Simon Pegg Thinks Next Star Trek Film Should Be Smaller, Have Less Spectacle

Simon Pegg at the UK premiere of Star Trek Beyond

While there has been a lot of activity on the television side of Star Trek lately, things have been mostly quiet with regards to the next feature film. Now Simon Pegg is talking about where he thinks Trek movies may be headed.

Pegg still unsure if Kelvin crew is in Hawley Trek, but has some suggestions

Simon Pegg played Scotty in the three Kelvin-verse movies produced by J.J. Abrams and co-wrote 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. Two years ago Pegg was upbeat about returning to Star Trek as Paramount prepped a fourth outing, but that project ended after negotiations with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth stalled. Late last year, hope for Star Trek on the big screen returned as Fargo’s Noah Hawley was tapped by Paramount to develop a new Trek movie.

It is unclear if the Hawley project would involve the Kelvin cast, and in a new interview with Collider, Simon Pegg says he still doesn’t know himself, adding that he and his Star Trek co-stars do remain in touch and they would “all jump at the chance” to return if asked. However, Pegg also pointed out that the accidental death of co-star Anton Yelchin (Chekov) in 2016  “slightly took the wind out of our sails in terms of our enthusiasm to do another one.”

For now, Pegg is working for Paramount on the next two Mission: Impossible films, being shot back-to-back by director Christopher McQuarrie. Filming for that project went on hiatus in February due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Regardless of his involvement, Pegg did have some thoughts on how Paramount should approach the next film:

The fact is, the appeal of Star Trek is slightly more niche than the appeal of, say, the Marvel movies, which make huge amounts of money, and have this really, really broad appeal and they do very well. I think Star Trek is just a little bit more niche, so it isn’t gonna hit those kind of numbers. So yes, the obvious thing to do would be to not go for that massive spectacle, go for something a little bit more restrained in the vein of the original series. Yes, that would be a brilliant thing to do, and I’m sure it probably has been discussed… You specialize a little bit more.

Sofia Boutella as Jaylah and Simon Pegg as Scotty in Star Trek Beyond 

It’s likely that scaling back for the next Star Trek film is something that Paramount is doing, as indicated by their attempts to renegotiate with Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine following the lower-than-anticipated performance of Star Trek Beyond.

Pegg even suggested that perhaps ViacomCBS should just let the CBS side run with Star Trek for now:

Maybe TV is a better place for [Star Trek] now. Television has evolved so much. It’s become something which is very much a contemporary, a peer of cinema. It’s simply viewed in a different way. It isn’t a reduced scope anymore. You can still do masses of interesting things, and it can still look modern and not inexpensive.

After Quentin Tarantino indicated he was walking away from his Star Trek project late last year, the Hawley Trek project seems to be the only one going at Paramount right now. In February ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish touted a “highly anticipated new Star Trek feature at Paramount” to investors. In Early April Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard composer Jeff Russo, who works closely with Hawley, said he had spoken to Hawley about the story for his Star Trek film and found it “exciting.” Later in April, it was reported that Paramount was still waiting on a script for the next Star Trek film, as they looked to work with Chris Pine again on a reboot of The Saint.

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Simon Pegg is spot on.

The truth is Star Trek movies don’t make a lot of money. It lacks substance and restraint.

Marvel movies have a broad appeal and make more money. Star Trek is a niche product so it won’t have a broader audience.

Star Trek should focus on smaller self contained stories and less on spectacle. I really hope we get a Star Trek film in the near future but it looks unlikely to happen.

TV is a better place for Star Trek now. Simon Pegg is absolutely right. The movies are backfiring in their face.

Spot on mate. Trek has always had the best things on TV. Its episodic structure (for the most part) makes it awkward to adapt into movies in my opinion, bar a couple of exceptions.

I like series arcs of Enterprise (season 3/ first two episodes of season 4) as well as Disco and Picard, but of course, in the case of Enterprise, you cant have a 24 hour long movie! :)

Good Star Trek films like WOK, TVH and Trek 2009 make $. Bad ones and average ones, not so much. It’s not that complicated and it’s not really about whether it should be on TV or not. Make a great film and it will make $.

BEYOND was the best trek movie in three decades (not saying much there) and did poorly. It’s not just about quality, and it is also not just about marketing (unless you count the brainwashing trick on folks that get you so in love with the 09.)

And then you get the bad Trek movies that did well with general audiences like STID and TVH. It feels like the more Trek reaches out to the general audience the less Trek they actually get.

So true. I think what happened is, the studio had a hit with the first one, but rather than say “ok, let’s try to repeat that success” they increased the budget hoping to double the BO take, when that’s just not how it works. Then when the sequel did better (but not up to their hopes) they decided to pump EVEN MORE money into the budget…

When what they should have done is kept the budget the same (or increased it incrementally), and spent any extra money on the marketing and advertising.

You don’t like TVH, but most do. Check out any reviews or polls over the years. It is what it is.

STID was a good sf action movie, problem for us was it was bad Star Trek.

Conversely… The concept of TVH was not that bad. (The execution of it was terribly done) but the problem was it was bad Star Trek.

Sorry, but STB did NOT do poorly. It did well, especially by the standards of a Trek film. It made $343M worldwide.

That $343M translates to $163M in 1982. Wrath of Khan made $97M (international grosses are largely unknown but likely to not have been that great back in those days).

That $343M translates to $149M in 1984. Search for Spock made $87M.

That $343M translates to $157M in 1986. The Voyage Home made $133M.

That $343M translates to $226M in 1996. First Contact made $146M worldwide (1994 is when we start to see widely reported international grosses).

We can quibble back and forth on the numbers, and even argue that in today’s market BEYOND should have done better, but the reason it wasn’t seen as a big success by the studio is that the budget was $185M. If they’d spent $100M and made $343M at the BO, I don’t think a sequel would have been in doubt.

Look at the John Wick films: for all their hype, they did “just” $88M, $171M, and $327M. But because their budgets were $20M, $40, and $75M, it’s labeled a big hit franchise.

