Per an exclusive piece by Variety, Paramount is one of several Hollywood studios looking to pick up the pace following the end of the WGA strike, with hopes that new movie and television projects could commence production in the coming months. One of those new projects having its screenplay “fine-tuned” is the next Star Trek theatrical release, which has been stuck in development for seven years. In a surprise twist, however, the report states that the next Trek movie will be a “reboot” rather than a continuation of the J.J. Abrams series in the Kelvin timeline.
Should this report be accurate, it would contradict screenwriter Lindsey Anderson Beer’s comments that the fourth installment of the Abrams-produced movie series starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto is still happening. “It is, it’s still on the tracks,” Beer said. “I love that project, and it was another one that I had to hop off of to direct this movie, and that was a hard thing to do. But I love that everybody involved with that project.”
Notably, while Star Trek’s big-screen future is seemingly still in flux, a new cinematic entry in the franchise is indeed moving forward at Paramount+. Starring Michelle Yeoh, the streaming-exclusive movie spins out of the television series Star Trek: Discovery and focuses on the mysterious Section 31 division of Starfleet. Yeoh’s Section 31 project was initially announced as a Discovery spin-off series before being reworked into a feature film.
The delays of Star Trek 4
Still, it remains to be seen if Trekkies will get to see the Kelvin cast reunite for a fourth outing. The confusion surrounding Star Trek 4 began following the box office underperformance of Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond in 2016. Two Star Trek movie projects went into development, with one being a sequel featuring the return of Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk from 2009’s Star Trek and the other being a stand-alone project written by Quentin Tarantino. The Beyond sequel, which was set to be directed by Jessica Jones’ S.J. Clarkson, fell apart after negotiations collapsed with stars Pine and Hemsworth. Meanwhile, the the Tarantino project never got past the writing phase.
In 2021, Matt Shakman (WandaVision) was announced as the new director for Star Trek 4, with Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet attached as writers. Paramount announced production plans a year later, seemingly without the Kelvin cast’s knowledge. Shakman eventually departed the sequel to take on director duties for Marvel Studios’ upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. Pine expressed frustration with the delays while Quinto has mixed feelings about reprising Spock on the big screen.
“I think there’s a lot of other stuff, creative things,” Quinto said. “It’s complicated. The fact that anything good gets made is a kind of miracle. I think it’s about different people having different agendas and ideas about what it will be. And I don’t know if and when it will happen… And if coalesces again and we come back and we’re able to do it, wonderful. If not, we had a great run.”
Star Trek 4 does not have a release date.