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Earlier this week came the news that director S.J. Clarkson has moved on from Star Trek 4 to direct and produce the Game of Thrones prequel series pilot, and that the former film has been shelved. That seemingly puts the future of the Kelvin Timeline films very much up in the air, but John Cho, who plays Sulu in the series, remains optimistic. Addressing the news, he said:
I certainly am down. To be honest, it's not happening right now as far as I know, but I just think it will happen. Somebody, at some point, we'll all get on the same page and do it. That's my belief-- maybe I'm being optimistic.
In his comments to ET, John Cho acknowledged that Star Trek 4 is not happening at the moment, but he is clearly ready and willing to take the helm once more should the situation change. And he thinks that it will. Despite the recent depressing news about the film being shelved, the man who plays Lieutenant Sulu remains hopeful that that is merely a temporary status, not a permanent one.
While things may seem bleak for the USS Enterprise on the big screen at the moment, John Cho is optimistic that all of the disparate elements preventing Star Trek 4 will be worked out to make it happen. He mentions getting everyone on the same page and that has been one of the issues with the film for a while.
After S.J. Clarkson was hired last April to be the franchise's first female director, news came in August that the fourth film may not include Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth due to contract talks falling through. The last film in the series, Star Trek Beyond, despite critical acclaim, didn't perform up to expectations financially, and supposedly Paramount and Skydance Media wanted the two stars to take less money than their existing deals called for, leading to the impasse.
Star Trek 4 was expected to include time travel and see Pine's James T. Kirk meeting his father George Kirk. And while you would think a fourth film could happen without Chris Hemsworth, whether a Star Trek movie in this series would work without Chris Pine's Captain Kirk is much more up for debate.
Fans and cast alike have been wondering since 2016 when the next Star Trek film would arrive and things were looking up for a brief time with the hiring of S.J. Clarkson. Now the one-two punch of the contract negotiation issues and the director moving on to another project cast a lot of doubt on Star Trek 4.
Prior to this latest news, John Cho spoke about how necessary Star Trek 4 is, both as a franchise that is an important part of our culture as well as a way to remember actor Anton Yelchin, who tragically passed away just before Star Trek Beyond was released.
John Cho is almost certainly right that somebody at some point will make another Star Trek movie, as the franchise has too much name value for it to be otherwise. The question is whether or not it will be a continuation of the current series with the existing cast.
We also still don't know what, if anything, is going on with the Star Trek film Quentin Tarantino pitched. Will that take the place of Star Trek 4, and if so, will it use the existing cast or be entirely new?
Those Trekkies looking for a fix in the interim can head over to the small screen where CBS All Access's Star Trek: Discovery premieres its second season on January 17. Also, Patrick Stewart will be reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new series also coming to the streaming service later this year.
For all of the movies headed to the big screen in 2019, check out our release schedule, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest Star Trek news.