The Star Trek franchise might have seen the last of movie theaters in its future. According to insider Daniel Richtman, Paramount does not have any current plans to release any more Star Trek movies in theaters for the foreseeable future. They believe that the franchise’s future will be on their streaming platform, Paramount+, and that will include both series and feature films. As of now, it is looking like Star Trek Beyond will be the last feature film in the franchise to open in movie theaters for a very long time.
In some respects, this decision does make a lot of sense. The recent reboot of Star Trek movies were never quite able to capture the kind of pop culture fervor that they clearly wanted to create. That doesn’t mean some good movies didn’t come out of them, but they also led to the absolute worst movie in the franchise. And the property has its roots in television with the whole Star Trek experience kicking off on the small screen back in 1966. Going back there feels like coming home in a way.
But, this is definitely a bummer for fans who were excited to see what the next iteration of Star Trek would look like on the big screen. Would the franchise continue with the reboot cast? Or would there be a brand new approach to the property? Could we see Star Trek: The Next Generation get the same kind of reboot treatment as the original series characters did? Or would we see a totally new cast of characters and an entry point for new fans into this fictional universe? It looks like we won’t know.
Thankfully, it does seem like Paramount is committed to making the Star Trek brand a cornerstone of their Paramount+ streaming service. There are a whole bunch of new shows and new seasons slated for the franchise. Let us run them all down. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and Star Trek: Prodigy are two new shows that will be premiering on Paramount+. And both Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard have second seasons coming down the pipe. And let’s not forget that Star Trek: Discovery has reportedly already been renewed for a fifth season before the fourth one has even aired. As far as having plenty of shows to watch in the franchise, fans will have a plethora of choices.
In the long run, this might actually be one of the more beneficial moves for the series. The modern era of the property has been struggling somewhat when it comes to finding a bonafide hit that strikes a chord with both fans and mainstream audiences. Looking at the wide-ranging slate of projects on the horizon, it definitely feels like the powers-that-be are hedging their bets when it comes to which of these shows will become the flagship of the franchise.
It will be interesting to see if Paramount decides to create Star Trek feature films for Paramount+. Daniel Richtman says that is certainly in the mix, but no hardline decisions appear to have been made. A lot will probably depend on how all these other shows do when it comes to numbers on the streaming service. And if nothing manages to really take off? Perhaps the franchise will go back to being a niche nerd property like it was in its earliest incarnation.