A new Star Trek Movie no longer has a release date and has gone through many different starts and stops.
After many false stops and starts, and even rumors the project had been canceled, it seemed like things were moving forward for a new Star Trek movie. Recently though, that all seems to be up in the air again. Star Trek 4 with Chris Pine had a scheduled release date of December 22, 2023, but no more. The movie has now been removed from Paramount’s schedule and is indefinitely delayed.
The state of things is that no one involved knows anything. Director Matt Shakman had been attached to a film, but he has since moved on to sit in the director’s chair for Marvel’s Fantastic Four. Even the movie’s theoretical lead, Chris Pine, seems to be confused, admitting to not knowing what is happening with the production.
Let’s take a look at everything we know about the possibility of a new Star Trek movie and where things have started and stopped so far.
Chris Pine Was Signed To Return As Captain Kirk
Chris Pine was officially signed on, though the project was briefly delayed when negotiations for his contract became rocky. In our exclusive report, we revealed that he demanded a $10 million payday to come back as Captain Kirk for a new Star Trek movie. Paramount seems to have agreed to pay it.
With a new Star Trek movie back in semi-limbo, it’s possible that Chris Pine, who is a pretty in-demand actor at this point, may simply move on. That possibility just got a lot bigger now that word is Marvel is interested in him.
Being the leader of a Star Trek franchise is a pretty great gig for an actor, but one of the few better gigs is getting to be a Marvel superhero. And now word is that Chris Pine is in contention to play a Marvel comic book hero called Doctor Spectrum. Think of Spectrum as sort of the Marvel universe’s answer to Green Lantern, a character which Pine was also once in contention for.
Pine is a large part of the new film, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which not only has critics raving, but audiences flocking to movie theaters to check out the fun. The film stars Pine as the charming thief Edgin and also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant. Released on March 31, 2023, the film has already topped the $126 million mark at the box office.
As mentioned, Pine continues to be one of the more sought-out actors. Up next for the actor are Poolman and the animated film, Robot Chicken (he is voicing the title character), based on the hit series. After that, Pine will be taking on a news icon in Newsflash, where he will be playing news anchor legend, Walter Cronkite.
If Pine takes this part and if a new Star Trek movie continues to languish in development hell, it could be that by the time Star Trek 4 gets around to being made, he won’t be available anymore. Contract or not, he’s not going to sit around waiting forever. He described to Esquire the situation to be “frustrating,” saying, “I don’t know anything. In ‘Star Trek’ land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors.”
Ultimately, though, Pine confessed, “I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise,” so fans will have to play the wait-and-see game like the Star Trek actor.
Simon Pegg Is Reportedly Holding Out
Simon Pegg has been at the forefront of making negative comments about the future of Star Trek, so it should be no surprise to learn that he may also now be refusing to return. Or at least that’s the news from WGTC where they say Pegg is now holding out and will only come back fora new Star Trek movie if his demands are met.
Exactly what those demands are is a little murky. It seems he wants, for starters, a much bigger role. That’s always going to be tough to do since he’s playing Scotty and Scotty, while an important Trek character is basically fourth in importance to the franchise behind Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. He’s not part of the holy trinity.
His other demands may also include a bigger paycheck and maybe creative input into what a new Star Trek movie will be. Giving Pegg more creative input should probably be viewed by most Trek fans as a net positive. He had a lot to do with why Star Trek: Beyond was the best and perhaps most Star Trek of all the Kelvinverse movies.
Although there is no word on if Pegg has changed his demands (if there really were any), if Paramount is willing to step up the financial offer, or if the potential story will give Scotty more to say and do, Pegg has said that he still wants to return to the “final frontier” but he also sees a potentially bigger problem in getting the film off the ground.
“A fourth movie is planned. Obviously, the big problem with that is that there are a group of actors who are all busy and all have things going on. We have to find a moment when we can all be together… As soon as they can figure out our moment we can we could all be together, I’m sure we’ll do it. I’d love to get back together with those guys.”
Zach Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, And John Cho Not Yet Confirmed In The Cast
If Chris Pine comes back and if this movie gets made, it’s expected we’ll see Zachary Quinto reprise his role as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones, Simon Pegg as Scotty, and John Cho as Hikaru Sulu.
However, there’s been no word on whether any of them are signed yet. In fact, when Paramount announced that Star Trek 4 was going in front of the cameras by the end of 2022, the agents for Quinto, Saldana, Urban, Pegg, and Cho were surprised by the announcement because they claim no contract talks had happened and none of their clients were signed for the fourth movie. Quinto has also been adamant that he’s heard nothing about Star Trek 4.
“At this point, I honestly have very little attachment to it,” Quinto told the Independent in November 2022. “All of us would like to come back and make another movie, but I’ve learnt to only get excited about things I know are actually real. And there’s nothing about a fourth Star Trek movie that feels real right now.”