No offense, but this argument has tons and tons of holes in it. The most obvious one is you are ignoring the fact those other movies had budgets waaaaaaay lower than what it cost to make Beyond. That’s number one. Number two is none of those movies you cited had wide international distribution. Beyond was in over 5,000 screens in China alone including hundreds of IMAX screens. Do you know how many screens those other movies had in China? Zero. And of course it wouldn’t have matter then because China was in a very different place economically as a lot of countries were back then versus now.

As you pointed out FC was in more markets but that was still only about a dozen markets at the time, mostly Europe and Australia. Beyond was in over fifty.

Even in America itself, those movies were in way less theaters than Beyond because there just weren’t as many theaters at the time. In fact, what’s funny is if you increase inflation for what those movies made in today’s dollars, they actually all made MORE money in America than Beyond did…and on less screens.

Beyond made $156 million in America.

TWOK would’ve made $195 million in America alone.

TSFS would’ve been $168 million.

TVH would’ve been $240 million.

FC would’ve been $145 million. It’s the only one that would’ve made less money. But of course like the others it was also in far less screens than Beyond as well, by a thousand less.

And none of those movies were on any IMAX screens in America either like Beyond.

You’re also discounting the MASSIVE marketing budget Beyond had as well which was reported as $120 million alone. That’s more than double what most of these entire productions were even if you INCLUDE inflation.

And if they can make a Star Trek movie today between $20-75 million like the Wick films and it makes $343 million then yes that would be a huge, huge hit. Because end of the day its about return of investment. Anything is a ‘hit’ if it returns a massive profit like the Wick films did. If the first film cost what Beyond did but only made $88 million, they never would’ve made a second one.

“The most obvious one is you are ignoring the fact those other movies had budgets waaaaaaay lower than what it cost to make Beyond.”

I’m not discounting anything. That’s exactly my point: if they hadn’t so much money into the film, the BO would not have looked so bad. In fact, it would have been on par with past Trek films.

There’s no reason they can’t make a Trek movie for $100-120 and make it a modest hit with a $350M box office. Sets for the ship already exist, they don’t need massive multi-million dollar set pieces every 10 minutes.

As for your other particulars, my post was not intended to be a direct apples to apples comparison as you seem to be scrutinizing it as, but a general look at how previous Trek films weren’t huge blockbuster hits, they just had more modest budgets. I used the governments official inflation calculator to show that past films were, give or take, not far off from Beyond’s take.

Meaning, the box office itself was not the issue: the money they spent on it was.

“I’m not discounting anything. That’s exactly my point: if they hadn’t so much money into the film, the BO would not have looked so bad. In fact, it would have been on par with past Trek films.

There’s no reason they can’t make a Trek movie for $100-120 and make it a modest hit with a $350M box office. Sets for the ship already exist, they don’t need massive multi-million dollar set pieces every 10 minutes.”

But you are discounting quite a bit. For one thing Beyond didn’t cost anymore than what STID did and yet made $120 MILLION less than that film did. That’s not good lol.

And it also made less than $100 million than the original did in America even though it was in MORE theaters and in 3D, which the other wasn’t.

That was the problem, the series was already losing money in general. The fact that it bombed obviously made it worse but the writing was on the wall.

But of course, if you can make a film lower then I agree it can probably be profitable. Annnnnd, that’s what they tried to do with the fourth film back in 2018 and part of that included lowering Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth salaries. They balked and walked away and here we are today two years later.

And my guess why they will probably just start over with a new cast so they CAN make a much cheaper film out of the gate.

“As for your other particulars, my post was not intended to be a direct apples to apples comparison as you seem to be scrutinizing it as, but a general look at how previous Trek films weren’t huge blockbuster hits, they just had more modest budgets. I used the governments official inflation calculator to show that past films were, give or take, not far off from Beyond’s take.”

The problem is your entire comparison is a false equivalency from the start. Yes, when you throw hundreds of dollars more at a film than the others COMBINED, give it wider distribution both domestically and internationally in literally thousands of more screens, including in IMAX and 3D theaters for more up-charge and a huge marketing campaign the others could only dream of getting, guess what, its going make more money. That’s not exactly a shock.

But the other main problem is the movie just lost too much money. The only other movie that bombed at the theaters was Nemesis. And it dollar-to-dollar ratio, it bombed harder than Beyond did for sure, no doubt. But Paramount only lost $30 million and it was easy for it to eventually get in the black and recoup that.

Beyond on the other hand lost around $120-$150 million depending on who you ask. That’s the problem, yeah it made more than those other movies but it lost tons at the same time. And I doubt it’s made its money back yet with home media. Maybe it has,but I’ve seen nothing about it yet. Paramount is not Disney or Warner Bros, they can’t afford such expensive bombs over and over again and probably why they are still hesitant of making another one.

I believe another will be made, but I do doubt it will be with this cast if they want to make the next one much cheaper as you suggested.


Re:…they don’t need massive multi-million dollar set pieces every 10 minutes.

No, just every 3 films, or did you forget BEYOND had the added expense of having to rebuild all the sets from scratch?


Re: no IMAX

Actually, those old Trek movies had HUGE screen CINERAMA theaters 70mm play in their day which was roughly equivalent to IMAX.

I’ll 2nd the IMAX comment. I recall deciding to fork out the extra money and see Gravity on the IMAX. I went to the theater, found the IMAX auditorium and entered. When I got inside I was appalled. I walked back out, found an employee and felt compelled to ask him to confirm this was really the IMAX screen. It was smaller than the screen at my favorite theater! (Sadly it no longer exists) I remember thinking IMAX was like the Pictorium at the local amusement park. They showed 30-60 minute movies on a GIANT screen. It was over 30′ tall. Then to get that horrible thing masquerading as an IMAX… I did some checking after and found that a lot of IMAX screens are not any bigger than the 70mm ones. Precious few actually are. That was where I heard the term LIEmax in reference to them. I have never gone to a Liemax film again.

