There’s so much Star Trek television on Paramount+ that it’s easy to forget that there hasn’t been a feature film in the franchise since 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. The good news for Trekkies is that the long hiatus between movies may be rapidly drawing to a close.
According to a report on Deadline, J.J. Abrams has confirmed that Paramount has resumed talks with Chris Pine for him to reprise his role as James T. Kirk in Star Trek 4. The report also indicates that Paramount wants the reboot cast to return. That includes Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, and Simon Pegg.
Abrams directed the first Star Trek reboot film in 2009, which established an alternate continuity that is separate from the various TV shows. In addition to Pine’s Captain Kirk, Quinto was cast as Spock, with Urban as Dr. McCoy, Saldana as Uhura, Cho as Sulu, Pegg as Scotty, and the late Anton Yelchin as Chekov. That movie’s success led Abrams and the cast to return for Star Trek Into Darkness, which was also a hit.
Unfortunately, Star Trek Beyond made only $343.5 million worldwide, which was considered a disappointment. At the time, Paramount intended to have Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as Kirk’s late father, George Kirk, for a time-travel adventure with his onscreen son in Star Trek 4. But the project stalled in 2018 when both Pine and Hemsworth pulled out of the film.
The fact that Paramount is negotiating with Pine suggests that he and the other cast members aren’t under any contractual obligation to return. But if the deal can be made, then it would maintain most of the core characters of the Enterprise crew. Abrams and others have indicated that out of respect for Yelchin, Chekov will not be recast.
WandaVision director Matt Shakman is slated to helm Star Trek 4, which will probably have a different name when it heads to theaters. The current script was written by Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires under Shakman’s supervision. It’s not believed to be the same script from the previous version of Star Trek 4. If that’s the case, we can probably rule out a return for Hemsworth.
Paramount reportedly wants to begin filming Star Trek 4 later this year.
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