He did say earlier, though, in an October 2022 interview with Forbes, “I have no idea if—or when—it will ever come together at this point. I think it’s better for everybody’s mental well-being to just trust that a lot’s happening and when the phone rings, and J.J. says, ‘Hey, we’re actually really going to do this,’ then I’ll show up. But until then, I have a lot of other stuff going on and a lot of stuff to turn my attention to.” Count him ready.
The Star Trek Rumor Mill
Along with the numerous starts, stops, and hibernations, news concerning a possible new Star Trek movie has also been filled with a number of high-profile actors that could be joining in the fun, if the fun were ever to happen.
One actor has already made his mark (albeit brief) in the Kelvinverse movies, while the other big names, if they were to come to fruition, would be first-timers. Here they are, in no particular order.
Chris Hemsworth May Return For Star Trek 4 As George Kirk
There were initial reports that the plot of a new Star Trek movie would have Chris Pine travel through time to visit with his father. At the beginning of the first movie, Captain Kirk’s father was briefly played by Chris Hemsworth in the opening scene.
In 2018, it was reported that both Pine and Hemsworth had been in failed negotiations for the fourth film.
Although Pine has since signed on, it appears that while Hemsworth may still decide to come back as George Kirk, he has apparently moved away from the idea. According to Hemsworth via Variety, it wasn’t the lack of pay that moved him on from a possible new Star Trek movie, but the reasoning to bring back his character. “I didn’t feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet,” he told the outlet. “I didn’t want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table.”
Bryan Cranston Was Being Courted As Star Trek 4’s Villain
GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT was the first to report that Paramount is trying to land Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston to play the villain of Star Trek 4. Exactly what kind of villain he’d be is unknown, but landing him would be a big get for the franchise.
Channing Tatum Could Be Joining The Enterprise Crew
In an exclusive report, GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT revealed that Channing Tatum is in early negotiations with Paramount to join the cast of a new Star Trek movie. No word yet on who he might play.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that he’s only in negotiations for a part. If those negotiations break down, he won’t end up in the film.
Brie Larson Wanted For Star Trek
Everything seems to be on the table for a new Star Trek movie and Paramount is heavily evaluating its options. Rumor has it that one of the big things they’re considering is bringing in Brie Larson.
Or at least that’s the somewhat shaky rumor. They claim Paramount wants a big, big star involved in the franchise, and at the top of their wish list is Brie Larson.
So why bring in Brie Larson? Simple: Women. Star Trek has never been as popular with women as men, and bringing in Brie Larson would guarantee a new female audience. It would also guarantee that Trek would take a more feminist turn since Brie at this point in her career has all but announced that she won’t do anything which isn’t geared towards feminism.
Of course, Star Trek has always been about equality, but bringing in Brie Larson is a sure sign they want to push that equality even further and make the franchise less male. For now, Brie being courted for Star Trek is just a rumor. Contextualize it as such.
With Paramount now putting a possible new Star Trek movie on the back burner, it is unknown if these potential actors would even be available by the time production begins. So, while the names are tasty indeed, these long delays will certainly play into who will be part of Star Trek 4. Of course, we will keep you updated as the news is released.
Anton Yelchin Tragically Passed Away
Sadly Anton Yelchin, who played Ensign Pavel Chekov, died in an unusual accident in 2016. Chekov, the Enterprise’s Russian navigator, was an important member of the crew. JJ Abrams, who serves as producer, has publicly vowed that they will not be recasting the role of Chekov.
We’ll have to see how this is handled in the script, but you can count on his character being absent.
The Plot Of A New Star Trek Movie
Since Chris Pine has officially signed on most assumed that meant if they go forward with him as the star then Star Trek 4 will follow the Kelvin Timeline. This timeline takes place in a parallel universe where the Romulan Nero destroyed a Federation starship in 2233. The destroyed starship was called the U.S.S Kelvin, hence the name of the timeline.
The events of this timeline in the current Star Trek movie series differ greatly from the events of the “Prime” universe seen in the first run of Trek films.
Of all the people currently involved in the world of Star Trek, writer and actor Simon Pegg seems to understand Star Trek best. When asked what he thinks the next Star Trek movie should be by Collider, Pegg says that he thinks they’ve been trying to be big spectacle movies like Marvel, but that’s not what he sees it as.
Pegg explains, “I think Star Trek is just a little bit more niche, so it isn’t gonna hit those kinds of numbers. So yes, the obvious thing to do would be to not go for that massive spectacle, go for something a little bit more restrained in the vein of the original series.”
William Shatner Unlikely To Return For Star Trek Movies
Leonard Nimoy played a pivotal role in the 2009 Star Trek. For a time afterward, there were rumblings that William Shatner might be involved in the new franchise at some point (maybe even in Star Trek 4), including some comments from
Shatner himself about wanting to be part of it. Now though, that has all been put to rest. It’s been put to rest by Shatner himself.
