Cate Blanchett And Rami Malek Might Have Starred In Noah Hawley’s Shelved Star Trek Movie

Back in 2019, after their first attempt at a sequel to Star Trek Beyond fizzled out, Paramount Pictures turned to critically acclaimed writer/director Noah Hawley to develop a brand new Star Trek movie based on an original idea with a new cast. But less than a year later, Paramount shut down Hawley’s project, moving back to the idea of bringing back the Kelvin crew for a fourth film. Now Hawley has revealed a bit more about what could have been, specifically about some of the big stars that could have appeared in the final frontier.

Big stars for Hawley Trek

On Thursday’s episode of the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast, Noah Hawley was the guest, there to talk about the latest season of his award-winning FX series Fargo. During the long discussion, Shepard asked Hawley if he had any advice for aspiring creatives on how to deal with the struggles of working in Hollywood, pointing out Hawley had written “big” feature films that didn’t materialize. Hawley started his talk of Hollywood “heartbreak” a bit sardonically, saying:

“Yeah, I mean, I was going to make a Star Trek movie with Cate Blanchett and Rami Malek. Could have had that, America.”

This is the first time either Malek or Blanchett have been mentioned in any relation to Star Trek. Hawley has previously confirmed he had a completed script and he was in the middle of “major casting” when the film was shut down in 2020. It’s not clear if either Blanchett or Malek had already signed on or were only in discussions. At that time Malek, who rose to fame as the star of the critically acclaimed series Mr. Robot, was just coming off his Oscar-nominated role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and followed up by playing the villain in the Bond movie No Time to Die.

Rami Malek in No Time to Die (MGM)

Cate Blanchett already had seven Oscar nominations and 2 wins when Hawley was putting together his Star Trek movie (she now has eight nominations). The Australian actress rose to global fame as Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and when Hawley was looking to bring her into Star Trek, she had recently played the villain Hela in the Marvel movie Thor: Ragnarok, along with being part of the gang in the heist movie Ocean’s 8. Needless to say, these would have been two talented, very high-profile stars to appear in Star Trek.

Cate Blanchett in Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.)

On the Armchair Expert podcast, Hawley did offer some advice about how to deal with Hollywood setbacks—and again mentioned his Star Trek movie:

“The best advice I can give you is don’t take it personally. Someone doesn’t like your script, it’s not you. They’re not saying they don’t like you. Someone doesn’t make your pilot, someone doesn’t greenlight your film, or they release your film, but they don’t promote it, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, yeah, I’ve had a ton of frustration and setbacks… Yeah, it can be very disconcerting and undermining of your sense of confidence, your sense of self. What Fargo has afforded me is a sense of arrival and security. Even if the Star Trek movie doesn’t go, or a film I wrote doesn’t do well, I’m not in danger of falling back down to the bottom.”

Back in 2021, Hawley offered some insight into how his Star Trek movie got shut down after Paramount brought in Fox executive Emma Watts to head up production:

“We were on the runway. There was major casting that we were in the middle of. We had a production schedule and I was getting ready to go to Australia. And then, as you said, new management. I guess in retrospect, what surprised me is not that Emma Watts came in and said, ‘Are you people crazy? This is a this is an untested crew. This is an original idea. We don’t know if this is going to work or not work.’ It’s that I got as far as I did under [former head of Paramount Motion Picture Group] Wyck [Godfrey] and [Paramount President] Jim [Gianopulos]. It was a really fun movie and I think it would have been a great film, but you can’t control these things. So we move on.”

Noah Hawley recording Armchair Expert

Since that time, both Emma Watts and Jim Gianopulos have been replaced at Paramount Pictures. After 2021, the studio returned to the idea of a direct sequel to Star Trek Beyond with the same cast. The latest news is that Paramount and producer J.J. Abrams are still hoping to make the “Star Trek 4” movie as the last film with the cast led by Chris Pine, and they are also developing an additional “origin film” set decades before that “expands on the Star Trek universe.”

