The Star Trek franchise is chugging right along on the television side, but it's more than fair to say the movie side has stagnated in recent years. Star Trek: Beyond came out in 2016, and ever since then, efforts to make Star Trek 4 have struggled. Now fans have received the most promising news yet on the next movie's development, along with the news that Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and the rest of the Kelvin-timeline crew are expected to return.
News broke from Deadline that Chris Pine (Captain Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Karl Urban (Dr. Bones), and John Cho (Sulu) are all in talks to return for Star Trek 4. The news was confirmed by J.J. Abrams at the Paramount Investors Day event, who added that filming on the movie is set to happen later this year.
One notable exception from the original cast returns is that they'll be without Anton Yelchin, who passed away in 2016. Yelchin played the role of Chekov and made his final appearance as the character in Star Trek: Beyond. It's unknown at this time whether or not another actor will play Yelchin's role or if the movie will find a way to address the character's absence.
Star Trek 4's plot is unclear at this time, though it's worth noting Paramount ran through a few publicly known ideas in the past. It's possible some of those ideas will make their way into the new movie, yet I wouldn't hold my breath for anything from Quentin Tarantino's pitch.
One interesting pitch from the past featured a 2018 script that would reunite Chris Pine's Captain Kirk with his late father, played by Chris Hemsworth. Audiences were excited to see the two share a screen, though attempts to navigate a deal with Pine and Hemsworth never worked out. Hemsworth's name wasn't mentioned in the announcement, and with his continued work as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one has to wonder if he'd be available to appear.
Chris Hemsworth might not be in the mix, though J.J. Abrams did confirm that new characters will appear in the upcoming movie. This is purely speculation, but considering the time it took to get Star Trek 4 to this stage, one might wonder if this film might make efforts to pave the way for a new cast of younger talent that isn't as locked down with their schedules as the stars of the current franchise. One note from Variety mentioned that research from Paramount noted a lasting interest from audiences in the central cast despite the gap between films, so who knows if we'll see a passing of the torch?
Since filming is set to kick off on Star Trek 4 later this year, it's a good time to get caught up on the franchise. Snag a Paramount+ subscription in order to see all the movies, and maybe check out a few of the new offerings the franchise has on television as well.
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I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.