Not completely unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Trek movies and TV series make up a vast connected narrative. In the past, Trek films have been released as parts of series and usually as continuations of completed TV shows. But according to a new report, Paramount is going to shake up how it looks at, makes, and releases the more cinematic chapters of Trek.
The report comes from We Got This Covered, who credits an unnamed source for the news that rather than the ensemble films of the past, future Star Trek movies will focus on individual, popular characters from the franchise. WGTC says Paramount is taking a page from Warner Bros’ book in how it’s turned away from trying to replicate Marvel’s success to focusing on individual properties like 2019’s Joker, and future installments like Batgirl, Blue Beetle, and Black Canary.
The report goes on to say these new Star Trek movies would be smaller in scale and would likely head straight to streaming. This would seem to go along with the word from earlier this month that — in response to repeatedly having to delay the theatrical releases of highly anticipated blockbusters like Top Gun: Maverick and Mission Impossible 7 — Paramount is pivoting away from theatrical releases to focus on streaming content.
If the WGTC story is accurate, then fans of the more recent Star Trek movies may have cause for concern. The long-delayed Star Trek 4 was just recently saved from limbo when it was announced WandaVision director Matt Shakman would helm the fourth film from the franchise’s Kelvin Timeline. While things were in the early stages, it’s presumed Shakman and co. will do everything they can to get Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and other actors from the previous three films to reprise their roles. But Star Trek 4 would presumably not fit the model of a small scale, solo film.
As for which characters would be mined for this supposed new era of Star Trek movies, there’s no word from WGTC but regardless there are some obvious contenders. The kind of movie the report describes sounds exactly like the kind of project Michael Dorn — who played Worf in multiple Trek series and films — described when he spoke to Horror Geek Life in January. Dorn said he’d been campaigning to make either a Worf solo series or film. In the case of a movie, Dorn used Rogue One as an example of what he’d want to make, calling it “a kind of one-off.”
The Vulcan science officer Spock has always been one of the franchise’s most popular characters, and it’s easy to imagine talk of solo Spock Star Trek movies getting Paramount executives excited. The big question in that eventuality would be which version of the Vulcan would be the hero. Both Zachary Quinto’s Spock in the Kelvin Timeline and Ethan Peck’s Spock from season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery and the upcoming Strange New Worlds series could make great leading men. Of course, the Spock fans would want the most — the late Leonard Nimoy — is no longer with us.
One longshot is that Paramount could always make good on a “promise” from almost a decade ago that George Takei — an alum of 6 Star Trek movies as Hikaru Sulu — made as part of a prank. On April Fool’s Day 2012, Takei posted to his Facebook that he would be the star of his own Trek film to be directed by J.J. Abrams: Star Trek: Excelsior. While we won’t hold our breath on that one, seeing Takei return as his signature character would be an absolute treat.