As for Hawley, in addition to his acclaimed work on Fargo, he is now busy working on a different sci-fi franchise: He’s putting together a new TV series tied into the Alien franchise of movies for FX. His original Star Trek movie will remain one of those potential movie ideas, added to the list along with the Tarantino R-rated movie, and many others over the decades.


Find more news on all the upcoming Trek movies at TrekMovie.com.

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If they were getting ready to cast, doesn’t that usually mean the script is nearly finished? That would be something to read.

Typically, though not always.

I think a lot of writers write with someone in mind. But it’s rarely up to them, and even if they did audition who they wanted it will often be some suit who is massively disconnected from the franchise/life that will put the kibosh on it in favour of someone they THINK their superior knowledge deems better for no reason other than “I have the chequebook”

He definitely had a finished script. He has made some oblique but intriguing comments about how his story seemed unconnected to known Trek continuity for most of the narrative, but then revealed how it was connected at the end.

oh – dollars to donuts it was somehow connected to Khan

That’s disappointing to learn. I would have loved to have seen Cate Blanchett in a Star Trek movie. It’s also disappointing that the movie got cancelled because it was an “original idea”.

Trek Fans don’t like “original ideas”. They want the same old things over and over and over again. Starring the same old actors.

I would like Legacy, which would really only have one old actor, Jeri Ryan. The other characters are new characters introduced in 2020 or later.

Really, I just want Star Trek: The Third Generation, with a new crew and a new Enterprise, but I’ll settle for Legacy.

What you’re asking for is just a reboot of TNG. Same old Same old Same old. Trek needs original ideas not TNG in a new paint job.

Trek contains certain conventions and characteristics that make it Trek. If someone wants to make an outer-space series with no Starfleet, no starships, no prime directive, no Klingons, no Vulcans, etc, one is entirely welcome to do so; just call it something else. But if someone calls it “Star Trek,” then in my opinion they’re trying to piggyback on an already-known successful entity that comes with certain built in expectations.

Well, Trek could theoretically still be made with Starfleet and starships exploring strange new worlds BUT with an entirely new set of characters while introducing new alien species that might fail but might also catch fire with the public at large. It just takes the courage to try something a little different.

It was attempted before — starting in 1987.

And I would say nostalgia isn’t a “certain convention.” It’s largely become a marketing gimmick… FOR conventions. ;-)

Really, how is it a reboot of TNG with an all-new cast in an all-new setting (say, 100 years after TNG)? And why exactly can a third generation series not have original ideas? The franchise is Star Trek. If you want something else, go to Universal or Disney and campaign for them to launch a new sci-fi series. But if you want a new Star Trek, it should probably be about people trekking through the stars, otherwise why bother calling it Star Trek? (Hint: Paramount tried that before. Enterprise didn’t even have “Star Trek” in its title for Seasons 1 and 2. How’d that work out?)

it the writing and cast/characters that matter.
DS9 and TNG have set bar/blueprint for more ST in future, no pun intended

Agreed, but why does any of that rule-out a Star Trek: The Next Next Generation or whatever?

‘legacy’ looks like it could the way forward

I’m not sure the fans could be blamed for this since Paramount wants to draw in the biggest crowds who probably wouldn’t even consider themselves to be fans and wouldn’t know the difference between a photon torpedo and a phaser. I guess it wasn’t formulaic enough for those in charge.

In this instance it was the studio. New ideas are foreign to them.

“Trek Fans don’t like original ideas.”

Pretty much any time you feel a need to make an over-generalized statement like that, I recommend not doing so. Inevitably, such statements are incorrect.

Except it’s been shown to be true, over and over again.

It hasn’t. And if you really have that much disdain for Star Trek fandom, why are you here?

It has. Where have you been for the last 50 years?

No it hasn’t. I am a diehard Trek fan. I love to see new things and new adventures. I would have loved to see the Hawley Trek… even the Tarantino Trek. All new ideas and I would have loved to watch something new. Just so that you know, I am 57 and have been watching every incarnation of Trek since the beginning. I collect Trek stuff, read the books, buy the comics, go to conventions. Why can’t a Trek fans love both? I do. Your comment is very generalized and incredibly false.

Yeah, we got DSC. I’ll take same old, same old any day after that.