Tiger2 is right, the numbers on BEYOND were pretty dismal, relative to the film’s actual cost plus the advertising (tho how they spent the ad money, I can’t tell.)

i don’t get why people think you need billion dollar returns – unless your movie costs 300mil plus, you don’t need those dollars to turn a profit, and I’d rather have a streak of small-budget successes than some flops and one breakout hit. For one thing, it’d give me clout to do more good movies, and probably keep the prices down.

Tiger2 is wrong, and you are right.

Just no. A movie has to gross approx 2.3 times it’s budget to get into the profit range…and that factor gets a bit higher (i.e. 2.5 to 2.7) as more of the gross is international.

Box Office Finance 101

If you dig deep enough, you can find an analysis by Kubrick that shows even a 3x return won’t get a film back its negative cost. I think he was saying most 10 mil movies in the 70s would only break even at something above 40 mil, given P&A (which weren’t the obscene numbers they are now, even percentagewise to the film’s actual cost.)

Beyond stunk…my opinion. Box office ration to budget stunk…fact

You didn’t like 2009, your opinion. Box office ratio to budget did reasonably well…fact

Well, maybe he should have pressed for that for Beyond. With a slightly smaller budget, Beyond would have made some bucks, and the Kelvin guys would have another shot at it… At this point, the smart thing is to do the Hawley movie running with the CBS productions, with a television-budget mentality. I think you could do a wonderful Star Trek movie — blockbuster level — using the budget for a single season of current Trek TV. Imagine the resources spread into ten hours of Picard going for a two-hour piece. More than enough for a blockbuster-class film.

Beyond was the first Trek movie I did not see in the theater since my first – TWOK. No hate: I just simply wasn’t interested in yet another movie in which the Enterprise is destroyed/nearly destroyed, nor was I interested in another “ueber” ship (see: ALL of the Kelvin movies).

Wasn’t this the same approach they took while making The Wrath of Khan?, getting a TV crew to do the film by approaching it like TV. A similar approach could certainly be done.

There isn’t such a schism these day, a lot of crews are interchangeable between TV and features. And when you are just hiring second-, third- or fourth-tier people, or people not specifically experienced with TREK and space VFX (regardless of where they work), you’re only occasionally going to strike gold, and sometimes instead get TFF-level VFX.

The irony is Beyond WAS suppose to be the cheapest Kelvin film of the three. But it went over budget after the Orci debacle and Justin Lin and post production crew worked over time to get the movie ready in time for its premiere and why it ended costing way more than originally planned. If the movie at least cost around its original budget (I read it was somewhere between $140-150 million) it could’ve at least broke even at the box office and not outright bomb as it did.

It doesn’t help that after the success of the first film, the actors negotiated big raises for each sequel. I think the cast accounted for $25M of the budget, or something like that.

That’s true and probably why most likely this cast is done. This has been pointed out before, but Pine originally got $650 thousand for the fist film but by the time Beyond rolled around he literally got 10 times that and a percentage of the film which helped increase Beyond’s budget for a film that made tens of millions less.

It’s not a surprise why they were hesitant to pay him the same amount for the fourth film. The cast as a whole is probably more expansive now and probably easier to start over.

Sorry for bringing up Downey Jr once more, but he went from $500,000 for Iron Man 1 to 10 million base salary for Iron Man 2. It seems to be common practice to raise salaries substantially for sequels.

Unless they cast an A-lister you can be pretty sure that starting over with a new cast would be cheaper than making another one with the existing cast.

Yeah I know that. That is very common. People want to know why so many people want to be actors, that’s why lol. And I’m certainly not getting on Pine or anyone’s case if think they deserve more money. I defended him when he walked away from Star Trek 4. If you were promised a certain amount of money that’s what you were promised.

Unfortunately Star Trek is not Iron Man, which made $150 million more than the first Kelvin movie did. So its just easier to justify to pay Downey more. Iron Man 2 made $200 million more than STID. By the time they got to Iron Man 3, that had made $1.2 billion IIRC. So by that point they could pay Downey basically whatever he wanted. That’s why they were able to pay him $50 million when your movies were literally making a billion dollars.

That’s the entire issue with the Kelvin movies. They were hoping they could compete with Marvel and other franchises like that, but they couldn’t. Same time though they are literally paying the same budgets that those films cost, so eventually something just has to give. We know Star Trek will always have a ceiling unfortunately. They can still be bigger movies but they have to have budgets that reflect something more realistic of what a Trek movie can bring in if they want to keep making them. And clearly Paramount gets that now.

By all accounts, Robert Downey Jr. alone has made more than 50 million from each of the later MCU movies. I don’t know how of that is profit sharing (so not part of the initial budget). I’m also not suggesting that any of the Trek cast are anywhere near that level of stardom but it shows that cast salaries make up substantial parts of the budget of these large blockbusters.

And yet percentagewise, the cast accounts for less of the budget than the original TOS folk did by TUC. Meyer estimated above-the-line costs for TUC at 14 mil, which would be Nimoy/Shat/Kelley and I guess him, leaving barely that much more to actually make the whole movie. The whole idea of making a movie for a reasonable price must never have entered anyone’s head during the Kelvin era.

Yet SEBERG, a movie that while small in scale looks absolutely terrific, was made (and shot gorgeously on FILM!) for 9 mil last year. I’m pretty sure above-the-line probably worked for scale or deferred salaries or took points to get it made at that price, which would not have occurred to anyone at Paramount on TREK, but even so, the idea of frugality and making do with what you have never enters minds that are committed to cramming multiple setpieces into a story that doesn’t even need them all.

A really good film using the ST ID template would have had the brig scene with Kirk and Khan be the film’s centerpiece, like Batman and Joker during the latter’s interrogation, instead of winding up with maybe the most embarrassingly one-sided acting competition in TREK history with Cumberbatch’s eyebrow acting more skillfully than a wholly-out-of-his-depths Pine.

