It’s now been more than five years since a Star Trek movie hit the big screen. Though the franchise has continued to build out its series offerings, expanding an already rich universe with new productions, the movie side of things hasn’t seen quite the same growth. And now it looks like there will be an even longer wait with a highly-anticipated addition to the Star Trek movie ranks facing a considerable delay. The Hollywood Reporter has it that the Matt Shakman-led Star Trek 4, originally planned for the summer of 2023 will now be moved to December 9, 2023. Some back-of-the-napkin math means we are now looking at at least two more years until we again boldly go where no man has gone before.
This news about the Star Trek 4 facing a delay is obviously a rough one for fans who haven’t seen the crew of the Enterprise or any other Starfleet ship on the big screen since 2016s Star Trek Beyond. Not much is known about the plans for Star Trek 4 though there is a growing belief, from a Giant Freakin Robot exclusive, that it will bring back Chris Pine and company for this next story. If this were the case then the movie could shape up along the lines of what we saw with the previous trilogy. That had J.J. Abrams leading the charge, directing the first two films and producing all three. Justin Lin took over directorial duties for Beyond with Simon Pegg and Doug Jung handling the script. This next movie will still have Shakman in the director’s chair, though the script has already changed hands a couple of times. It was originally penned by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet though it appears Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires have taken over.
This creative team for Star Trek 4 bodes well for its chances of being a solid addition to the franchise. Matt Shakman is coming off leading the opening of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s run of series on Disney+ with WandaVision. That limited series was a fantastic pivot point for the Marvel, offering a completely new style and tone for the franchise. Meanwhile, Josh Friedman is the creator of both Snowpiercer and also AppleTv’s adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation. Squires worked with Shakman on WandaVision as well.
Star Trek 4 could end up being an inflection point for the franchise with struggled and stumbled some with Star Trek Beyond. Though that movie did well with critics, scoring 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, it struggled at the box office earning *only* $344 million on its $185 million budget. That being said, it was reported that stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto had signed on to make Star Trek 4 in short order, but that didn’t come to fruition right away. There was talk of a Quentin Tarantino-led movie as a follow-up, but he is no longer attached to the project.
Pushing Star Trek 4 back more than two years could be a sign that the studio is still working to decide which exact direction they are going with this next story. As stated, signs still point to Chris Pine coming back to reprise his Captain Kirk role in this one, but that is still not official. We will have more details on Star Trek 4 as they come out, but for the time being the waiting game is real.