TNG was new. Fans came around. DS9 was the newest thing ever in Trek for its era. Fans loved it. Just because fans don’t seem to like *certain* new ideas today doesn’t mean you can make such a blanket black ands white statement.

On point my friend!

Loved TNG, VOY, DS9 and came around to really liking TOS and ENT. What do they all have in common?

N-E-W characters. No one is telling Paramount is all we want is Kirk or Picard or Janeway. We’ll happily take anything new as long as it’s good.

Discovery is not good. New characters or not.

Ya exactly. I’ll admit bud that I wasn’t a DS9 fan at first but IMHO I chalk that up more to the fact that Trek shows of the day just took a season or 2 to come into their own. But once they did they really ran with them! DS9 today like so many others is in my top 2. And back then it would have been blasphemy!

There is a difference between saying trek fans will not accept new characters vs not accepting new characters in a bad show or worse a bad show with a bad premise that breaks canon left and right.

Nope I had a harder time getting into DS9 as well. Only because it was so different from TNG and VOY.

But once I gave it a real chance, that’s what I ended up loving about it! It’s my second favorite show too.

And we fall in love with new characters all the time. It’s a huge reason why I love Lower Decks so much. They all have heart and fun to watch their stories. Tendi is now in my top 5 along with Janeway, Seven, Picard and the Doctor.

Give us great news characters and we will love them all like the old ones.

‘young minds, fresh ideas, be tolerant…’

You’re not to far off the mark with that observation.

He is incredibly far off the mark. Go read my comment above.

Well, that is what a Star Trek fan is … some casual viewer who does care about anything that came before, will want something different because of that. And some of those casual viewers are, for some inexplicable reason, tend to be all over these boards crapping all over the fans for what they like and what they want.

Weren’t there reports that this movie was about a plague and Paramount killed it because COVID-19 hit?

I don’t know about that. I’m only going by the quote in the article.

I believe I heard a similar rumor once.

It’s interesting though if true as Rami Malek starred in No Time to Die, which involved a potential plague / bioweapon. This would have meant Rami Malek would have been in two films with similar concepts.

Yep

I would welcome original ideas.

The studio probably thought it was too cerebral for the American movie audience.

Out of Paramount’s 47 movie announcements so far this one interested me the most. I was really excited about a movie with new characters. We never had that before.

Too bad it died but Paramount seems to enjoy announcing movies than actually making them. 🙄

Yes, and some well-respected actors as well. This is kind of a bummer.

A fresh writer with fresh ideas with a successful past did get me excited. But then again the last time that made it to theaters…. LOL

Yeah, I bet this was a lot better than whatever we’re gone get. But who knows?

Paramount sure likes the idea of another Star Trek movie, but apparently not enough to actually film one.

It feels like after the rise and fall of the Kelvin-verse they are being way overly cautious and frankly I don’t blame them. I’d rather have no trek movie than another bad one.

That’s the way I feel about the TV series. With the films, even if they’re bad, there’s usually some nice takeaway design-wise that merits rewatching (talking pre-Abrams.) It’s kind of like Roger Moore Bond movies … most of them suck and he is awful in them, but the ones that Ken Adam and Derek Meddings worked on offer a lot of visual eye candy, plus John Barry scores are nearly always choice.

I can say this much about the Kelvin movies, the Best thing Orci did was put them in their own Universe so whatever happens in them I can easily have my own detachment to them with ease. It’s not as easy with the TV shows which go back and forth in arguing whether they are or are not in the OG Prime Universe. I can take the small changes like the Gorn but the more drastic changes I need a huge gulp of water for.

Sir Rog did good with ‘spy/loved me’ and most of his 80s OO7 films

I think even the FLINT movies feel more like Bond than SPY WHO, which veers from full-on parody to bizarrely grotesque violence (Bond wasting four bullets on one villain, two in the crotch!) SPY and MR felt like catastrophes to me, and VIEW TO A KILL is probably a worse movie than these, it wasn’t till the Craig era that Bond somehow managed to get even worse than Moore. For me, the films that work do so because of Connery and Dalton (and Richard Maibaum and Terence Young), and if you want to include Pierce, well then count THE TAILOR OF PANAMA as his ‘real’ Bond movie, where he is a right bastard of a spy.