I’ve just read that Patrick Stewart made 13 or 14 million on Star Trek Nemesis. Add in all the others and you were probably looking at 30 million just for the cast. That movie had a budget of 60 million total, not 180 or 190 million like the Kelvin movies.
The new cast isn’t exactly cheap but it’s not what is breaking these movies financially.

Not disputing your conclusion at all, but I’d be surprised if 60 was the actual final figure on NEM, it was probably a bit higher than that. INSURRECTION is still listed officially as 58, but it cost something like 7 to 10 mil more than that due to all the added VFX and reshoots. Mysteriously, the budget shrunk back down to 58 officially after opening weekend when it was clear INS wasn’t going to pull in expected numbers.

NEM didn’t have a big budgetsucker like the Ba’ku village set, but Digital Domain was not a cheap VFX outfit (on RED PLANET, they actually had a deal where if the studio didn’t use at least a certain percentage of their work, it triggered a giant penalty payout, they clearly had some scary-smart/cunning lawyers), so the effects on NEM would have been a bigger outlay than on INS.

@kmart: Obviously, I don’t know if any of these numbers are true. Even if Nemesis cost a few millions more it’s clear that cast salaries contribute much less percentage-wise to the budget of Trek movies than they used to.

And yet Paramount refused to pay Pine and Hemsworth what they promised them and not only completely derail the last movie it possibly ended future movies with this cast.

I definitely agree with you, the cast salaries is not the bulk of these budgets but obviously they must be big enough to give Paramount pause just the same.

Apart from maybe lengthy negotiations, cast salaries are probably the easiest way to reduce a movie’s budget. You don’t need to change how you actually make the movie. You don’t need to change your script. But if your goal is to get down by, e.g., 50 million then cast salaries are obviously not going to cut it.
It’s clear that Paramount wanted to go cheaper on Trek 4 but it’s not clear how much cheaper they wanted to go. Using failed contract renegotiations as an excuse to shelf the project seems to me to be just that: an excuse. There were probably deeper issues.

Yes but scripts are changed all the time to reduce budgets, even when a movie is filming. Some may increase the budget but others try and do the opposite and find other ways to make the story a big cheaper.

But you’re right there probably was bigger issues too.

Not everyone wants to see Picard. Not a fan! Would like to see another film with good script with Kelvin cast. Not interested in seeing yet another rebooted cast or Discovery cast either.


The only Trek movie I want to see is with Pike, Una and Spock, lol!!

STRANGE NEW WORLDS IS YOUR GOLDMINE, Trek bosses!! Don’t “Pakled” it up!!

He was a good presence in the franchise, and Beyond wasn’t all that bad. Coming off STID, almost anything would have been better. Anyway, I agree with his comments. Oh, and I would love to read some of these movie scripts/ideas that never saw the light of day (especially Bob Orci’s).

You and me both! I am hoping that Orci’s abandoned Trek 3 script is made public at some point. Including some of the ideas referenced in the above article.

We’re moving on from the JJ/Orci/Pegg era to get a new take now on the Trek films anyway. He had his shot and it wasn’t very good, so I find this a tad hypocritical of him. Here’s a thought — maybe hiring a director who specializes in “sarcasm-armageddon films” to develop and direct a Star Trek movie wasn’t the best idea?

I like him acting as Scotty though.

He’s seeing where the movies went wrong and suggesting a course correction. That’s not hypocrisy, that’s learning from your mistakes.

Indeed: he’s looking at the three films, seeing what worked, what didn’t; what audiences responded to and what they didn’t, and suggesting a course of action for a sequel. Nothing wrong with that, and frankly, it’s exactly what they should be doing. They have a really good cast, I’d like to see a film that takes all the great elements from STB and expands on them.

Actually I didn’t even liked his Scotty, he was just too comedic in the role. Doohan infused the character with dignity and seriousness when needed, I didn’t see it in Pegg’s Scotty. He seemed to be goofing around all the time, this makes it kinda hard to convince the viewers that this guys is a chief engineer.

I did like his Scotty but I can’t disagree with you either, his role became too comedic. Scotty is definitely a more comedic character than the others but he also is very serious at times as well. With Pegg’s version, practically every line is a joke of some kind.

In fact that’s what always bothered me a little about these films, the characters feel too light hearted and comedic through practically everything. I mean I don’t want them brooding and deathly serious like most of the Discovery characters were like in season one but sometimes it feels more like watching people in a fraternity and not serious adults who is in charge of the Federation flagship.

Agreed. Pegg went overboard too often. He can be a good actor with a comedic bend; the scripts were too accommodating to have a hyper-spastic Scotty much of the time. (Jimmy Doohan had a nuanced comedic approach which didn’t veer into overkill in most scenes. Star Trek V… I blame the directing ;-) )

Trek V had one of the biggest laughs in any of the movies. It’s kinda slap-sticky but when he said “I know this ship like the back ‘o me hand” and then hit his head on the low beam… Sorry I laugh every time I see that.

The other thing that was funny was…
SPOCK: Ah! Mister Scott, I understand you’re having difficulty with the warp drive. How much time do you require for repair?
SCOTT: There’s nothing wrong with the bloody thing.
SPOCK: Mister Scott. If we return to Spacedock, the assassins would surely find away to dispose of their incriminating footwear and we will never see the Captain and Doctor McCoy alive again.
SCOTT: (without missing a beat) Could take weeks, sir.

When Doohan got an amusing line he didn’t miss.

I liked his performance, but it’s true, too goofy for the original Scotty.

Please remember Alex Kurtzman was on the same JJ/Orci /Pegg team. It’s not other people made those movies.

Yeah its so odd to me how people try to distinguish Kurtzman from everyone else behind those movies. He had the same clout and responsibility as the rest of them.

Now I WILL say he clearly learned some lessons and went a different way with the TV side but to a lot of people, its not different enough and to many others its still the same mistakes as the films, just in a different package. It’s amazing how many times (but not here) I have to explain to people these shows are not being run by Bad Robot and Abrams is not producing the shows. But there are still many people out there who believe it BECAUSE of course Kurtzman and Abrams did the films together (and they think the new shows suck). You can think the shows suck, but still should get the facts right.

