The modern Star Trek movie franchise – which began in 2009 with J.J. Abrams’ reboot – is a flawed beast indeed. Big, bold and entertaining though it may be, it is not without its problems. For many fans, what might otherwise struggle to reach mediocre levels of storytelling, is elevated by the casting of performers such as Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, John Cho as Sulu, and Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy. For this reason, the fact that director Justin Lin was able to persuade Urban to return – even though his contract had ended – is a welcome relief for those awaiting the release of Star Trek Beyond.
“I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin. I had a conflicting schedule, and I had a decision to make about which film to do, and I was no longer under contract to do a third picture. So I had a decision to make, and it was talking with Justin that enabled me to commit to it. It was fantastic. It was a breath of fresh air, and I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics.”
In terms of critical response, the modern Star Trek franchise has thus far been a series of diminishing returns, and the fact that J.J. Abrams has departed the director’s chair for a galaxy far, far, away makes Star Trek Beyond – the third franchise instalment – something of a tipping point. With fresh eyes overseeing the frame, we could see these films receive a much needed shot in the arm, but for Karl Urban, turning down another offer and sticking with Dr. McCoy is a huge gamble, and the movie synopsis is giving little away.
“Star Trek Beyond, the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew. In Beyond, the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
“Directed by Justin Lin. The cast includes Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban.”
Star Trek Beyond arrives in theatres on July 22nd, 2016, when we will hopefully discover that Karl Urban did indeed place a winning bet.