Two Controversial Star Trek Films Are Finally Returning To Netflix

The 2009 Star Trek reboot and its sequel, Into Darkness, are both coming to Netflix on July 1.

By Britta DeVore | Published

chris pine
Chris Pine as Captain Kirk

Netflix is at no loss for action films, and in July, two of the biggest Star Trek movies will be making their way onto the platform. Soon, Trekkies can get their fill of 2009’s Star Trek and 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness, with both dropping on the streamer next month. Packed with a star-studded cast, the J.J. Abrams-helmed films are a hit or miss among the franchise’s dedicated fandom.

With lore spanning multiple decades, any time someone sets out to put their own spin on a legacy like Star Trek, fans are sure to be torn. This was certainly the case for both of these films as the feature saw the legendary roles of Captain Kirk, Spock, and other members of the U.S.S. Enterprise recast with younger actors. With Chris Pine as the leader made famous by William Shatner and Zachary Quinto in the shoes of Leonard Nimoy, the rest of the call sheet was comprised of Zoe Saldaña as Nyota Uhura, Karl Urban as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, Simon Pegg as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, John Cho as Hikaru Sulu, Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov, and Eric Bana as the film’s big bad Captain Nero. 

By doing right by the dedicated Star Trek followers (more or less), J.J. Abrams could also tap Leonard Nimoy to return to the fold as Spock Prime – a move that helped give audiences some peace with the updated version. The film, the eleventh title in the franchise, also serves as a reboot of the original series, creating a new timeline dubbed the “Kelvinverse” by fans.  

Star Trek: Into Darkness

The stage is set in an alternate reality where James T. Kirk was born in a different location and also shook up the timeline that followed the series for so many decades following a stunning turn of events. This was in an attempt to separate the film from the rest of the franchise, giving Abrams and his creative team more leeway to tell their own story. In Star Trek, the action takes place on the U.S.S. Enterprise where Kirk and his trust team duke it out with Nero, a Romulan who has his eyes set on watching the United Federation of Planets crumble.

Flocking to the cinema to catch Star Trek on the big screen and IMAXs around the world, the loyal fandom quickly drove the box office numbers through the roof. Raking in a whopping $4 million on its opening day alone, the feature would ultimately earn $385.7 million against its $150 million production budget. In IMAX sales alone, the film hit $8.5 million, knocking the previous reigning champion, The Dark Knight, which boasted $6.3 in IMAX profit, from its throne.

Like theatergoers, critics also agreed that the film deserved heaps of praise and kudos. It was so popular that it was up for four Academy Awards that year, nabbing mentions for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and taking home the golden man for Best Makeup. Its Oscar win made history as the first Star Trek film to do so.

The cast of Star Trek (2009)

With the popularity of the first feature in Abrams’ reimagined Star Trek universe, it’s no shock that a second film, Star Trek Into Darkness was almost immediately greenlit. The original gang was back in action in the title that would end up being Nimoy’s final film appearance before his death two years later. This time around, Peter Weller, Alice Eve, and Benedict Cumberbatch also joined the cast, with the latter playing the famous franchise villain Khan Noonien Singh.

After waiting four years for another Star Trek film to be released, fans were eager to see what Abrams had come up with this time, handing their hard-earned dollars over to movie theaters everywhere. When all was said and done, Star Trek Into Darkness landed $467.4 million against its $185-190 million budget. Unfortunately, the sequel wasn’t as big of a hit with critics, receiving a lower rating than the original was able to secure but still considered to be a film worth watching.

Abrams departed the Star Trek saga following the second film, handing over the reins to fellow filmmaker Justin Lin for the third installment, Star Trek Beyond. While a fourth film has been rumored to be in the works for several years, with every year that passes, it seems more and more unlikely that we’ll see the crew back on the bridge of the Enterprise. Luckily for Netflix subscribers, you can relive all the pulse-pounding moments from the first two Abrams-directed films when Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness hit the platform in July.