But same time, if you hated those movies (and for the record I don’t) but like the shows, it’s disingenuous to get on Abrams, Orci, Lindeloff case and whoever but then pretend Kurtzman was just the coffee boy through all of it. He wrote the freaking films and he made tons of the decisions. He was the one who admitted he helped come up with the magic blood idea for STID. And then repeated it AGAIN in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Kurtzman has magic blood on his hands too.

Well said, Tiger2. In some way, JJ was doing Star Trek to get into Star Wars, Kurtzman and Orci are the real Trekkies, they were the ones doing the dirty work, the ones really making the movie. I think I read somewhere that Kurtzman and Orci are both (were/are) best friends, they went to school together, they know each other for a very long time.

I always say it was very unfortunate that Orci got so rude and ugly to the fans. Paramount as well, removing him permanently. STID was very dark, some people hated it. But for me, I enjoyed certain things very much.

Not Khan. But the speed, the special effects when the USS Vengeance showed up, it was amazing. We never saw so much beauty in Star Trek. When that big fat ship went to Warp Speed, I was very surprised! The Enterprise too, it looked fabulous. I admit it looked like an Apple Store, but who cares. The look of the film was outstanding. Also, the Kelvin cast, they were more relaxed and funny than the first one.

I hear that, but now that we see how JJ works and how Orci became kind of a nutcase, MY OPINION is that Kurtzman was not the issue there. And he’s learned.

Pegg wasnt the director.

JJ tried and was bad.
Now is the time of Kurtzman and Akiva, and they are both doing the same JJ mistakes.

I don’t know if this is good or bad actually, but I like Kelvin-Trek better than anything we’ve seen from Kurtzman and Akiva so far. That is not saying a lot, either. At least JJ-Trek remotely felt like what came before, imo. Holding out some hope for the Pike series, but I do not trust this team to go messing with pre-TOS canon. And they’ve yet to come up with solid cohesive sci-fi tales, generally.

You know, I also think the KU films (even STID) have been better than anything we have seen from Secret Hideout.

It’s true, ML. I am SO disappointed in what we’ve been handed over by CBS thus far.

re: J.J.

Not as bad as the incredibly torpid, anemic “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” disaster… And now J.J. is moving on to Warner Bros. and the DC Universe. **Ugh.**

I think Roberto Orci did a damn good job on “Star Trek” (2009). Sadly, not on “Star Trek: Into Darkness”.

But agreed on Kurtzman and Goldsman, esp Akiva Goldsman. And now Goldsman is involved with “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”. (Triple ***ugh.***) Let’s hope Anson Mount has some production credit/power to contractually stand up to bad story/direction decisions.

The only thing about this is I’m stunned as hell that this is the first time someone has publicly said what I, and I feel a lot of fans as well, thought was the most obvious thing on Earth.

no dis on Yelchin, but I for one would be fine with no Chekhov in the next. It seems with the films, by the time you give all of the characters a moment, plus the guest star, plus the usually horrible “set pieces” there isn’t room for a good story.

back in the day, they were called supporting players for a reason. Not everybody needs the same amount of screen time

If they were to go with the Kelvin crew again, it seems to me an obvious way to move forward with them would be to put Jaylah in Chekov’s spot. At the end of Beyond, she was being groomed for service in Starfleet, and the character seemed popular in media at the time of the film.

‘…Jeff Russo, who works closely with Hawley, said he had spoken to Hawley about the story for his Star Trek film and found it “exciting.”’

Lemme guess…

“There’s this big, nasty mean guy who’s got this HUUGE ship that no one even knows exists! This ship is WAAY more powerful than the Enterprise and could blow it up in two shots!!”

when it comes to star trek movies shouldn’t we all stop listening to these people? big small on off new cast old cast it’s all over it’s not all over Tarantino no Tarantino maybe Tarantino… jesus… what people want and what people speculate will have nothing to do with what’s going on behind the scenes. paramount films has been in chaos and turnover and something will happen… i’ll take whatever they give me. im just gonns keep watching picard over and over. but fingers crossed for that ds9 movie lol

I’ve liked all three, and each one got better. I know most people think ID was worse, but I liked it as a sci-fi action flick quite a lot. I tend to view each iteration of Trek in a vacuum as much as possible (it’s also the only way to enjoy TOS and TAS).

I really REALLY liked the way the cast grew in BEYOND though, and would love to see them a more mature versions of these characters, now that it’s been more than a decade since the first one. A fourth film in 2023, with a middle-aged versions of these characters (Pine would be 42), has a lot of potential.

Stay AWAY from villains though. If you’re going to do a remake or be inspired by anything, how about the Ultimate Computer?

Can someone give him the franchise and take it away from the hands of bad robot and secret hideout?

The word “duh” comes to mind. Star Trek will never be Star Wars or Marvel, and I don’t want it to be. Paramount and CBS must understand that and stop trying to hit all the demographics with Star Trek. It’s simply not for everyone and it should not be.

For Beyond, the budget could have been cut in half and they still would have had the same basic movie, made the same box office, but walk away with a LOT more in the pocket. Most people agree the best parts of Beyond were basically the cheapest: when the crew were separated in the middle and also when the crew got the Franklin running and the bridge stuff on the Franklin. I think that the Enterprise also did not need to crash, the Yorktown effects drastically reduced, the motorcycle dropped, etc. Basically all the spectacle stuff, while cool, did not add much to the enjoyment of the movie.

But Star Trek might be better on the small screen for now. IF anything, I hope that the Pike show “Strange New Worlds” be set up for a nice movie series in five years or so.

Exactly, Star Trek will never be Star Wars or Marvel. Disney can keep Star Wars and Marvel. CBS should take it seriously

Star Trek is not for everyone. It doesn’t have appeal to every demographics out there. The films are a wasted potential.

Star Trek is better off on TV for now. That Pike show “Strange New Worlds” is faithful to what Star Trek is meant to be.

