It’s going-on four years since we last saw a Star Trek movie in theaters. Beyond had an underwhelming box office performance, and subsequent efforts to get a sequel off the ground have yet to lift it out of development hell. Now, the possibility of another reboot and some fresh comments from Simon Pegg have only added to the uncertainty.
In a new interview with TotalFilm (via GamesRadar), Pegg has criticized Paramount Pictures (the studio behind the first three movies), explaining why he thinks budgeting the Star Trek franchise in line with Marvel Studios projects is a false economy.
The fact is, ‘Star Trek’ movies don’t make Marvel money. They make maybe $500 million at the most, and to make one now, on the scale they’ve set themselves, is $200 million. You have to make three times that to make a profit”.
Paramount didn’t really take advantage of the 50th anniversary. The regimen at the time dropped the ball on the promo of the film. And we’ve lost momentum. I think losing Anton [Yelchin] was a huge blow to our little family, and our enthusiasm to do another one might have been affected by that. So I don’t know.
Pegg had an expanded remit for Beyond’s production, co-writing the script as well as maintaining his on-screen role as Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. A boyhood Trekkie, it’s understandable why he has so much invested in the current state of the franchise, but these comments are more substantial than just a superfan’s ravings.
Pegg is right to point out Star Trek has never been a blockbuster IP in the way other summer mega-movies are. Even Star Trek Into Darkness, to date the highest grossing film, “only” checked in with $467.4 million, which is well below the box office billions we’ve come to associate with comparative name franchises.
Now, there’s undoubtedly more than just money at stake in Star Trek 4’s current production limbo. As Pegg also went on to say, co-star Yelchin’s devastating death has impacted everyone concerned with the reboot series.
Ultimately, you can look at the whole situation as a perfect storm, one that leaves future installments further rather than closer to fruition. I’ve no doubt one day we’ll get more Star Trek on the big screen, but at the moment, no one involved looks any nearer to making it a reality.