Chris Pine Wonders How ‘Star Trek 4’ Will Deal With Kirk Now That He Is “A Lot Older”

We are just a few weeks away from the 8th anniversary of the release of Star Trek Beyond, the third entry in the Kelvin timeline Star Trek movies staring Chris Pine as James T. Kirk. Paramount continues to say they are committed to a follow up movie, and now the star is starting to wonder how it will deal with how he isn’t getting any younger.

Pine curious about Star Trek 4

For the last couple of years, since he has recommitted to return as James T. Kirk for a fourth Star Trek movie, actor Chris Pine has often expressed his enthusiasm for the return, but also some frustrations. His latest comments from from a recent appearance at ACE Superhero Comic in San Antonio, TX. Pine acknowledged the well-reported ups and downs the Beyond sequel has gone through over the past decade (via PopVerse), saying “In terms of the next phase of [Star Trek], obviously you’re all fans, so I’m sure you’ve read it.”

Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek Beyond

The actor then talked about how he and his fellow cast are ready to get back to the Enterprise, but he wonders how the movie will deal with how he is getting older, saying:

“We all like one another a lot. I’m good friends with everybody I’ve worked with. We have a great time doing it. I’m a lot older now, so I would be curious where that next story lands us in terms of what it would be and what we’ve said in the press.”

Pine, now 43, was 29 when he first appeared as James T. Kirk in the 2009 Star Trek movie. Last year the actor talked about how he was hoping to do “many more” movies as Kirk, saying it would be “super cool” to play the same character through the course of his career. Original Kirk actor William Shatner was 35 when the Star Trek television show premiered and 63 when he last appeared as the character in the 1994 film Star Trek: Generations. Pine is still younger than Shatner when he played Admiral Kirk in Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. In Star Trek Beyond, Kirk turned down a promotion to admiral and was set to head out on a new USS Enterprise (NCC 1701-A). If the next movie were set a decade later, Kirk and his crew could have already completed two 5-year missions.

Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) looking up at new Enterprise in Star Trek Beyond

Various follow-ups to Beyond have been in the works over the last 8 years. In March of this year, it was reported that Paramount and producer J.J. Abrams had brought on yet another screenwriter to take a crack at what the studio is now calling the final movie for the Kelvin crew. Pine later expressed some frustration with this move, telling Business Insider “I thought there was already a script, but I guess I was wrong, or they decided to pivot. As it’s always been with ‘Trek,’ I just wait and see.”

Even now entering middle age, Pine is still keeping it sharp. He recently shaved off his beard (but kept the ‘stache) as can be seen from an appearance at a fashion event in Milan in mid-June…

The next Star Trek feature film expected to come out of Paramount is the “Untitled Star Trek Origin Story” which Paramount recently confirmed as part of its 2025/2026 slate. This movie would have a new cast. Earlier this year, Paramount and producer J.J. Abrams had tapped Andor‘s Toby Haynes to direct, based on a script from Seth Grahame-Smith (The Lego Batman Movie). Paramount is also reportedly talking to producer Simon Kinberg about shepherding the film franchise, starting with that origin movie. This next Star Trek movie was mentioned during the Paramount Global shareholder meeting in June with co-CEO Brian Robbins saying it is “coming soon,” and touting Trek as one of the company’s “billion dollar brands.”

Find more news and analysis on upcoming Star Trek feature films.

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This is the longest five-year mission in history…

Just because the TOS timeline had 5-yr.missions, there is no reason the Kelvin timeline would.

They mention it’s a five year mission in one of the movies.

But Into Darkness established that they did, and Beyond confirmed that they were halfway through one.

It certainly is. Eight years since Beyond, wow.

It’s been so long since the last Star Trek movie set in the Kelvin timeline, that by the time they finally make another one none of the crew of the Enterprise will still serve on that ship.

They’ll all have moved on to other assignments, pretty much like the original cast did in The Motion Picture.

I mean I don’t think they can just pick up where they left off in Beyond, so yeah the next one (if it happens) will hopefully skip ahead a decade or so.

At this point, what was it all for? The Kelvin movies did nothing for Star Trek. It was Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, SNW, etc that saved it. The Kelvin movies contributed nothing.

While certainly not my favorite Trek, I would like to see it get a final outing. Of course, as long as that final outing doesn’t come at the expense of other Trek.

Star Trek did not need saving and Discovery has done the franchise no favours.

‘Beyond’ flopped and stalled the movie series.
Disc at least has led to multi spin off shows and ST first TVM.

