Star Trek 4: Everything you need to know

Matt Chapman
Photo credit: Digitalspy/ST - Paramount

From Digital Spy

Star Trek is going from strength to strength on TV, with Star Trek: Discovery soon to be followed by Star Trek: Picard and other spin-offs.

On the big screen though, it's a different story altogether. After Star Trek Beyond underperformed at the box office, the future of the rebooted universe is under doubt and it's not clear if we'll even get a Star Trek 4.

But what is the problem with the fourth movie and will it ever happen? Read on to find out all the behind-the-scenes issues.

Star Trek 4 cancelled: Is it happening?

Before we get you too excited, there were reports in January 2019 that the movie had been "shelved" after several behind-the-scenes issues (more on those in a bit).

But don't get too disheartened. Star John Cho is convinced it will still be made: "To be honest, I mean it’s not happening right now as far as I know, but I just think it will happen. Somebody at some point will all get on the same page and we'll do it."

Photo credit: Paramount

Zachary Quinto isn't quite as convinced though. "I don't know what's happening with that, and I'm trying to figure out what, if anything, will be the future for it," he said in June 2019.

"I feel glad that the franchise is having its own life continuing on [with Star Trek: Discovery] and my hope is that we'll also get to go back and play those roles again. But there's no telling right now if it'll happen or not."

It could well be that we get Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek offering instead than a continuation of the rebooted trilogy.

Star Trek 4 cast: Bye Chris Pine?

JJ Abrams' rebooted Star Trek took the core elements of the franchise and split them off into a different timeline.

The key factor that changed history from the William Shatner/Patrick Stewart era was an attack on the USS Kelvin that killed the elder Captain Kirk (played by Chris Hemsworth), so it was a surprise to learn that both father and son were supposed to appear in the fourth movie.

Photo credit: Paramount

To allow that, this sequel was supposed to be another timey-wimey adventure that featured Pine's James T Kirk somehow joining forces with his long-dead dad.

However, even before the movie was called into doubt, it was reported that both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth had walked away from negotiations to star in the JJ Abrams-produced blockbuster because the studio wants them to take pay cuts.

Hemsworth opened up in May 2019 about why he stepped away from the movie. "I didn't feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet. I didn't want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table."

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Even worse, producers were reportedly waiting to lock down Pine and Hemsworth before negotiating with supporting cast members like Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and Simon Pegg (Scotty).

So right now there's no cast officially attached to the project.

After those reports emerged, Pine didn't seem against being in the movie, saying that he'll "await the phone call".

William Shatner thinks he's right to want more money though.

Related: Should Star Trek 4 happen without Chris Pine?

That's a shame, as Black Panther's Danai Gurira was expected have a key role in the fourth film. If she is eventually beamed up, she'll follow former Walking Dead co-star Sonequa Martin-Green into the Star Trek universe.

Star Trek 4 director: Who will it be?

One of the reasons we want Star Trek 4 to happen is that it looks like it will finally give the franchise its first-ever female director.

There may have been female Captains in the chair of those starships before now but the director's job has been a boys' club since the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978.

Photo credit: Bennett Raglin/WireImage - Getty Images

British filmmaker SJ Clarkson is in line to direct, and has an impressive track record on some of the biggest shows on both UK and US TV, including EastEnders, Life on Mars, Heroes, Dexter, Jessica Jones and Marvel's The Defenders.

Related: Here's why Star Trek should quit movies and focus just on TV shows

However, Clarkson has now moved on to direct the Game of Thrones prequel pilot, so who knows if she'll be back when and if Star Trek 4 gets confirmed.

Star Trek 4 trailer: When will it arrive?

We'd love to get all timey-wimey ourselves and show you a trailer for Star Trek 4 from the future, but we're stuck in the Mirror Universe.

Right now, we're just waiting for official confirmation that the movie will even happen, then we can start looking at a trailer date.

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