Things seemed to be ramping up in development for the next Star Trek feature film, but now they’ve gotten quiet in the two weeks since it was reported that Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth walked away from the negotiating table over a salary dispute. Today we have actor John Cho (Sulu) responding to questions about the project as well as director Kevin Smith jumping in to offer suggestions for how Paramount can move forward.
Cho would rather not know the details on the status of ‘Star Trek 4’
John Cho has been doing a media tour for his new film Searching, where has been getting questions about the next Star Trek movie. In general, Cho has been saying he is in the dark about what is going on and, unlike his Trek co-stars Zachary Quinto and Simon Pegg who have both already met with Star Trek 4 director SJ Clarkson, it appears he’s happy not knowing what’s going on with development. He told USA Today:
I know very little about this. I’ve heard we’re going to do one. But beyond that, I don’t have details. I’d rather not know; I don’t want to lie. The boring answer is to wait for the powers that be to make a decision.
Also speaking to USA Today, Cho offered a tongue-in-cheek solution to how to get the next Star Trek to perform better than Star Trek Beyond:
I actually wasn’t aware [Star Trek Beyond] underperformed. I thought it was a great movie. See how little I pay attention to these things? I don’t know what to say … maybe more webcam Sulu close-ups.
Sulu: A Star Trek Story?
Speaking of more Sulu, when talking to CNET, Cho was asked what if Star Trek went down the same road as Star Wars with character-focused movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story, and specifically one with him as Sulu. He replied:
If Solo, why not Sulu?
Cho then revealed a bit of behind-the-scenes information about Star Trek and a bit of franchise confusion for Captain Kirk actor Chris Pine, telling CNET:
I don’t know if there is a day shooting Star Trek where Chris Pine did not call me Solo.
When later asked what was his next project, Cho said he is doing a feature film that hasn’t been announced yet, so he couldn’t say anything about it. Searching director Aneesh Chaganty jumped in, joking it would be a Sulu movie, and Cho then chimed in with “Yeah. Sulu: The Star Trek Story.”
Kevin Smith suggests settling for just one Chris for ‘Star Trek 4’
This week on his video/podcast Fatman on Batman, geeky director Kevin Smith weighed in (with some adult language) on the Star Trek 4 salary dispute with the two Chrises. Smith expressed his admiration of J.J. Abrams 2009 Star Trek film, noting the “fantastic” opening scene with Chris Hemsworth as the father of James T. Kirk, and how he thought it was an “awesome” idea to bring Hemsworth back for Star Trek 4. He is dismayed over the salary dispute, noting “I really want to see this shit happen.” Smith even offered specifics, suggesting Pine and Hemsworth could be offered $10 million up front and 10% of the back end profit of the film.
Fatman on Batman co-host Marc Bernardin noted the same issues that seem to be weighing on Paramount’s accountants and executives, that there is the rest of the cast to pay and the Star Trek films aren’t bringing in the same level of money as Marvel movies. Even still, Smith opined that Paramount has limited options saying:
I think Star Trek really has no choice. They can’t recast. Chris Pine is fantastic. It was chancy bringing another Kirk into the world. They found the one guy who could pull it off where it doesn’t sound like an impression, but it totally homages an entire f–king body of work in a character. So, you got to bring him back. Maybe you let go of the dad storyline if you can’t get Hemsworth to come down a little bit. But, you can’t do those Star Treks without that Kirk. He was great.
Smith also pointed to Hollywood agents causing these kinds of salary disputes:
I hope they work out the money thing. I can play mediator if they want. I will be like “Come on man, everyone wants to see this.” You know what the problem here is? Agents are involved. I could just get rid of their agents and talk sense to those actors, I bet they would want to do it, because it sounds like a f–king fun movie. But somebody out there is “No, they got to get paid, these are the dollars that are going to last them into the years of their lives,” and blah blah blah. I’m all for people getting paid, but that’s too good an idea to leave behind. But, if they don’t make enough money to support that financial decision, then maybe they got to meet in the middle. They got to boldly go where no man has gone before. I hope so, because I like that guy and I think that idea is a really good idea.
When the subject turned to how Quentin Tarantino is working on a separate Star Trek film, Smith said he is ready for that regardless of casting, noting “I don’t care if he casts children, I would watch that film.”
More weigh in on the Chris Crisis
A few other outlets have been opining about how Paramount should move forward, with differing views. Here are some suggestions from the media.
Cinemablend: Why Star Trek 4 Doesn’t Need Chris Pine
Stay tuned to TrekMovie for all the updates on upcoming Star Trek movies.