During the moments that worked (not saying there were a ton of them), BEYOND felt a lot more like STAR TREK than anything else I’ve seen this whole century.

didn’t help the film series though.

That seemed to a big reason the movie underperformed!, JJs films seemed to hit that sweet spot of appealing to moviegoers who wouldn’t been seen dead watching ST and the hardcore trekkies (ok maybe not ID for some fans lol), but Beyond missed the target .. Ironically Orci’s ST3 was apparently canned for being ‘too star trek’ yet sounded much more appealing for movie audiences (dealing with time travel/timelines and Shatner) whereas what they eventually did in Beyond sounded/looked so ‘star trek’ it turned off the average Joe moviegoers! plus there was that Fast and Furious action teaser trailer turning off the fans, a double whammy!

That is a flaming photon torpedo of truth. Beyond is generally well liked and appreciated by Trek fans, but I was surprised to find most non-fans I’ve heard from found it, quote, “boring and dull”. I could quite believe that take, but it’s definitely better received by fans than the public. Into Darkness was the reverse.

The biggest mistake was the handling of the villain, hiding Mr Elba under make up but also another of J J style ‘mystery box’ about his identity and motive.

Yup, exactly. Totally agree. What a waste of Mr. Elba’s talent, imo.

Discovery also divided the fan base, destroyed cannon, has the lowest episode scores of any Trek show, and was Cancelled!

Not the same, Disc came to a natural end but didn’t inhibit more ST TV from being made.

I think it’s probably too late to make this movie starting where they left off on the Enterprise. They really would need to write a story where they have to reconnect for one final mission, which might be worth doing. That being said, an aging crew is nothing new for Star Trek.

Bust him back to cadet.

Hey MIchael, I was just googling “Harlan Ellison Nicholas Meyer” and it actually took me to a trekmovie thread from 2017 which we participated in. You mention that you are going to have to buy RETURN TO TOMORROW book at some point. Did you?

I bought the digital edition. Roddenberry says in it that TMP cost 45 million due to them adding on all the costs of the previous scripts, sets etc. For 1979 that was super expensive.

Dee Kelley’s poem was interesting I never knew he was a writer. Also interesting was hearing from George Takei about the making of the movie. Some stuff I already knew like the studio not wanting Shatner back if it was going to be a series, and the difficulty in getting Leonard to sign on when it became a movie.

The stuff about who got to be credited in the movie I never once heard about the disputes with the effects people. A lot of the guy who wrote it hating the movie and being negative Harold I think. You could tell he thought it was a turkey. Also, the director had such a bad experience, and the movie was rushed I never knew that.

Or was it Jon Povill my memory these days is crap. I know whoever the person was hated the finished movie.

Make up

i imagine the writers/abrams etc are trying to figure out to do a standalone thing with the cast like Beyond (i.e. their TMP and TUC in one movie) or buy into the multiverse stuff going around and have them interact with their primeverse counterparts (via CG/AI ) or the TNG cast etc for a big anniversary movie ..

maybe they’ll go with the 1st option (Kelvin standalone/finale) and do a primeverse only ST Legacy movie for Paramount+ (various actors from TNG/DS9/VOY maybe ENT and SNW) – both aimimg for 2026

I mean you have a 40 something year old playing a 25 year old Kirk on Strange New Worlds and he looks older than Pine!

The casting decision there continues to baffle me. And yeah I agree, Pine does look younger than Wesley.

Now, Wesley has grown on me a bit, but it does still baffle me as well. He reminds me more of Crawley’s Kirk (fan film) than Shatner’s Kirk, and that’s not a good thing.

Yikes, you just hit the nail on the head there.


Admiral deciding he’s sick of being in a desk job…kinda like last time?

In ’09, the snark was to call this Trek/Muppet Babies in Space. The then producers wanted a cast that could last for several movies without getting too old. AND… that might have worked if the studio(S!) hadn’t delayed so many of these films. Frankly, we should have five or six, not three. Thank god, the suits all got their bonuses and golden parachutes (several deployed btw) and important stuff like that.

We’ve seen how the Prime Kirk ages from young captain to admiral to old captain. It would be interesting to see Kelvin Kirk take a different pathway. Maybe he has a family. Maybe he is stuck in a Klingon prison. Maybe he is riding through the desert with a picnic lunch.

If JJ was available and Skydance ends up buying Paramount, they should get him to direct part 4. Make it an event movie, no more nonsense about spinoffs or low budget this or that. Disney Star Wars is dead. Capitalize on that.

Should have gone all in after Into Darkness, instead they played it safe with Beyond a tired old formula. Should have been new worlds, new twists if we had to have characters from Prime, do something different with them in Kelvin now that they were done with Khan, but no they had to make insipid Beyond. Guardians of the Furious.

