The Next Star Trek Movie Is In Trouble, Says Zoe Saldana

Actress Zoe Saldana reveals the delay of the next Star Trek movie isn't just about scheduling.

By Vic Medina | Published

Star Trek fans were excited to hear earlier this year that JJ Abrams’s reboot trilogy, also known as the Kelvin Timeline, would actually continue with a fourth film, with the surviving cast on-board for another cinematic adventure. However, doubts arose immediately over whether the film, originally due to release next year, would be completed on time. Now, actress Zoe Saldana, who plays Lt. Uhura in the films, is speaking out about the delay on the film, which has yet to go into production as planned, indicating there may be an issue with the film itself.

In an interview with Deadline (via TrekMovie), Saldana indicated scheduling wasn’t the only issue with the new Star Trek movie. Although her return to the Avatar franchise with Avatar: The Way of Water took up much of the conversation, the state of the next Star Trek found its way into the questions. “I think as well it probably has something else to do with the project,” she said. “But I know that we’re all on the same page that we would love nothing more than to be able to come back.”

Saldana did not elaborate on what she thought the “something else” was holding back production.

The eagerness for all involved to return to the franchise was encouraging to hear, although scheduling concerns were mentioned since the start of development. After losing its director, the film was pulled from Paramount’s release schedule over the summer. Saldana, however, says the cast was ready to move forward. “We were in touch with J.J. and we were trying to sort of see if we were going to be able to this past fall. I don’t think it was possible,” she said.

zoe saldana netflix
Zoe Saldana in Star Trek

However, despite Paramount’s eagerness to get another Star Trek movie made, trouble emerged in pre-production. Director Matt Shankman left the project to helm Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie, a much higher-profile project. The Brad Pitt movie Babylon now occupies the December 2023 release date Star Trek 4 once had.

The current state of the Star Trek feature films comes after the last installment, Star Trek Beyond, vastly underperformed at the box office, sending the film series into limbo and causing the actors to move onto other projects. Even though it made over $150 million domestically and over $343 million worldwide, that was far behind the previous film, Star Trek: Into Darkness, which brought in nearly $229 million domestically and over $467 million worldwide.

Regardless, Star Trek: Beyond was a fantastic film, thanks to a snappy script from Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, and was a rousing adventure worthy of the legacy of the original series. However, the new film will have to address the loss of actor Anton Yelchin, who died in an accident in 2016. It will also be the first Star Trek movie released after the passing of the original Uhura, Nichelle Nichols.

With no less than five different Star Trek series currently in production for the Paramount+ streaming service, interest in the franchise obviously remains high. Whether Paramount can capitalize on it with another Star Trek movie in the near future remains to be seen.

Between her gigs on the Starship Enterprise, on the planet Pandora, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Saldana has also managed to score a hit series on Netflix. The series, From Scratch, follows Saldana’s character, a student studying abroad, who falls in love with a chef in Italy.