As of this weekend, we now know a few new things about the uncertain status of the on-hiatus, as-yet-unnamed Star Trek 4 movie film. For people following the saga of the Kelvin Timeline Star Trek movies, both both Chrises walked out on the planned post-Star Trek Beyond film, due to breakdowns in salary negotiations with Paramount. Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth, to reprise James Kirk and George Kirk — James T’s father — respectively, were told their previously-agreed-to salaries would be dropped, after the disappointing box office returns of the 3rd aforementioned feature. The actors walked.
Here’s some Star Trek Movie News and Speculation, for your “continuing mission” pleasure:
Chris Pine reported to Variety that he’s willing to reprise his character if salary talks reopen. (He’s also going to continue his role in the DC universe, so it’s not like he’s begging for work.)
At a Calgary Expo this weekend, Jennifer Morrison (James Kirk’s mother in the 2009 film), she interrupted panel moderator Garret Wang (Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager) to say George Kirk’s demise should be considered a “supposed death”. Hmmm. So maybe don’t count Hemsworth’s participation out just yet either. We assumed that Kirk Sr. would appear via flashback or time travel trickery, but in movie land, death is a relative thing.
Also, Morrison hopes to reprise her Momma Kirk role as well.
Karl Urban (playing Bones McCoy) reported to JoBlow that he’s confident ST 4 will occur.
Besides Urban, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, and Simon Pegg are expected to sign on as the rest of the Enterprise bridge crew, minus Anton Yelchin (after his unfortunate death).
JJ Abrams, continuing as a producer for the Trek movies, announced Yelchin’s Chekov role won’t be recast.
Danai Gurira (best known for her roles in The Walking Dead and as the Captain of the Black Panther‘s Guard in the MCU), is being eyed to snag a role in ST4. (As reported by Deadline.)
Simon Pegg (Scotty) was the first to announce (with JoBlow) that a woman — S.J. Clarkson — will direct ST4. That’s a gender first in a Trek movie. (Variety has the full story.)
Interestingly, Zachari Quinto (Spock), back in April, cautioned that more Trek movies should not be considered guaranteed. It seems the Vulcan’s words might have been prophetic. Things seem to be both steaming ahead and at a stalemate.
Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek movie franchise has a Chris Crisis. Or maybe we should call this A Tale of Two Chrises.
As of this week, the current Trek feature films lost both of their actors named Chris — as in Pine (James T. Kirk) and Hemsworth (James T. Kirk’s late father George). Both men reportedly walked after a breakdown in salary negotiations.
While the Kelvin Timeline can probably get by without Chris Hemworth’s contribution (Papa Kirk died in the teaser to the first rebooted film), it’s hard to imagine new Trek without Pine as Jim. It seems too early in the series, with only three prior flicks, to recast or totally remove the famous Captain Kirk role.
The upcoming 4th film was supposed to be about the Kirk family father and son dynamic (possibly through flashbacks, multiple universes, or time-travel).
The world also lost Anton Yelchin — the new Pavel Chekov — after the 3rd Trek film, in 2016 when the actor sadly died. This still leaves a robust supporting cast, but no Captain. What to do? Stop the new series entirely? Reimagine the character lineup with Spock as the new Captain? Hire a new actor to play Jim Kirk?
We’re looking at a science fiction universe full of canonized fantastical events, so the universe knows no bounds in explaining away anything unusual, story-wise.
Here are five easy ideas to keep the Enterprise flying:
Shelve the upcoming storyline for Film 4, and find a way to re-hire both actors for the subsequent 5th film, utilizing said father-son plot. Make current 4th movie a small story about something non-Kirky, and explain his absence by saying he’s on a Federation mission, elsewhere in deep space.
Suck it up and hire a new actor for the role. It won’t be any worse than suddenly having a new Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, or switching out The Oracle in The Matrix Trilogy.
Promote Zachary Quinto’s Spock to Captain and focus on the remaining ensemble, rather than making these movies the Kirk & Spock Show. They’ve got some good actors in Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Zoe Saldana: they should use them.
Try jumping in time a bit to tell stories of Captain Sulu on the USS Excelsior, which is known as a definite thing in the Prime Timeline, and could sustain all kinds of narratives. Bring along any of the current cast who are game for a new role on the new ship.
Skip a generation completely by recasting/rebooting one of the “modern Treks” like The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, or Voyager. With the recently announced CBS television Trek showcase for Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard, there might be renewed interest in a fresh young ensemble, set in the 24th century.
It can’t happen, since Pine is a current actor in the DC Extended Universe (attached to Wonder Woman), but I’d love it if Hemsworth told Pine not to stress about pay talks for Star Trek, because he could just leapfrog over to the Marvel world. It’s not possible because actors apparently can’t be both DCEU and MCU cast members, but it would be just darn cool for Marvel to “own” all four superhero Chrises: Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt, and now Pine.
I’m so excited that I have to repeat this: He’s BACK! Sir Patrick Stewart announced yesterday at the Las Vegas 2018 Star Trek Convention that he’s ready to take back up the mantle of intrepid Renaissance man Jean-Luc Picard in an upcoming Star Trek series on CBS All Access. Well, frak; looks like I’m going to have to sign up and pay for that platform now.
Will he still be a Captain? An Admiral, or a Starfleet Professor? My guess is he’ll move on to the Ambassador role he played at the end of All Good Things. Picard’s a huge diplomatic asset to the Federation, and I think the beloved Captain, once he’s moved on from Captaining (last seen in that role in 2002’s feature Trek film Nemesis), would head down the road of peace between peoples, using his famous Picard Speeches to pave the way.
We see glimpses of other things that came to pass in that otherwise benighted film – Kathryn Janeway has become an Admiral (with a specialty in Borg Knowledge, if Voyager series finale Endgame is to be believed).
I’m also thrilled to return to the 24th century, where humanity have evolved into a more enlightened state and the future looks hopeful. By the 24th century, humans live mostly at peace with their neighbors (Borg and Dominion Wars aside); poverty, hunger, and most illnesses have been eradicated, and we live in a Post-Scarcity dream world where the greatest mission of an individual is to explore and improve one’s self.
I’ve avoided CBS’s Star Trek Discovery almost completely (I did view the free episode). It’s dark, it’s grim, it’s a big downer. I turned my attention to Seth McFarlane’s The Orville instead: a playful, Next Generation-lite tribute to Trek. Even my mother loves it, and she’s not a science fiction fan as such.
More to relate as 2019 gets closer. But I did want to let Trek fans know that Captain Picard is a thing again!!! SQUEEEEE!
Remember Laura, the little girl clone of Wolverine from the great X-Men film Logan? There is talk of a Logan spinoff to follow Laura’s story. I don’t think that move would come as much of a surprise. They left the ending wide open with the new mutant kids going to Eden, and the actress made for a memorable breakout character in her sensitive, yet vicious feral child.
Stealing the show from Hugh Jackman? Wait, even harder – from Sir Patrick Stewart? What? Well, she did.
So, yeah — I do expect we will see more from this actress. The X-Men franchise hasn’t been reluctant to keep a good thing going (sometimes long after it stopped being good).