I do not think that TV is the answer. If it were not a streaming channel, maybe but not everyone is going to subscribe to this service just to see Star Trek and if younger generations are not introduced to it then fandom for Star Trek will die out. I do not and will not subscribe to the all access channel. I do not have any desire to see any of the streaming shows even though I have been a fan of Star Trek since its first episode in 1966. I also think fans are getting tired of all the articles coming out with conflicting info. agree with Torri Riker’s comment. Enough with all of the is-isn’t-maybe being reported. By the time movie does(or does’t) get made I’ll probably have lost interest in seeing it at all.

You can watch the whole season of Picard (plus all of Discovery if you like) for the price of a movie ticket.
Arguing that Trek movies are better because Trek TV is no longer on free TV doesn’t really make sense.

sam 20 again. Sorry to TOM Riker for misreading his name. Eyesight horrible this morning when I responded to his post.

So, when you wade through all the chatter, Hawley Trek seems dead in the water, too.

And not to say “I told you so”, but less spectacle means a Trek movie made for 100-125MM. That’s what I’ve been saying all along, that when someone steps up and says I’ll do it for that, another Trek movie will be made. So far, no takers.

LOL Phil you did tell us. Even I was sure another movie was happening soon, but this was back in 2018. ;)

The Kelvin films seem dead now. I think Paramount has moved on from them.

Another movie with Pegg & the rest of the cast is still possible on a lower budget. Try doing it for $100-125m or just above no need for endless VFX blowouts just aim for another TWOK story with way more crew interaction with each other & a few lengthy scenes will reduce a lot of budget!

There is no reason it can’t be made more economically. The CGI in “Beyond” was okay, but didn’t really justify another $50 million (or whatever) on the budget. A bunch of extras in alien costumes might actually have been better that Krall’s CGI army.
Also, spending a goodly amount of your budget for a name actor like Idris Elba only to conceal him under 10 pounds of latex and fake fangs which made him unintelligble for 95% of his screen time? Not the smartest move there, Bad Robot. The Yorktown was nice, but a simple CGI updating of Spacedock would have been just as cool and not nearly so extravagant a cost.

Spot on with Elba

Didn’t I just say that? For about three years now?

had Beyond been the Orci/Shatner Alt realties movie (that would’ve continued the MW/QM stuff from ST09) itd have had awesome trailers and would’ve broken the 500m mark.. with Beyond the trailers sucked and audiences did not want to see Insurrection II. and it did to the film franchise what even Trek V and Nemesis couldn’t manage .. zero zero’d it

“had Beyond been the Orci/Shatner Alt realties movie (that would’ve continued the MW/QM stuff from ST09)”

English translation, please?

Alt realities = alternate realities. MW =Many Worlds. QM = Quantum Mechanics

I agree with him. The next trek movie needs to take queues from Voyage Home and some from II & VI.

No elements of TVH. Just… None. Good God don’t do that.

Just make a smaller more character driven story. Not duplicating WoK in story or even elements of the story. But make it like WoK in terms of character and less universe ending stakes.

We had “less universe ending stakes” in INSURRECTION. All that did was to underwhelm the audience, although the corny humor didn’t help.

The stakes in Insurrection wasn’t the problem.

And TNG humor was nearly always bad.

At the rate things are going we will be lucky if another movie is out before 2025.

It’s crazy how fast and big the TV side has gotten. Discovery only aired 2 seasons so far and there are now seven, yes SEVEN shows are in production on some level (assuming Section 31 will still happen) and that’s not even including Short Treks. But nearly four years on since Discovery premiered, its only been one false start after another for another film.

I know a movie will happen at some point, but who knows when? Hopefully the Hawley movie is not DOA but again who knows?

And Hollywood is odd sometimes. If the Hawley movie is indeed still a possibility then why not let the cast know if they are in it or not? Wouldn’t just be smart if they are in it to let them know so they can at least work out a deal and open up possible filming dates BEFORE the guy finishes the script? Wasn’t that literally the problem with the last time? They couldn’t get Pine and Hemsworth on board with a script they already wrote and the whole thing had to be axed? They are no longer under contract so its not the same as before. But I guess this is just how things works.

But it probably does suggest they aren’t in it either as Peg is saying.

I think that you are probably right about the timing of the next Trek movie, if we see one at all. We seem to be at an inflection point where the whole notion of what a theatrical movie is is in flux. With Paramount and CBS back together and starting a unified streaming service I could see them making Trek movies for the streaming platform, maybe with a theatrical release, or maybe not.

I hope I’m wrong and a movie does happen in the next 2-3 years but not holding my breath either. I really want the Hawley movie to happen, but I think everyone is skeptical for many reasons at this point. But clearly Paramount is still hesitant because you don’t have to wait for a movie script to be written to green light a movie. Hell, these days it’s a rare event they even know what the movie will even be about before they announce it and give it a date. Studios are announcing movies to come out 2-5 years from now with firm dates in place and sadly Paramount won’t even say if this movie even has a green light or not? Or if the cast they had for the last thirteen years and three films is even involved?- Not a lot of confidence there.

And yes as you said, things are changing greatly in the media world. Thanks to the Coronavirus the idea of how important movies going to theaters are being tested now that we have the technology to get anything we want at home. I don’t think movie theaters are going anywhere anytime soon but streaming will become the dominant media form in the next few years and studios are probably thinking they will start making more money in the long run if they can cut out the middle man and keep all the revenue by everything delivered on the platforms they own. All the rage of the Justice League Snyder cut being released is more proof of that. Normally something like that would be shown in the theaters or Blu ray and instead it’s going to HBO Max. The media world is definitely changing.

Star Trek is such a tough nut to crack for a broader market, although it’s done it before with the 80’s TOS Movies. It came down to a charismatic cast backed by an intriguing story and great spectacle (for the time). But that was then, and what worked then won’t work today. It’s always very hard to tell a great original story with an established property so it ends up relying on spectacle to draw broader audiences. And ultimately that’s really the point of Star Trek on film, it has to be big. If it can’t be big and successful, then it’s hard to make a spot for it on theaters when they can do that with their numerous well-funded TV properties.

