Apparently Chris Pine And His Star Trek Co-Stars Didn't Know A New Movie Was Coming

The TV corner of the Star Trek franchise has been chugging alongside nicely over the last several years, but the last time we embarked where no one has gone before on the cinematic side of things was in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. Well, last week brought the revelation that Chris Pine and the other main stars of the Star Trek reboot film series are in talks to reprise their roles for Star Trek 4. If this news was surprising to you, guess what? It was a shock to the actors too.

THR has heard from its sources that most, if not all of the teams associated with the headlining actors of the recent Star Trek movies were not only unaware that a Star Trek 4 announcement was coming, but that their clients would be part of the project. These parties were also taken aback that Star Trek 4 is expected to begin production before 2022 is over, as Paramount Pictures wants to deliver this movie to the masses by December 22, 2023 (it was previously dated for June of the same year). As things stand now, Chris Pine, who plays Captain James T. Kirk in the Kelvin timeline of Star Trek lore, is the first to enter early talks to board Star Trek 4 since he’s the “lynchpin to the project.” 

Furthermore, apparently Star Trek 4’s script is still being worked on, as the project doesn’t even have a budget in place yet, let alone been officially greenlit. Naturally getting Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldaña, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban and John Cho all back for Star Trek 4 won’t be cheap, but Paramount is reportedly willing to shell out that extra money if it means helping bolster the Paramount+ streaming service, which is where Star Trek 4 would eventually become available. Sadly, this will be the first of the Kelvin-era Star Trek movies not to include Anton Yelchin’s Pavel Chekov, as the actor died on June 19, 2016, just a month before Star Trek Beyond came out.

Although filmmakers Quentin Tarantino and Noah Hawley developed their own ideas for Star Trek movies that were ultimately set aside, the project moving forward as Star Trek 4 was originally supposed to be a time travel story featuring Chris Pine’s James Kirk meeting his father, Chris Hemsworth’s George Kirk, who died in 2009’s Star Trek just minutes after his son was born. However, contract negotiations between the two actors’ teams eventually fizzled out reportedly over money, although Hemsworth said in 2019 that he walked away because they hadn’t “landed on a reason to revisit that yet.” S.J. Clarkson has been hired to direct that iteration of Star Trek 4.

As things stand now, WandaVision’s Matt Shakman has been attached to direct Star Trek 4 in its current form since last July. He’ll work off a script written by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson, but it’s unclear if this version of the movie has anything in common with its predecessor or if it’s a completely different beast. Either way, evidently Paramount didn’t do a great job communicating with the lead actors about the latest Star Trek 4 plans, so if you’re eager to see these versions of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, McCoy, Scotty and Sulu, cross your fingers that all sides can come to fitting arrangements.

While we wait for more updates on Star Trek 4, there’s plenty of Star Trek content to stream if you have a Paramount+ subscription. You’re also welcome to look through the lineup of 2022 movie releases to see what cinematic entertainment arriving later in the year catches your eye.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.