Walking Dead actress Danai Gurira says she almost had a role in the sequel to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond when Paramount was working on a different concept for the follow-up. Those plans also involved Chris Hemsworth. By 2018, producer J.J. Abrams hired S.J. Clarkson to direct, and with a completed script ready, they planned to start filming in 2019.
Danai Gurira Was Ready For Warp Speed
Speaking at the 2024 Saturn Awards, Danai Gurira revealed that she was excited to join the Star Trek franchise, but the project was eventually scrapped with little explanation. “I was in talks…” she said. “I don’t know how far along they were, but that was looking to happen. I was quite excited about it, but then that entire film didn’t happen.”
A Big Departure For Gurira
While avoiding specifics, Danai Gurira explained what she loved about her now-defunct Star Trek character. “I was very excited to do it,” the actress continued. “She was going to be very different from me in many ways. You know, it’s Star Trek, man. It was cool… It was a very exciting idea and story, and I was excited about the character.”
The Project Didn’t Survive Negotiations
The initial project, featuring Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as George Kirk, faced setbacks, primarily due to salary negotiations with Chris Pine and Hemsworth himself. As a result, unfortunately, Danai Gurira’s dreams of boldly going where no one has gone before were put on hold as the Star Trek project ultimately fell apart.
She’s Still Looking To The Stars
Undeterred by the setback, Danai Gurira remains open to the possibility of joining a future Star Trek film. During her time on the red carpet at the Saturn Awards, the actress shared that she is still good friends with former The Walking Dead co-star Sonequa Martin-Green, who has been leading Star Trek: Discovery.
The Ones Who Live
While Dania Gurira’s Star Trek project was scrapped, she hasn’t been without work. The actress is set to reprise her role as Michonne in The Walking Dead spinoff series, The Ones Who Live, which promises a thrilling combination of the apocalypse and an epic love story. The series is set to premiere on AMC on February 25.
Star Trek 4
Although Dania Gurira is no longer involved, Star Trek 4 is still in the works (albeit with some hiccups). In late 2019, Noah Hawley, known for his work on Fargo and Legion, took the helm as the writer and director. Interestingly, his vision excluded familiar faces like Kirk or Picard. However, by 2021, Hawley departed the project, making room for Matt Shakman, fresh from his success with WandaVision.
In 2022, Shakman also left to direct Fantastic Four for Marvel. Still, Star Trek 4 remains in “active development” and is intended to mark the “final chapter” of the main series. But the project has struggled to regain momentum as writer Lindsey Anderson Beer exited the project in 2023, leaving in a similar state as Dania Gurira’s Star Trek movie.
Star Trek’s Film Franchise In Doubt
Since then, cast members have cast doubt on whether the planned fourth film will come to fruition. In November 2023, Chris Pine said he wasn’t aware of any new developments related to Star Trek 4, hinting that the project might have stalled in the intricacies of development hell. Earlier in 2023, he described the project as “cursed” due to the sheer volume of setbacks.
Another factor that may be contributing to the equation could be that Star Trek’s true home lies on the small screen, where it all began. Paramount+ has produced various Trek series in the past six years, including Star Trek: Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds, Lower Decks, and Prodigy. These series have explored diverse stories and formats.
Source: Trek Movie