Just When You Thought Star Trek 4 Was A Dead Project, In Swoops Matt Shakman

Matt Shakman says that, as far as he knows, Star Trek 4 is still moving forward.

By Michileen Martin | Published

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Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine in Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Star Trek 4 is starting to sound a lot like Spock at the end of Star Trek II — only mostly dead. The last guy who was supposed to be helming Star Trek 4, future Fantastic Four director Matt Shakman, says that as far as he knows the fourth Kelvinverse Trek flick is still on the menu. At least, that’s what the Emmy-nominated director just told Collider.

Last fall it was announced Shakman had left his spot on the creative team behind Star Trek 4 to replace Jon Watts as the director of Marvel’s Fantastic Four reboot film. Collider revealed they recently asked Shakman exactly what his version of the fourth Kelvin film would’ve been like, but the director said he couldn’t say because as far as he knew, it was still getting made.

“I think what they’re still working on is a version of what I have been working on for the time that I was involved.”

-Matt Shakman on Star Trek 4

To many, Shakman’s departure from Star Trek 4 seemed just about the final nail in the coffin of the sequel, or at the very least one of the very last. It was a month later that Paramount removed the film from their release schedule. Of course, if Shakman’s right then it could be that the sequel has simply been taken out of pre-production and put back into development.

Jonathan Frakes — not only one of the franchise’s actors but a director of two of its films — was one of the most recent voices to cast doubt on Star Trek 4 or any other movies coming out of the Trek in the near future.

“Movies are tough! Even JJ [Abrams] can’t get this fourth movie off the ground. All those wonderful rumors? Noah Hawley was attached to a Star Trek movie, and Quentin was toying with people’s emotions about doing a movie. If those two names can’t get a f—in movie made, I don’t know. TV is the future, it seems to me.”

-Jonathan Frakes in SFX Magazine

Frakes’ words about TV being “the future” seem more relevant now than ever with the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard set to premiere in less than a week. Beyond Marvel and Star Wars, perhaps no other major science fiction related franchises have embraced the notion that the future is on the small screen than Trek. Even after Picard‘s final season is done, it will still have 4 ongoing series — Discovery, Lower Decks, Prodigy, and Strange New Worlds — running concurrently, which is more than at any other time since the original series premiered in 1966.

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Chris Pine in Star Trek Beyond (2016)

It begs the question of exactly what Star Trek 4, or any other franchise films, can offer fans. The visual effects on any single episode of Trek’s current live-action series is more impressive than most, if not all, of their films. Meanwhile any single season of any of the series gives fans more time, more story, and more of Trek’s expansive mythology.

And while Paramount drags its feet on Star Trek 4, the cast making up the Kelvinverse Enterprise crew continue to fill up their schedules.

Consider everything that’s happened since the last Trek movie, 2016’s Star Trek Beyond: Zoe Saldana has starred as a now household name superhero in 3 more Marvel movies and is about to star in a fourth not mention Avatar: The Way of Water and the remaining sequels, Karl Urban has led three (soon, four) seasons of the acclaimed and insanely popular streaming series The Boys, and Chris Pine is about to take a stab at another big budget franchise with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. If and when Paramount finally says yes to Star Trek 4, its stars may have decided they rate much bigger paydays than the studio is willing to give.