very much a “love it or hate it” affair. But love it or hate it, there’s no disputing that it’s made money, and plenty of it. With that being the case, you’d expect that its continuation would be a sure thing, at least for the foreseeable future.
By all appearances, that was the case, as we entered this year with not one but two ‘Star Trek’ films in some stage of development. Then, in August everything was turned on its head, as both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth walked away from negotiations that would have secured their appearances in ‘Star Trek 4’, which was set to pair Pine’s Kirk with his father, played (briefly) in the opening scenes of the 2009 film by Hemsworth. That the two Chrises walked away from the table (reportedly after Paramount tried to renegotiate for a lower pay than the actors had previously agreed upon) obviously puts this one firmly in limbo. The implications for the other film (based on a story pitched by Quentin Tarantino) are less certain, as it was never made clear to the public whether or not that film would be set in the Kelvin timeline or make use of any of the current cast. Regardless, whatever plans Paramount may have had for the film franchise have now been completely upended.
All of this chaos has naturally left fans eager for any updates, which sadly have not been forthcoming. The latest news is, essentially, that there is no news. As Sulu actor John Cho explained in an interview with The Playlist:
“I sadly don’t have any news for you, I wish I had more for you there though. I don’t know what the ins and outs at the studio are but I am optimistic there will be another one because I am optimistic about what ‘Star Trek’ says and its place in our culture and I think it will come back around. I think it’s an important part of American popular culture that speaks to America’s best impulses and I think that there will always be a place for ‘Star Trek’ films and I just hope to be in it and there isn’t another totally different group of people! I’m bullish about it, and honestly, for personal reasons I suppose the last film has a cloud over it, losing Anton [Yelchin] after the last one and for me it would be important personally to make one more at least. I think it would alleviate that part of us a little big to make at least one more.”
This is consistent with what his co-star Karl Urban told us at New York Comic Con in October. If nothing else, the continued lack of news means the film hasn’t been cancelled. The obvious assumption being that Paramount is either negotiating with at least one Chris or drastically reworking their plans for the film. Fans can also take comfort in the fact that the cast all seem game to do another (in addition to Cho’s obvious enthusiasm, both Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine had signed on to appear in a fourth installment before Paramount started looking to cut costs).
But the question, increasingly, is whether or not they’ll get the chance. Frankly, it’d be surprising if they didn’t. While the three Kelvin timeline films to date have been subject to diminishing returns at the box office (though to be fair poor word of mouth helped cut the legs out from under ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, and the studio seemed to have forgotten to market ‘Star Trek Beyond’), they’ve all done pretty well relative to past ‘Star Trek’ films. But whatever the future holds for the Kelvinverse, there will be more ‘Star Trek’ films sooner or later. For now, at least, that’s all we can say with any certainty.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more ‘Star Trek’ news – including the latest on the second season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and other upcoming shows and movies – as it becomes available!