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This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Star Trek, the movie that explored the formation of the original U.S.S. Enterprise crew in an alternate timeline. The reboot was followed by 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness and 2016's Star Trek Beyond, and for years there have been efforts to get a fourth movie off the ground. However, despite some significant progress being made last year to make that happen, it seems that Star Trek 4 might not see the light of day after all.
Last April, S.J. Clarkson was hired to direct Star Trek 4, which would have made her the first woman to helm a Star Trek movie. Fast-forward to today, it's been announced that Clarkson will direct and executive produce the pilot for the Game of Thrones prequel series, and according to Deadline, she obtained the job after recently becoming available. It was then noted that Star Trek 4 "has since been shelved." While this doesn't constitute official confirmation that Star Trek 4 is no more, it certainly doesn't bode well for the project.
Star Trek 4 was officially announced shortly before Star Trek Beyond's release in summer 2016, and the plan was for James T. Kirk to meet his father, George Kirk, who died shortly James was born in this continuity. But a couple months after S.J. Clarkson was hired to direct Star Trek 4, the production hit a major development snag. Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth exited talks with Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media over Star Trek 4 due to pay disputes. The two actors wanted to stick with their existing deals, but Paramount and Skydance wanted them to take pay cuts in order for the budget to work, with it being noted how Star Trek Beyond underperformed commercially.
Since then, there's been no movement on Star Trek 4, and now if this latest report is to be believed, it's apparently dead in space. It remains to be seen if Paramount will officially confirm or deny this claim, but for those of you who enjoyed the adventures of the Kelvin timeline's U.S.S. Enterprise crew, you might have to make due with Beyond being their last cinematic tale and check out some of their comic book adventures from IDW to see what other strange new worlds, new life and new civilizations they came across.
Assuming Star Trek 4 is indeed dead, where does that leave the Star Trek franchise on film? Well, during that period where there was barely any news about Star Trek 4's development, it was reported that Quentin Tarantino pitched his own Star Trek idea, and The Revenant's Mark L. Smith was hired to write a screenplay based on said idea. It was later clarified that both Star Trek 4 and Tarantino's Star Trek project were simultaneously in development, so perhaps with Star Trek 4 out of the picture, more time and effort will be poured into making the Tarantino project happen.
For now though, the Star Trek franchise is still chugging along on the small screen. The CBS All Access streaming site, to be specific. Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 premieres next week, and both Picard and Lower Decks are on the way. For any major updates about the future of the Star Trek film series, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.