After a series of delays, Star Trek 3 – rumored to be titled Star Trek Beyond – heads into production this week in Vancouver, and as Justin Lin prepares to lens the Paramount/Skydance threequel, the film’s cast has finished re-negotiations to earn a big pay bump. Simultaneously, stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, the highest-paid out in the cast, have closed deals to appear in a fourth Star Trek installment for the studio.
The unusually lengthy development process for this third film, which included producer Roberto Orci taking the reins at one point but getting ousted once he passed in a first draft of his script, was one factor in the contract renegotiations, which The Hollywood Reporter says added $10 to $15 million to the budget.
After star Simon Pegg and Dark Blue‘s Doug Jung delivered an approved script, and Lin had been set for the director’s chair, the only thing standing between Star Trek 3 and all phases go were the actors’ deals.
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The gathering star power of actors like Pine and Zoe Saldana reportedly also played a role in the decision to boost salaries. Apparently, Paramount and Skydance did not renegotiate contracts with the Star Trek cast for Star Trek Into Darkness, despite the terrific success of the first installment, so these pay raises have been long overdue. It’s not atypical for studios to make more lucrative deals for actors in blockbusters, particularly ones as dependent on star appeal as Star Trek, so it must have been somewhat frustrating for the actors to only see nominal, pre-contracted pay raises for Into Darkness.
The big winner in the Star Trek 3 negotiations was Pine – he earned just $600,000 for Star Trek back when he was an unproven commodity, but now that he’s toplined films like Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and cemented himself as a movie star, that number soared up to a whopping $6 million. Pine’s last contract saw him paid $1.5 million for Into Darkness, and his original commitment to Star Trek 3 had him doubling that at $3 million, but the renegotiations cemented his status as the franchise’s linchpin, leading to the redoubling.