Star Trek 3 has had more than its share of problems already and they haven’t even put a single image on film (or, you know, whatever they use these days). Writer/director Roberto Orci stepped off after reports that he clashed with the Paramount Pictures execs over the direction of the franchise, but since then they’ve gradually pieced things together and it’s going to be interesting to say the least. Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin has taken over the reins, and series star Simon Pegg, who plays the rebooted version of Scotty, will co-write the script. Now it sounds like they might add one of the most badass living actors in a villain role, as well as a bunch of other potentially interesting characters.
According to Film Divider, the production is looking to cast a new antagonist who is supposed to be “Bryan Cranston-like.” While that’s intriguing, it’s not the potentially awesome part. The cool piece of this news is that not only do they want a Cranston-like figure, they want actual Bryan Cranston to play the part. There have even reportedly been talks between the two sides, and though there is no word on his reaction, that’s a prospect worth getting excited about.
Though he was totally wasted in Godzilla—they would rather you spend time with a wooden Aaron Taylor-Johnson—Cranston is an incredibly versatile performer who is good even when he shows up in less than stellar movies. And the Breaking Bad fans out there will know exactly how well he does cold, quiet, calculated menace, which is always a boon for a deep space villain. There’s no word about whether this is a wholly new character or someone who already exists in the Star Trek universe, so we’ll have to wait and see.
In addition to this new baddie, Star Trek 3 plans to introduce a trio of new female characters—a lack of which is something the rebooted franchise has been criticized for. (Why was Alice Eve’s Carol Marcus in Star Trek Into Darkness again?) One of these characters will be the captain of a new Federation starship, who is reportedly being set up as a “match” for Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk. The second is the President of the United Federation of Planets. As for the third, we’re talking about the ex-wife of Chief Medical Officer Leonard “Bones” McCoy, played in the new films by Karl Urban. We don’t know much about her, but given Bones’ dry, droll demeanor, this could lead to some entertaining interactions.
Now that Pegg has taken over the script, we’re not sure how much of what we’ve heard about the story is still in play, but according to what has bounced around already, the new story picks up a few years after the last outing, with the Enterprise and her crew in the middle of their five-year mission. If nothing else, we’re glad to finally get a new Star Trek movie in deep space—the last two have stayed too close to Earth for our liking. Hopefully this will keep things closer in tone to the original series and we’ll get to encounter some new alien cultures. And Bryan Cranston.
Star Trek 3 is scheduled for a July 8, 2016 release.