Star Trek 4 Finally Begins Filming?

Is it finally going to start production?

By Michileen Martin | Published

chris pine

Back in February, the folks at Paramount seemed to be leap-frogging over each other to announce new projects and green light new seasons of shows that hadn’t even premiered their first episodes. Standing out in the long list of new Paramount content was the long-awaited Star Trek 4, which the studio promised would begin filming before the end of 2022 with plans for a theatrical release date of December 22, 2023. What soon appeared to be a massive problem was that absolutely no one in the returning cast of Star Trek 4 were told that the film was a lock or that production had been scheduled. Yet in spite of what seems to have been a huge failure in communication on Paramount’s part and the conflicting schedules of crucial talent, the studio is now saying Star Trek 4 is on track to begin filming soon.

These new assurances come from Paramount Studios Chief Brian Robbins, who spoke to Variety in a story posted earlier this week. Robbins didn’t go so far as to reveal a specific filming start date, but he did say Star Trek 4 wasn’t far away. Asked about why — after years of what seemed like conflicting stories and projects that died on the vine — the studio ultimately chose to go with the Chris Pine led cast, Robbins explained, “We’re deep into it with J.J. Abrams, and it feels like we’re getting close to the starting line.” As to the question of why Paramount is sticking with Pine and co., Robbins said, “I’m a research nerd, and what the data tells me is that the audience wants that cast in this movie.”

karl urban star trek
Karl Urban in Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Of course, “we’re getting close to the starting line” is pretty non-specific, and there are plenty of good reasons to expect Star Trek 4 couldn’t possibly begin principal photography this year. For example, Karl Urban — who plays Dr. McCoy in the more recent movies — told Variety in March that he expects to be filming The Boys season 4 through the end of 2022. Last time we checked, while James Cameron’s Avatar 3 has wrapped production, Zoe Saldana — who plays Nyota Uhura — still has Avatar 4 and 5 to shoot and will be spending a lot of time doing press for both The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galsxy Vol. 3. Unless they kill off his character in the upcoming Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One, Simon Pegg (Scotty) will be busy making Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part Two for a while. And while most of the non-Trek franchises Chris Pine is attached to aren’t very active right now, he’ll no doubt be expected to do a long press tour for next year’s Dungeons & Dragons. It’s almost like people have things like phones and e-mail for a reason and sometimes using them as tools is not only fun, but can prevent things like major film studios making themselves looking ridiculous.

The good news is that whenever Star Trek 4 eventually starts filming, Paramount has every reason to put as many resources as they can into the project. The various franchise series have become pillars of Paramount+, and this year has proven to be a huge one for Paramount Studios as a whole. With huge hits under their belts like Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Uncharted, and most recently Top Gun: Maverick; the studio has no excuse to cut the purse strings short.