Star Trek is still very much an American Liberal franchise. It does poorly with traditionalists and most non-Americans. It will never be a global behemoth that is universally known.


What are you talking about!? I have Trekkie friends from all over the world. Chinese, Bolivians, Peruvians, Japanese, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, just to mention a few!

Exactly. Trekdom is not liberals. As much as some wish IDIC applies to it whether they like it or not. And it does rather well in the English speaking countries. Less so in the others but there are their share of fans there.

Star Trek fans are a diverse bunch. You have friends in high places.

I am a Turkish Trekkie by the way :))

I disagree with you there.

That’s one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard.

You don’t have to make it political. The liberal conservative thing is tribalism. Star Trek being progressive is a better word for it.

We could get another Star Trek movie in the next 5 years. The TV side of Star Trek is alive and well.

CBS is really committed to Star Trek on television. If only Paramount can do the same.

Marvel will always be my favorite but Star Trek comes first.

“Marvel will always be my favorite but Star Trek comes first.”

This makes no sense.

Bryant Burnette it does make sense. You don’t understand what I mean.

Marvel has a special place in my heart but Star Trek comes first. Star Trek should arrive for equality and justice.

Star Trek Beyond was okay. I would like to see a Pike and Spock movie.

If Star Trek comes first, Star Trek is your favorite. That’s how favorites work. If Marvel is your favorite, Marvel comes first. That’s how favorites work.

Faze has had a little too much LDS…

Wonder what the Tarantino movie was about. They could have chose to do it with someone else as Director. Since they chose not to I guess the Story by QT credit was not enough of a draw.

Me too. I’d love access to all the scripts which never saw the light of day. Probably some gems.

Star Trek Into Darkness took nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. And who knows how much more on home video.

Star Trek Beyond – whilst underperforming still took $385m worldwide or so.

So they can make the big numbers – they just spend too much on them..

..and with Star Trek Beyond – hardly promoted it at all…

But yes – The Wrath of Khan cost something like $11m in 1982. Which would still be less than $50m in today’s money.

The problem with 385MM in WW box office, is that that probably made the project close to break even for theater revenue. While I have no doubt the production made money for Paramount, the studio has made it clear they expected more.

I think that the JJ team missed a *lot* of opportunities to turn the franchise into –if not Marvel — something like Marvel. For starters, consider the four-year gap in between ST09 and STID. All they did was lose momentum. The product placement ties-in seemed near-invisible. BEYOND came at the 50th anniversary of the franchise; there was zero marketing of this milestone.

To be sure, this wasn’t the only problem; the poor STID script, and the whitewashing of Khan, didn’t help. But I never saw any attempt to build a sense of anticipation for any of the sequels.

The whitewashing of Khan may have angered some Trek fans but I don’t think it had any hand in STID not reaching Marvel-level success.

The ST09 was a fun movie and a huge sucess. However, it was from Boxoffice outperformed by STID. STB then underperformed.
If looking from movie to movie, it can also be read as, ST09 raised expectations, that was STID was attracting even more people. Unfortunately, it disappointed a lot, so STB could not benefit from any good lead in.
Secondly, I thin kthe timespan between the movies was to high. And coming to the last point STB marketing campain totally failed with getting anything out ot the 50th birthday.

Mixing this three factors, I see nothing in Simon Pegg point. His movie was well done, personally I liked it from the three the most, but failing with this three points the mistakes have been made clearly in other areas, than coming down to saying that are movies for a niche.

It’s a little more complicated than that. STID had a much higher international box office gross and a much lower domestic box office gross than ST2009. And you see, the profit range is higher for the domestics box office. Additionally, STID cost $40 million more than ST2009 to produce.

Based on all this, I suspect that ST2009 actually made more profit, but it’s certainly possible that this is basically a wash in guesstimating the profit of each.

For STID for the first time there was a concerted effort to market the movie to non-English speaking countries. That effort obviously paid off. Then you get Beyond… Where there was little promotion even in the USA.


The missed opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek was very dumb. Have Kurtzman et al. ever talked about it? Imagine the 50th anniversary of Star Wars in 2027 would be ignored the same way…

Hard to disagree there. The 50th should have been played up big time. Yet it wasn’t even mentioned anywhere in the promotional material. Not even in the credits. Even Bond had a little 50th logo thing at the end of Skyfall.

Disgraceful, the way the 50th anniversary was treated. Just awful. For shame.

So true! And it’s so mindboggling because clearly Paramount wanted the movie to premiere in 2016 because they knew that was the 50th anniversary….and yet did literally NOTHING to promote that fact. Even Pegg said that was a stupid move and didn’t understand why since it would get more people interested in the movie.

The entire marketing for Beyond was just bizarre and partly why the movie did so poorly.

the 50th anniversary movie was kind of easy to get right imo: just do a movie that would celebrate Treks history and be big in terms of events in the Trekverse. the best way to do that? time travel (the most popular Trek movies/eps are timetravel related and would make sense with the 50th as youd want to revisit TOS stuff somehow). Orci had the right idea in having Shatner returning as Kirk Prime due to MW/QM stuff (a twist that would entice even non fans as Shatner was/is still a big f**king deal and even non fans would’ve seen some of the previous movies with him), then mix in some TOS stuff like the Guardian, Klingons and/or Romulans as the big bad (probably the klingons after what happened to them in STID but maybe the romulans too as it would tie in back to the ST09/Nero time travel stuff) and maybe stuff like the original movie Enterprise (how? idk.. its timetravel/alt reality stuff) and maybe even Pine&Co revisiting certain episodes/movies in that BTTF 2/Trials&Tribuations way.

