Star Trek fans may be surprised to learn that Karl Urban almost didn’t return for the latest blockbuster, Star Trek Beyond. The actor’s contract came to an end with Star Trek Into Darkness, and he was left with a choice about what he wanted to do. Obviously he ultimately decided to take the job, and we’ll be seeing Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy back on the Enterprise later this summer, but that’s only because of the director Justin Lin and the passion that the filmmaker has for the legacy of the franchise.
IGN recently had the chance to chat with Karl Urban about his role in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, and one of the most interesting bits of information he dropped during the interview was the fact that he almost didn’t come back for the movie, and an explanation for why he did. Discussing his work with the film’s director, Urban said,
[Having Justin Lin direct] was a breath of fresh air, and I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics. I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin [because] I had a conflicting schedule, and I had a decision to make about which film to do, and I was no longer under contract to do a third picture. So I had a decision to make, and it was talking with Justin that enabled me to commit to it. I mean, he gets [Star Trek].
It’s not entirely clear what Karl Urban gave up so that he could reprise his role as Bones in Star Trek Beyond, but we’re thankful that he did. Given the poor quality of Star Trek Into Darkness, it would have been hard to blame him for deciding to walk away – though he is one of the best things about the J.J. Abrams reboot series, so it still would have been sad to see him go. It’s encouraging to hear that Justin Lin’s passion for the material is so strong that it brought him back, and it just makes us that much more excited for the new movie.
Of course, Karl Urban isn’t the first actor to talk about the love that Justin Lin has for Star Trek, as the filmmaker has expressed that love himself many times in the past. In interviews he’s talked about the fact that he was always a “Star Trek kid” instead of a “Star Wars kid,” and that the space-set series was incredibly meaningful for him when he was growing up. If we’re lucky, that love will result in Star Trek Beyond being a wonderful blockbuster that stays true to its franchise’s legacy.
We are now just a few weeks away from Star Trek Beyond’s arrival in theaters, and it’s easily one of our most anticipated blockbusters coming out this year. As we get closer to July 22nd, be sure to stay tuned for more a lot more of our coverage and content!