Moore did have a good scene in THE WILD GEESE where he makes a baddie eat his own heroin, and his impression of Clouseau in one of the later PINK PANTHER movies is a scream, but his 007 was more like what my wife — a longtime advocate of the lgbtq community, way even before they had the acronym figured out — calls Bond’s gay uncle.

Maibaum came back in the 80s with ‘eyes only’ and kept the films grounded by using elements of the short stories.

But he also did the same with ‘spy/loved me’ which had a more serious Sir Roger and mention of Tracy.

True, Sir Roger was too old in ‘view’ but he held his own against Walken

LICENCE is the last Bond movie I really loved (despite a lot of flaws, including how nobody thought to fix Dalton’s hair!), but I always wonder now much better it could have been if Maibaum hadn’t been taken out of the equation owing to the writer’s strike.

For me a lot of what constitutes pass/fail with playing Bond is very subjective. The scene where Bond picks up Solange in CASINO is a perfect ‘fail’ for me, because he seems anxious and comes off like Don Knotts. The scene with Moore and Bach when he admits to shooting her fiancee is another fail for me, despite the fact on paper it should work, and I assume that is due to his admittedly limited range as an actor — or that perhaps Maibaum would have crafted the words in a way more tailored to Moore than Christopher Wood was able to do.

I think EYES could have been a classic if they had recast with Dalton at that point, because the change in tone would have suited him ideally. Also, the idea of having more Dalton films, starting when he was in his 30s, seems wonderful to me, and would have helped keep costs down at a time when MGM started tightening the reins on UA, which went on for the whole decade after MOONRAKER’s runaway (36mil?) budget.

unfortunately dalton proved less of a draw as bond at the box office by end of the 80s.
he wanted to do a third and cubby, michael wanted him back as well but the financial shenanigans with MGM at the time got in the way.

I could never have expected the replies to go down a 007 rabbit hole, but I am here for it.

well, malek, former bond villain, almost ended up in ST and both bond and that franchise got into trouble in 1989

89 is the last time I loved a new Bond movie, and the last time I really really liked a new Trek movie. In spite of obvious failings in both ….

I have a real tendency to do that, sorry. I even referenced bond in my GENERATIONS article for Cinefex, saying the general plotline seemed more like a 007 flick than the kind of thing indicated they wanted in the ST TNG writer guide. What do you expect, I saw GOLDFINGER in the theater before I turned 4 years old and it is my second-oldest memory after the JFK funeral.

Man, I’d love to read or write the unmaking of his trek movie. An annotated script along with whatever concept art got done for it.

This is how you would get audiences interested in a Trek movie with no pre-existing characters.

Cate Blanchett would’ve played Dr. Elizabeth Dehner for the Star Trek kelvin movies.

That sounds like great casting!

Good shout. I could see that and perhaps Rami Malek would be Gary Mitchell?

Nice! That would totally work. I’m sure this was an original character, but her as Dehner is a brilliant idea.

She totally looks the part, right? And while the timelines might not add up in that universe, who cares, it’s a diff universe LOL.

Blanchett is almost 25 years too old for the role, given when the Kelvin films are set.

Hmm, it sounds like he may have been joking?

I don’t think he was joking. As he notes, he was in the middle of serious casting when Paramount pulled the plug because of management regime change.

Interesting, though I question if Paramount would have had the budget for those two actors given their history.

Welp, Paramount prob wasn’t in quite the condition back then that it is now. P+ did a LOT of damage to it financially.

Does nothing for me this news. What I like about Trek is that I’ve not known 95% of the cast over the series and films. The first time I watched DS9 and all these unknown names then COLM MEANEY! Great! VOY, ENT etc barely know one name. If it’s all well known (to me at least) names then it almost becomes ‘insert actor name here’ in Trek.

Even S31 only has 1 i know – Rob Kazinsky. An actor who in fairness still pops up in the show he gained fame from every now and again, even after going to Hollywood when most others in the same position never do.

