Maybe three was enough?! Paramount has hit the brakes on the latest attempt to continue the ‘Star Trek’ movie franchise. In November, Paramount hired Noah Hawley (‘Fargo’, ‘Legion’) to write and direct a fourth installment which would have most likely been set within the Kelvin timeline and featured the same cast– Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, etc.
Hawley’s movie has not been completely scrapped. This pause comes five weeks after a new president was installed at Paramount Pictures– Emma Watts, formerly of 20th Century Fox. Reportedly, Watts wants more “clarity” on this project and the future of ‘Trek’ at the cinema, before proceeding any further.
Hawley’s project is separate from that buzzed-about Quentin Tarantino ‘Trek’ movie that was never actually going to happen.
ANOTHER fourth ‘Star Trek’ movie to be directed by S.J. Clarkson was scrapped in 2018. Reportedly, that screenplay would have involved time travel and brought Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk face-to-face with his deceased father, George Kirk, to be played by Chris Hemsworth. But the budget to bring Thor back into the ‘Star Trek’-verse was too great, because Pine and the rest of the cast had fulfilled their contracts and would have been entitled to significant pay bumps.
2009’s ‘Star Trek’, directed by J.J. Abrams, reinvigorated the decades-old brand by going back to basics and recasting the characters from the original TV series with a hip young cast. Abrams also injected the picture with his signature sense of humor. It made $385 million on a production budget of $150M, a certified success.
The sequel, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, was an even bigger hit, grossing $467M on a budget of $190M. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as well-received, partially because Abrams and everyone else involved flat out lied repeatedly during production and while promoting the film, about the fact that this was basically a remake of ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’.
The third picture, ‘Star Trek Beyond’ also did okay financially– $343M gross on a budget of $185M– but was also not very well-received, possibly because Abrams did not return to direct. (He had moved on to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise.) The ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise’s Justin Lin stepped in to helm.
Once again, Hawley’s film isn’t dead. But Paramount is taking a beat to reexamine the future of the ‘Star Trek’ movie franchise, and we’ll have to wait and see if moviegoers will get another visit to the Kelvin timeline, or if it’s time to warp in in a different direction.