There’s been so much behind-the-scenes upheaval on Star Trek 4 over the last twelve months that at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if Quentin Tarantino’s long-rumored involvement in the franchise came to fruition before the latest installment in the Kelvin timeline, despite the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood filmmaker recently admitting that he might simply walk away from a project that he’s been consistently linked with for years.
Following the conclusion of Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond, the crew of the Enterprise have seemingly been placed in development stasis. Shortly after the third movie’s release, Chris Hemsworth was announced to be reprising his role as George Kirk in the fourth entry, before he dropped out over a pay dispute, and has shown no signs of changing his stance. For a while, it even seemed as though Star Trek had lost its leading man, before Chris Pine eventually renegotiated his contract and agreed to return for more deep space adventures.
Original director S.J. Clarkson also abandoned ship, with Fargo and Legion showrunner Noah Hawley ultimately signing on to write and direct. However, the filmmaker has been very evasive when asked if his movie will be the canonical Star Trek 4, so much so that Simon Pegg doesn’t even know if he and the rest of the ensemble cast will be returning to the franchise, which seems strange when you consider that Pegg has been heavily involved on the creative side of things recently as the co-writer of Beyond.
Hawley recently teased that his Star Trek movie might end up being yet another reboot for the series, and in another interview, the 53 year-old continued dropping hints that he’s set to take the decades-old franchise in an entirely new direction.
“I have my own take, and my own things that I want to do with it… I always approach this material understanding that people are really invested in these stories, and I treat the material with real respect, but I’m going to tell my own story now. I always feel, as a fan, if there’s something that I love and somebody tells me new stories, I get excited… I’m excited to see characters used in new ways, or new characters, or whatever it is.”
Not only that, but when asked if the Kelvin crew would be back, Hawley’s response was incredibly evasive, despite the fact that the vast majority of the cast are already contracted to do a fourth movie.
“It’s still early days. For me, it’s definitely a new direction, but it’s still early, in terms of who exactly would be in it, or what the characters would be. I don’t think of it as Star Trek 4, to be reductive. This is a new beginning.”
It certainly seems as though Hawley is planning on starting from scratch, making it sound as though the movie he’s working on isn’t Star Trek 4 at all. Blockbuster franchises need to keep reinventing themselves in order to avoid becoming stale, but the Kelvin series didn’t exactly deliver massive box office hits, and rebooting without the familiar faces that modern audiences recognize as the Star Trek crew could turn out to be a risky strategy in the long run.