William Shatner posted the following tweet when asked if he’d ever do any more Star Trek…
Shatner turns 92 years old on March 22 and in recent years has slowly been slipping out of the public eye. He hasn’t done much acting since the year 2016 (though he did film a small part in a low-budget horror movie in 2019). Although he hasn’t spent much time in front of the camera over the past few years, Shatner recently sat with director Alexandre O. Philippe for the documentary, You Can Call Me Bill, where Shatner pretty much riffs on everything surrounding his life, his television roles, his feature film career, and his multi-faceted philosophical thoughts.
Shatner is also stepping back into television with the recently announced Fox show, Stars on Mars. He will be the host of a show that will follow celebrities who will be “suited up” like astronauts to live on a colony that will simulate what it would be like to live on Mars. The series will arrive this June and have Shatner, in “Shatner-like” form as Mission Control, deliver specific tasks for the celebrities to compete it. No celebrity names have yet been announced.
The current series began in 2009 with a film directed by J.J. Abrams, followed by another Abrams project in 2013, and then Justin Lin’s movie Star Trek Beyond in 2016. Though the fourth project was greenlit in 2016, it has been a long road getting to it. Fans want Star Trek 4 hit the big screen, but with things being shaken up at Paramount, it’s not clear when that will happen.
Before hitting pause on their future Star Trek 4 plans, Paramount Pictures had three totally different Star Trek movies in development, each with the potential to become the next Star Trek movie.
The first was an actual Star Trek 4, which would star Chris Pine and the cast of the current Star Trek movie universe. The second is the one they announced that director Noah Hawley was working on. The third is the idea Quentin Tarantino came up with for Star Trek and it’s currently being written by Mark L. Smith (who wrote The Revenant).
Originally only one of these potential next Star Trek movies was actually going to move forward.
We Almost Had A New Star Trek Movie From The Man Who Made Wrath Of Khan
There’s little question that Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the best things Star Trek has ever produced. Now one of that movie’s producers is working on a pitch for another Star Trek movie, a movie that could end up being next.
The man in question is Wrath of Khan producer Robert Sallin and he tells Den of Geek that he’s in talks with Paramount now about his project.
Sallin explains: “I don’t have it completely written, but I have a lot of it written. I have a concept for another Star Trek feature that I’ve had discussions with Paramount about – at least on the phone. This one I guarantee you is unlike anything that has been done in Star Trek, and it will be part of the canon, but they (the studio) don’t want to talk about it until they see what Noah Hawley does.”
Robert Sallin is adamant that his idea is completely unique. He reiterates: “Unless I am completely off base here, it is completely different. Nothing has been done like this and I think it will become part of the canon. That’s all. I hope one day to be able to have the meeting and have them say, ‘Hey, Bob, come on in, let’s talk about that.'”
It’s probably worth noting that since Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Robert Sallin hasn’t actually done a lot. He was heavily involved in making Wrath of Khan what it was (though not as critical as director Nicolas Meyer), but it’s not like he’s gone on to great things or has the kind of reputation that would inspire Paramount to put any confidence in him.
Still, Sallin claims they’re taking him seriously and as someone who has been pretty in touch with the fan community and upfront with them over the years, I’m inclined to believe him if he says he’s talking to the studio about Star Trek 4.
Noah Hawley’s Star Trek Movie Is Cancelled
Paramount hired writer/director Noah Hawley to develop a Star Trek movie for them. His movie was going to ditch all previous Trek casts and involve an original concept about trying to find a cure for a disease.
Unfortunately, Noah Hawley’s Star Trek movie has now been put on hold at Paramount and now will likely never be made.
Quentin Tarantino Came Up With A Star Trek Movie
Famed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has developed an idea for a Star Trek movie and Paramount has had that idea turned into a script. It could well end up being the next Star Trek movie and we know what it’s about.
For the longest time, Paramount was still hip to Tarantino’s Star Trek idea, but now it appears to have gone by the wayside. What a shame, could have been fun to see an R-rated Star Trek.
More Star Trek Has Arrived
Back in 2020, Paramount Global (then ViacomCBS) CEO Bob Bakish told investors that one more Star Trek movie and two more new Star Trek shows were in the works and on their way. The plan, as Bakish laid out, was to “take the Star Trek franchise and extend it across the house.”
At that time, Star Trek was rocking Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Section 31, and the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks. The two, we now know, that joined the Star Trek Universe were Star Trek: Prodigy, an animated series on Nickelodeon, and the Paramount+ live-action series, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Will a new Star Trek movie happen? It has been seven years since Star Trek: Beyond and by the time a potential film gets made and released, we will be looking at at least a decade gone since the last film.
It is possible that Trekkies will remain content with all the Star Trek television series in play at the moment, but ten years is a long time to wait for that feature film trek into the final frontier.