Then for the trailers showing front of Star Wars VII – no eval kinival motorbike rock songs..instead glimpses of stuff mentioned above. and ending with Shatner (like Ford in TFA trailer)

forgot that Avengers EG also did that revisiting past movies thing and that was kind of based on All Good Things so that sort of in keeping with that going back to the past to celebrate/conclude the series thing (since Beyond looks to be the last Kelvin movie they may as well have wrapped it all up as a trilogy like TDK – which was kind of the idea to emulate TDK trilogy from the outset anyway.)

The 40th Anniversary of Star Wars happened in 2017 we did not get the original version. This year 40th Anniversary of Empire Strikes Back and no original version. I doubt Star Trek is the same. You can get the original version of TOS along with the remastered on blu ray. The only version available of the Star Wars trilogy is the 2020 Special Edition. With all the cartoon effects added since 1997, 2004 and 2011 and Han shooting second and Greedo shouting Macklunky.

But it supposedly has a $120 million marketing budget…where did that money go?!

Isn’t that what he said we were going to get with STB?

Smaller and less of a spectacle than Kirk dirtbiking around a Vancouver area quarry?

“Beyond” was relatively low key… other than destroying the Enterprise yet again.

I’ve been watching Star Trek for 30+ years and I’m still to embarassed to ask in online forums for people to explain the Idris Elba Krall character to me.

I tried reading the endless dialogue in this forum back in 2016 after the premiere… but I still literally barely understand the villain, his motivation or how he became who he is.

Without exaggeration, all I have a grasp on is a vague cloud of “he’s former Starfleet… stranded on the planet that somehow dicked with his DNA… and he feels Starfleet abandoned his crew??? Do I have that right? I honestly don’t have any clearer vision in my head than that.

I was so confused at the end of the movie of why it was even about what it was. The antagonist was so overwhelmingly undefined and the motivation seems so loose and questionable.

To me, this is what the problem has been for the past number of Star Trek movies. Hardcore fans and casual viewers MUST leave the movie going… why was the heavy so angry????

All Kirk-era Star Trek movies, good or bad… I understood what the real problem was and why.

V’Ger was a bit of a handful… Khan was a crazed ego-maniac who blamed Kirk for everything…. Krudge was a dick…. the Whales needed to be saved… Sybok needed a ride to go hang with God…. Klingons/Starfleet conspiring to keep war going after Praxis… after that… except for First Contact… everything literally falls apart with silly situations.

Generations… the Nexus is a big silly plot hole that can solve itself.
Insurrection… I can get behind a bit more… but lots of questionable decisions all the way around. More corrupt Admirals. And goofy singing.
Nemesis is a joyless hot mess. Abrams ’09 has so much cool stuff… but again… Nero contradicts his own revenge plot by going back in time and not just saving Romulus. Khan 2012… MORE corrupt Admirals… and Khan is just an angry unintelligent bully.

Can’t we just have a good story? Not confusing villains that want to destroy the Enterprise. The Enterprise is the flagship. I don’t know that it needs to get it’s ass handed to it EVERY single movie. Not such a great ship in the movies.

Do they not want to write out a script and not run it by a few people for gaping plot holes and contradictions? It being Star Trek, this seems to be key.

I’m rambling now. Anyone reading my garbage still at this point?

no one knew what the hell Krull was up to on that planet of quarrys or what his beef with the Fed was. not Kirk not Elba not the audience not even Pegg lol

Krall as a character was just as confusing to understand as how the Nexus worked. I have to assume there is tons of deleted footage of explaining all the things he did and why? So much of who is and his actions made no sense other than that’s what the script said.

the weird macguffin made little sense either. it wasn’t until the 2nd or 3rd viewing that I realised the thing kirk was giving the comedy dogs at the start was the same thing Krull (I know its Krall but I like Krull better) wanted. and that it did some weird disintegration thing. and that it came from Krulls planet. maybe. and those robot army he just happened to find on the planet. and didn’t want to leave because he didn’t know how to repair the ship or was waiting for Starfleet to get him or.. idk.

The good part of Beyond all concerned the E’s crew. Krall was sort of just there to give them something to to fight against together. His plan made no sense. And it was not clear in any way why he transformed into the lizard man or why he was returning to become more human. I found out later but in the movie it made no sense. Plus, his plan supposedly was to show that humans are better off alone but destroying Yorktown station wouldn’t have that effect. It would draw everyone even more together. So I really had a lot of trouble understanding what he was really trying to do. Krall was not very well thought out at all. Pegg got the crew stuff down pretty well. But he had zero clue about how to piece together a good antagonist. Krall was the weakest link in Beyond.

How about filming a good movie with a good script? The 3 Kelvin Timeline Movies weren’t that great and that’s the reason we don’t have a 4th yet.

Now that Viacom and CBS are under one umbrella maybe we can get a better movie that is more of what Gene Roddenberry envisioned Star Trek to be….

Depending on who you ask here CBS isn’t doing any better with their Trek shows than Paramount with the Kelvin movies.

It should be so small that it doesn’t exist. No movie should be happening until they reign in the disorganized, existing mess that Star Trek currently is.

Lukas thinks Kelvin universe has done enough damage and thinks next film should be canned (which lets be honest, it probably will be at this point)

Give us a film set after Picard in the Prime Universe. Worf on the Enterprise E anyone?

Gee, Simon – that’s what Paramount did in 1980 after ST:TMP – A smaller, (and with way less budget) film and brought in TV people to produce the next Star Trek Film – and being overseen by the TV Division, but released theatrically, we got STAR TREK II:THE WRATH OF KHAN – which made more money dollar-for-dollar than ST:TMP did. (and STAR TREK III:THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK which did almost as well was also done the same way.)

Perhaps you have the right idea! :)

Herb Flynn,

Re:which made more money dollar-for-dollar than ST:TMP

Impossible. TMP made 20 to 40, depending on whether you go by Paramount or The National Theater owners, million dollars on the blind bid upfront BEFORE they started rolling the cameras. Any ticket receipts from exhibitions, after that, was pure gravy. Paramount’s only real beef with it was that it didn’t make CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND or STAR WARS money.