Back On Course: Paramount Sets a Date for the next Trek movie!
On the red carpets of Star Trek Beyond, JJ Abrams confirmed that a fourth Star Trek movie from the Kelvin Timeline crew was in the works. Following a critically acclaimed, but underperforming run for Beyond that fourth film seemed to be shelved.
After five long years and several false starts, Paramount has finally offered a beacon of hope by committing to giving us the next instalment of the film franchise, announcing a release date of June 9th 2023. But what film we’ll see is still open to interpretation…
The news came soon after Kalinda Vasquez was hired to write a fresh script based on an original ideas she’s pitched. Vasquez joined the Star Trek world with the Short Ask Not, focusing on a young cadet forced into a tense situation against Captain Pike before moving into the writers room at Discovery as a consulting producer, credited with writing Terra Firma’s second half.
Her previous credits include Prison Break, Nikita, Once Upon a Time, Fear the Walking Dead and Runaways which h is more than enough background to know her talents, but with Bad Robot being a ridiculously secretive company, there’s no indication of what her script could be about.
So far there’s not even a solid guarantee that the Untitle Star Trek Production is even based on Vasquez’s script.
Paramount has been balancing several ideas thrown around with it’s president, Emma Watts, noting that since taking over the role she’s been keeping their options open to find just the right script that will both ensure a higher return and be fitting for the Star Trek brand.
Up until last year, that perfect script was thought to be from Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley. In an interview with the Observer back in September, Hawley noted that he was puling away from action and wanted to get back to “this idea of humanity justifying it’s existence.” He’d also noted that his story was about challenging the Federations ideals and bring in a whole new cast of original characters.
Unfortunately, despite his involvement bringing excitement, Watts put the project on hold.
“I think when Emma came in, she took a look at the franchise and wanted to go in a different direction with it.” Hawley told Deadline in November, noting that they were far along in pre-production and had even began hiring designers and artists to conceptualise the look of the film, “But you know, life is long, we were very close to production but in this business that doesn’t mean much. You got to get out of the gate to be in the race if you know what I mean.”
Other contenders have seen Quentin Tarantino pitch an R rated Trek rumoured to be based on original series episode A Piece of the Action, and the original script JJ Abrams had announced that would have seen James Kirk meet his father George thanks to some timey wimey shenanigans that would give the conflicted Captain closure following his sombre birthday in Beyond.
Unfortunately that story fell to the wayside over contract negotiations with both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth, the latter of which had hinted that the story needing work before he’d sign on. This also unfortunately meant the loss of Life on Mars director SJ Clarkson at the helm who moved on to other projects – mainly working for HBO to work on the Game of Thrones prequel – once the idea was put on ice.
SO WHAT NOW?
Since Beyond hit our screens, the world of Star Trek has changed dramatically. The JJ Abrams led series has helped bring Star Trek home to TV where the brand has been flourishing. From the adventure of Discovery, to the more introspective Picard, to the comedy of Lower Decks and more on the way, there’s a variety to suit everyone.
With the output being “big” in both visual style and over-reaching arcs, a big screen production has to be something truly special. The void that was once there between TV and Movies is breaking down, especially with shifts in audience perception which has advanced rapidly the past year.
Assuming Vasquez’s pitch is the one that made Paramount set a date, there are still a lot of open questions. Will the next film see a continuation of the Cxhris Pine led Kelvin universe? Will it follow the current trends of TV Trek? Is this another universe or reimagining? Or will this be a completely new idea?
We know the cast of the 2009 reboot are ready to jump back on board if they get the call with Quinto, Pegg and Pine – among others including The Boys star Karl Urban – noting their eagerness to return. We also know that the Trek TV world has expanded the universe in quite interesting ways and that there’s a lot of closure to be had.
Will we see Pine’s Kirk back on screen? Will we see a new Kirk in the chair? Or will Trek follow suit with the Marvel-inspired logic of an expanded universe beyond everything we’ve seen before?
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