Today the previously announced Star Trek feature film set to be released in the Holiday season of 2023 took a big step forward. [NOTE: The Article has been updated to include additional details]
Star Trek 2023 taking shape
It may finally be happening. Today during an investor day event for ViacomCBS (now being renamed Paramount), producer J.J. Abrams announced plans to start production on the next Star Trek feature film by the end of the year. According to Deadline, the planned film will bring back the crew of the previous three Star Trek movies, with talks underway with Chris Pine to reprise the role of James T. Kirk. Deadline also reports the plan is to bring back Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, John Cho as Sulu and Simon Pegg as Scotty.
So far there are no details available regarding the plotline, beyond the inclusion of the Kelvin cast. Last month Simon Pegg talked about how the cast has been eager to reunite again:
We would all love to get back to it again, albeit with some sadness because of losing Anton (Yelchin). I always wish I could give you something more definite, but we just don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.
UPDATE 2: Official announcement
The new Star Trek feature film was listed among the many new projects announced during the investor day event in an official press release from Paramount. The release listed a number of projects under the description “New blockbuster franchise expansions also unveiled today include:” with the following for the 2023 film:
STAR TREK – the next theatrical film, with Matt Shakman directing and J.J. Abrams producing, will feature the original cast and new characters.
This bullet point on Star Trek is a bit more definitive about the inclusion of the Kelvin cast, with no caveats. So even assuming talks are underway with the cast as indicated by the Hollywood trades, Paramount appears confident enough to make this announcement to the investor community and to the media.
UPDATE: Abrams promises something “never seen before”
According to Variety, Paramount did market research to gauge interest to help decide how to move forward, including if they should bring back the Kelvin crew. Eventually executives “determined that there was still lasting audience enthusiasm for Pine, Quinto and the rest of the cast in their established roles, which allowed the studio to feel comfortable with moving forward with bringing them back.”
Variety also reports on Abrams comments during the investor event:
We are thrilled to say that we are hard at work on a new ‘Star Trek’ film that will be shooting by the end of the year that will be featuring our original cast and some new characters that I think are going to be really fun and exciting and help take ‘Star Trek’ into areas that you’ve just never seen before. We’re thrilled about this film, we have a bunch of other stories that we’re talking about that we think will be really exciting, so can’t wait for you to see what we’re cooking up. But until then, live long and prosper.
New script with new writers
Last year Abrams hired WandaVision’s Matt Shakman to helm the film. It was also reported last year that a script had been written by Lindsey Beer (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser) and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel). But according to today’s Variety, the current script was written by Josh Friedman (Avatar 2) and Cameron Squires (WandaVision), based on the earlier draft by Beer and Robertson-Dworet.
The last news out of Paramount regarding the movie was when the studio moved the release date from the summer to December 22, 2023. Starting production by the end of 2022 would still allow for Paramount to meet that release date.
There have been many stops and starts with Star Trek feature films at Paramount with a number of different projects in development since 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. However, this is the first time Paramount has put a Star Trek film on their release calendar since Beyond, and bringing Abrams into the investor day event also indicated this project has momentum.
We will keep track of this project and provide updates when possible.
Find more news and analysis on upcoming Star Trek feature films.