Another actor from the Star Trek movie franchise is expressing optimism that the stalled project will move forward.
After movement on the fourth Kelvin-universe Star Trek feature film ramped up in the spring of this year (including the hiring of director S.J. Clarkson), things seemed to come to a halt in August after Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth reportedly walked away from the negotiating table, unwilling to cut a new deal as Paramount sought to reduce costs for the follow-up to Star Trek Beyond. Since that time there have been no indications that work has progressed on the project, but a number of actors have expressed hope the project will move forward, including Pine himself.
The latest to weigh in is John Cho (Sulu), who was asked about it in a new interview with The Playlist promoting his film Searching. Cho told Playlist:
I sadly don’t have any news for you. I wish I [had] more for you there though. I don’t know what the ins and outs at the studio are but I am optimistic there will be another one because I’m optimistic about what “Star Trek” says and its place in our culture and I think it will come back around. I think it’s an important part of American popular culture that speaks to America’s best impulses and I think that there will always be a place for “Star Trek” films and I just hope to be in it and there isn’t another totally different group of people! I’m bullish about it, and honestly, for personal reasons I suppose the last film has a cloud over it, losing Anton [Yelchin] after the last one and for me it would be important personally to make one more at least. I think it would alleviate that part of us a little bit to make at least one more.
Based on reports and comments from the cast from earlier in the year, plans were for the film to begin production in early 2019, possibly even in January. Clearly, that is no longer going to happen. While the August reports regarding negotiations with Pine and Hemsworth indicated that Paramount planned to move forward with the project with or without either Chris, at this point a 2020 release of any Star Trek film still seems unlikely.
McQuarrie still interested in directing Trek
While talking to Forbes for the home video release of Mission: Impossible Fallout, director Christopher McQuarrie echoed his thoughts from October, saying again that he’s interested in directing a future Trek movie:
Star Trek is another one of those doors I mentioned, if that door opened I would gladly go through it. I am a huge fan of Star Trek. I grew up on Star Trek, The Wrath of Khan is one of my favorite movies of all time, but we haven’t really talked about it because we’ve been so busy with the work in front of us.
Abrams’ Paramount deal likely to end by 2020
Another wrinkle in the future of Star Trek feature films is that it looks like J.J. Abrams’ relationship with Paramount could be coming to an end, or at least changing. The Hollywood trades are reporting that Abrams is seeking a new “megadeal” that would “encompass films, television series, digital content, music, games, consumer products, and theme park opportunities.” Contenders seem to be limited to Warner Brothers, Universal and Disney–notably not Paramount. The current deal between Paramount and Abrams and his Bad Robot production company ends in March 2020.
Abrams directed and produced the first two Kelvin-verse Star Trek films and produced the third. Currently, Bad Robot has two Star Trek projects in development for Paramount: Star Trek 4 and the Quentin Tarantino pitch. It is unclear what impact an end of the Paramount/Bad Robot deal would have on those projects. Paramount owns all Star Trek assets associated with anything both made and in development, so they could continue on with new producers and production partners. It is also possible for Abrams/Bad Robot to continue to work on Star Trek through 2020 and beyond, the way he has worked with Disney on Star Wars projects while still under his Paramount deal.
Keep up with all the news on Star Trek 4 and upcoming Trek films at TrekMovie.com.