Colm Meaney had been on TNG for six years before joining DS9, and by that time he’d already made a name for himself in films such as The Commitments, Under Siege, The Last of the Mohicans, Far and Away, and The Snapper, with a prominent role in the miniseries Scarlett during DS9’s first season. He was an established actor by the time DS9 started, both on and off Star Trek.

Avery and Rene were hardly unknowns. Heck, they made Avery change his look because they thought he would look to similar to the last popular show he was on.

And while you couldn’t really see Rene’s face under the makeup, you could still tell it was him, certainly via his voice.

Andy Robinson was pretty well known in genre films as well.

I would have loved to see Noah Hawley’s movie. I don’t understand why they want to bring back the Kelvinverse. I guess because Paramount thinks the fans want explosions, lens flares, and big ship battles.

IMHO it’s not the fans Paramount is interesting in attracting, it’s the greater audience who they believe are interested in explosions and what not, And ever since the age of the MCU they are right.

A Star Trek fronted by two recent(ish in the case of Blanchett) Oscar winners with a script written and directed by one of the better American writers of the 21st century… what could’ve been.

I might be wrong here, but wasn’t Nemesis written by an Oscar winner of Gladiator? I tried googling it but I’m having an off day today lol.

Logan is a three-time Academy Award nominee (2000 – Gladiator, 2004 – The Aviator, 2011 – Hugo).

Ahh ok thanks for the correction!

And, unfortunately for the Nemesis script, a Trek fan.

An original idea for a Star Trek movie? Fans don’t want that. They want the same old characters, same old storylines, same old, same old.

New = bad

According to the article, Hawley implied that it was the studio that didn’t want to take a chance on an original idea for a Trek movie. I doubt the fans were even a factor in that decision.

I realise that. Studios and fans, neither want anything new. Just legacy and nostalgia.

Yep. We’ll pay big money to see things we’ve seen before: “I recognize that!!!”

Just curious, Emily. Since you tend to fan bash others. When you say that “fans don’t want that” basically states that you are not a fan. So tell us, Emily, what do you like about “Star Trek”? Or are you just a Sci-Fi fan that came an across an episode or a movie that you liked. I am guessing you prefer something more generic in terms of Sci-Fi.
If we go by your definition – you are not a “fan” because only “fans” want something with the same old, same old. So why are you here?

Stars don’t always make a movie, esp a Star Trek movie. IIRC Tom Hanks was the OG choice for First Contact. But we still got a great movie without him. Whoopi Goldberg was in Generations and, well, nuff said there…

Whoopi already had proven on-screen chemistry with Sir Patrick Stewart. I would argue her presence was not the problem with Generations.

star trek fans want something different… but tbh they also complain non-stop when they get something new and different… so it’s kind of a no-win scenario… but i’m hoping whoever gets paramount just greenlights them all… hawley’s movie and tarantino’s and the fabled trek 4 with kirk and dad… and this new one they just announced…

it’s amazing with all the changed studio heads in 40 years and ups and downs in the films qualities and the change in the business that we actually have 13 movies

Rami Malek is attractive. We were robbed.

“This is the first time either Malek or Blanchett have been mentioned in any relation to Star Trek.” FWIW, I remember hearing about Cate a while back regarding this movie, probably at least a year ago. I was really bummed that she wouldn’t get to join the Trek universe. Who knows, maybe she can find another way in someday.

Noah Hawley also wrote a Doctor Doom movie apparently that got shelved, so he has had some really high-profile projects fall apart. As he notes, that seems to be the normal Hollywood creative process and no reflection on his excellence as a writer-director.

Ah geez! Two of my favorite things. My favorite actress and my favorite franchise. Kill me!!!

Yep. Although she’s arguably been a little over the top in some genre stuff (Crystal Skull, Ragnarok, LOTR).

Also, I like Michelle Yeoh, but Blanchett in Tar was the best performance that year.

Care did what was asked of her in those films

Would I have loved a Star Trek film with Cate Blanchett? Dude, I’d watch a movie of Cate Blanchett eating a sandwich and drinking tea for two hours.

I’m still convinced a 14th feature film isn’t happening in any configuration.