It’s not looking good for ‘Star Trek 4’. This wasn’t always the case. This time last year, the fourth installment of the rebooted Kelvin timeline was cruising toward its eventual release. Its script (which would have seen Chris Pine’s Kirk reunited with his late father – played in the opening moments of the 2009 film by a pre-‘Thor’ Chris Hemsworth) was being fine-tuned alongside the development of the presumed fifth film (the one based on the Quentin Tarantino pitch). A few months later, though, all of that would come screeching to a halt as Pine and Hemsworth both walked away from the film after Paramount tried to renegotiate their previously agreed upon salaries in a bungled attempt to tighten their belts in the wake of the disappointing box office performance of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ in 2016.
After losing both Chrises, ‘Star Trek 4’ fell into limbo. Even those actors who remained on board remained in the dark as to the project’s future – if indeed it had any. And then last month it was quietly announced (in the midst of a report on HBO’s planned ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel, of all places) that Paramount had – at least for the time being – shelved the film. Losing Hemsworth, after all, might have at most forced them to go back to the drawing board with the film’s story. Losing Pine, however, places not only the future of the film but of the film franchise in question. To be sure, they could recast the role yet again or simply proceed without Kirk, but for the moment both options seem unlikely. (The Tarantino outing is reportedly still in development, but it was never clear whether or not that was intended as a vehicle for the Kelvin cast to begin with.)
So where does that leave us? To paraphrase Luke Skywalker, it looks like we’re going nowhere. Speaking to /Film at the TCA press tour, star Zachary Quinto gave the latest word on the big screen future of ‘Star Trek’.
“I mean, it’s been a broad conversation that we’ve been having for a while in terms of what’s the future of the franchise. It’s in process, so I don’t know exactly what to say other than there’s no plans for a movie happening at this moment.”
That’s not exactly encouraging, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Later in the conversation, Quinto made clear that he’d be all too happy to return to ‘Star Trek’ if the opportunity presents. So while there’s a lot of uncertainty now, is fans can take heart in the knowledge that nobody seems ready to rule anything out just yet.
“I would love to. I feel like it’s been an anchor of my creative live for the last over ten years now, so if I can go back to it, I’ll always be happy to. I love my ‘Star Trek’ family so we’ll see how it goes.”
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!