The long and troubled production history of Star Trek 4 may have taken another twist today. When the project was originally announced, Chris Hemsworth was set to reprise his role of the deceased George Kirk from the prologue of J.J. Abrams’ first entry in the Kelvin timeline, presumably with some time-traveling shenanigans allowing him to share the screen with Chris Pine’s James T.
However, some behind-the-scenes issues caused both stars to drop out, although Pine did eventually renegotiate his contract and sign on the dotted line to become the last Chris standing. Original director S.J. Clarkson also departed the movie, leading many to speculate that all was not well with the Star Trek franchise. Abrams’ two installments and Justin Lin’s Beyond all scored solid reviews from critics, but the box office numbers were somewhat lacking, with the global takings for the rebooted series averaging out at less than $400 million per movie. While that hardly screams failure, the profit margins can’t have been great when these sci-fi blockbusters cost at least $150 million each.
Noah Hawley was recently hired to write and direct what most people assumed would be Star Trek 4, but in a recent interview, the Fargo and Legion showrunner made it sound as though that won’t necessarily be the case when asked if the core cast of the Kelvin timeline would be returning to the Enterprise.
“I have my own take on Star Trek… Star Trek is about exploration and humanity at its best, and diversity and creative problem solving. For me, it’s about getting to those elements of the show. I don’t necessarily find action in and of itself interesting, unless it’s story. So, it’s early days, I’m still talking with Paramount, and I have a take and I’ve got to write a script.”
Simon Pegg recently admitted that he didn’t know if the movie Hawley was working on was Star Trek 4, or whether it would involve him and the rest of the Kelvin crew, and from the filmmaker’s comments, it sounds as though another reboot isn’t entirely out of the question. Some Trek fans were dismayed at the idea of a director best known for the Fast and Furious franchise tackling the characters in Beyond, and based on Hawley’s comments, it sounds as though he wants to scale back the action-heavy elements of the reboot series and go back to the roots of what made Star Trek popular in the first place.