With the big Picard Legacy Blu-ray box set coming next week, the TrekMovie All Access Podcast team had a chance to speak to Emmy-winning makeup designer James MacKinnon about his work on the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. We will be posting the full interview in the coming days. During our chat, MacKinnon veered away from the subject of Picard into the on-again/off-again Star Trek 4 project at Paramount Pictures.
MacKinnnon talks Star Trek 4 start-and-stop in 2022
Early in James MacKinnon’s career, he began working as a prosthetics makeup artist on Star Trek. He garnered his first (of thirteen) Emmy nominations for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1997, working under the legendary Michael Westmore. He has since worked on Trek feature films (including First Contact and the 2009 Star Trek movie) as well as multiple Trek TV shows (including Discovery and Picard). When asked if he expects to work on any upcoming Trek TV shows, he said he doesn’t expect to work on either the Section 31 movie or the Starfleet Academy series, primarily due to the costs involved in bringing him and his Los Angeles-based team into those Toronto productions, but he made clear he was interested, saying “If they don’t cry poor, I’ll work on another Star Trek show.”
MacKinnon then revealed he is still hoping to work on new Star Trek, but back on the big screen, revealing he had been set to work on Star Trek 4:
“Maybe the Star Trek feature with Chris Pine comes back in the mix, if they can get that thing written… I was hired for one week, and then I was fired, because that shut down. But maybe that happens again. Well, we’ll see. I don’t know… We were getting ready to start prepping that movie, Star Trek 4.”
MacKinnon confirmed he was hired to work on the most recent iteration of the Star Trek feature film set in the Kelvin universe while Matt Shakman was still the director, working under producer J.J. Abrams. The makeup designer explained what happened:
“We were supposed to shoot in the middle of  and it was supposed to come out the following year , but I think a script rewrite went in a different direction.”
Shakman exited the project in August of 2022. While aligning the busy schedules of all the actors has often been cited as the big reason for the film’s delay, MacKinnon’s comment about a script rewrite is more evidence that there have been additional creative issues plaguing the production, possibly leading to Shakman’s exit to go work on Marvel’s upcoming Fantastic 4 movie. Late last year, actress Zoe Saldaña (Uhura) suggested the delay was more than just schedules, saying “it probably has something else to do with the project,” and over the summer, actor Zachary Quinto (Spock) also cited “different agendas” were holding back Star Trek 4.
More recently, Lindsey Beer (who co-wrote the first draft) said the project was “still on the tracks” at Paramount, and Variety has reported that Paramount hopes to get the film “quickly” back into pre-production pending some more script “fine-tuning” after the WGA strike wrapped up earlier this month.
Maybe MacKinnon will get his wish if the project gets going again. After winning 5 Emmys and running his own makeup and prosthetics business, doing another feature film is the one thing he hopes to tick off his Star Trek bucket list:
“I think that movie [Star Trek 4] would be the only thing. I don’t know what else I could do. I’m retiring in seven years anyway so I’m going to give my knowledge to these young kids, which is what Mike Westmore did to me when I first started with him back in the day. So it’s my turn to give back and teach the young kids what I can’t take with me and let them ride the wave. When I was younger those were the artists were who I wanted to be and now these young kids want to be me. I guess, if that makes sense? Yeah, you can’t take it with you.”
Picard Legacy box set arrives next week
The Star Trek: The Picard Legacy Collection arrives on November 7. It is described as “the definitive release for Next Generation fans.” The limited edition set includes 54 individually numbered Blu-ray discs and unique packaging that houses every TV series and film featuring Jean-Luc Picard. That includes 7 seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, 3 seasons of Picard, and the 4 TNG feature films along with over 35 hours of special features. This limited set also includes an exclusive edition of The Wisdom of Picard featuring brand new artwork and quotes, along with a one-of-a-kind deck of playing cards, a magnet sheet featuring all of Captain Picard’s badges and four custom Chateau Picard drink coasters.
It is available now for pre-order at Amazon for $199.95.
- All Series and Films Featuring Captain Jean-Luc Picard
- Star Trek: The Next Generation – Seasons 1-7
- Star Trek: Picard – Seasons 1-3
- Star Trek: Generations
- Star Trek: First Contact
- Star Trek: Insurrection
- Star Trek: Nemesis
- 35 hours of bonus features
- Premium Packaging Containing 54 Blu-ray Discs, 154 Episodes and Exclusive Collectables
- Exclusive Collectables:
- Magnetic Captain Picard Badges
- 4 Custom Chateau Picard Drink Coasters
- Custom Deck of Playing Cards
- Exclusive Version of The Wisdom of Picard, The Wisdom of Picard: The Legacy Collection Edition
- Featuring New Cover Art
- Including quotes from the latest seasons of Star Trek: Picard
Look for more from James MacKinnon about Star Trek: Picard soon here on TrekMovie.com and on the All Access Podcast.
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