Paramount is still working on a fourth Star Trek movie set in the Kelvin universe, but the current “Star Trek 4” project is actually the second attempt at a direct sequel to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. Back in 2018, Paramount was working on a different concept, and there was a report that actress Danai Gurira was up for a role. TrekMovie was able to confirm those reports and got the actress to open up a bit about her almost-brush with Star Trek.
Danai Gurira was almost in Star Trek 4
Shortly before Star Trek Beyond was released in the summer of 2016, Paramount announced plans for a follow-up film which would include actor Chris Hemsworth. By 2018, producer J.J. Abrams had a script, hired a director (S.J. Clarkson), and had plans to start filming in early 2019. In July 2018, it was reported that Danai Gurira was in talks for a role. At the Saturn Awards on Sunday, TrekMovie talked to the actress and she confirmed the Star Trek discussions:
“I was in talks… I don’t know how far along they were, but that was looking to happen. I was quite excited about it, but then that entire film didn’t happen.”
Gurira confirmed that the Star Trek 4 she was in talks for was the version of the film that featured Chris Hemsworth reprising his role (from 2009’s Star Trek) of George Kirk, father of James T. She didn’t offer specifics on her potential role but talked about why she was drawn to the character:
“I was very excited to do it. She was going to be very different from me in many ways. You know, it’s Star Trek, man. It was cool… It was a very exciting idea and story and I was excited about the character.”
While Gurira was in talks for Star Trek, the actress was getting a lot of buzz for her role as Wakandan general Okoye in the mega-hit movies of the year Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Just a month after she was first reported to be in talks for Star Trek the project started unraveling after salary negotiations with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth stalled. Even though that Star Trek 4 project fell apart, the actress told TrekMovie she is still interested in playing a role in a Star Trek movie.
Gurira also said she has kept up with her former The Walking Dead cast member Sonequa Martin-Green, who has led Star Trek: Discovery for five seasons:
“She’s my friend. She’s my sister. Yeah, I love Sonequa… Yeah, we check in with each other, she’s amazing. She doing it [Star Trek]. She’s done it.”
Gurira will next be seen in The Walking Dead spinoff series The Ones Who Live, where she reprises her role as Michonne and reunites with Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. She offered her pitch for why Walking Dead fans and beyond should check it out when it premieres on AMC on February 25:
“If you love The Walking Dead, you will love it, becuase it’s The Walking Dead plus this epic love story. The forces that within love in a world that is as apocalyptically against you as The Walking Dead world, so it’s all the things you love 2.0. And even if you never watched it, it’s still going to be a compelling story that will take you for a ride. It’s a ride!”
Gurira was at the Saturn Awards with other cast and creatives from The Walking Dead to receive the Dan Curtis Legacy Award for the franchise.
After that first Star Trek 4 project with Chris Hemsworth fell apart, Paramount pivoted to a smaller budget Trek film with a new cast, to be written and directed by Fargo’s Noah Hawley. We recently learned that Hawley was in the middle of casting Cate Blanchett and Rami Malek before Paramount shut that movie down in 2020, pivoting back to a new direct sequel to Beyond. 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.”
More to come from the Saturn Awards
TrekMovie spoke to more Star Trek presenters, nominees, and winners at the Saturn Awards so come back for more interviews and updates.
Find more news on all the upcoming Trek movies at TrekMovie.com.