I think you’re right. Go all out and make a final, great film for the Kelvinverse characters.

As to where they go with it, I don’t know. The simplest thing is to just have them on the ship, maybe coming home from their mission and then they get a call about an emergency. One last adventure. Maybe someone has to die, for drama. Maybe somehow, someway, via the Nexus or Q or the Guardian of Forever, Pine meets Shatner’s Kirk. Yeah, that probably will not happen but that would certainly help the film if they could find some way to make it an important part of the film.

Anyway, I’m all in for another Kelvin film. I loved all three of them, even though I had quibbles with some of JJ’s choices in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness and thought making Sulu gay in Beyond was a complete and embarrassing fail.

Sulu being gay in ‘beyond’ a minor issue compared to the film’s real faults

Good point about SW its cooked atm, no movies being made anytime soon , that Rey movie not even the hard core wants and the Dawn of the Force movie from Mangold (whose Indiana Jones movie tanked to tune of a 100m loss), and the other film based on the Zahn novels like an Episode 6.5 (probably with not quite there CGI deaged Han Luke Leia) , any of those probably as likely to happen anytime soon as the Beyond sequel after 2016, (a loong wait with lots of faux announcements). so really you got similar scenario as that late 00s/early 10s era with ST09/ID filling in for SW for space action.

And yeah they messed up on Beyond , letting Orci go when he had the obvious way to go for the 3rd film/anniversary – Shatner returning, battle for the timelines stuff.

The last SW film to feature rey made a billion so there is still an audience waiting for a new one.
But I bet rey will not be the central character this time.

Reading between the lines here……”a lot older” suggests he knows another movie is still years, maybe even decades away.

I think Pine’s just resigned to whatever happens will happen. He’s not getting his hopes up.

I think the 4th film should be titled, Star Trek: Kirk.

I wish they can adapt William Shatner’s first Star Trek story, Ashes of Eden.

Kelvin cast sequel is the ONLY viable movie worth making at this stage. Anything else will bomb hard.

I remember watching “Beyond” in the theater. No way that was 8 years ago already… wow.

Time flies. I also watched Beyond in the theater, and out of the three Kelvin-verse films it felt the most Trekkian to me. I can remember the smell of the popcorn and the twizzlers from that day.

The age of the crew or the actors is not the biggest problem with previous or upcoming films.

If it another ‘mad man with a grudge and a galactic WMD….’

If it is that, then I’m out. I blame TNG movies for first getting stuck on that, but it seems to be the only thing Hollywood screenwriters think a Star Trek film could ever possibly be about.

We need another ‘voyage home’, classic ST problem solving and not ‘pew pew boom’ again

They should adapt the Prime Directive novel for the next film. I would go see it. I doubt any of these writers know the book exists.

Would be wasted on the Kelvin cast. Great book, but it’s absolutely Shatner’s Kirk here, not anybody else’s. A book that makes so much out of ‘let me help’ doesn’t have the right callback, since Pine doesn’t have an Edith Keeler … it would be like the bizarre consideration Eon had for LIVE & LET DIE, when they considered bringing Ursula Andress back, even though it was featuring a new (utterly lame) guy playing Bond, so, you know, the face is not familiar.

Thats the first I’ve heard of bringing back Ursula Andress for LALD,(not impossible as the son of Quarrel from Dr No was in it) i had heard that producers wanted Barbara Bach to come back for A View to A Kill in a cameo as the Russian agent but obviously didn’t happen

And Roger Moore was the best Bond btw (imo :)

Meh. Some of the original cast members of Star Trek found about a hundred ways to keep on showing up despite being decades older. It’s sci-fi! All ya gotta do to explain stuff away is wave your hands around in the air and say stuff like, “quantum singularity!” or “it’s The Borg! The Borg did a thing!”. Inexplicable aging and time-space continuum inconsistancies are basically all one 8-second mumbo-jumbo explanation away with that franchise. It’ah be fiiiiiiine. lol

In general, I prefer a story with more “seasoned” characters, so it’s not a bad place to pick up for me. Showing the characters more matured is one of the major draws of a sequel.

It’s simple Chris – it’s time to put on the Monster Maroons! He’ll look as old as Shat from TWOK, TSFS, TVH

Also dark rinse with perm

Star trek 4 need a title like New horizon coming summer 2026 and the New starship enterprise a on a mission to explore strange New worlds and New villian of This epic final chapter of the kelvin timeline im a Star trek fan long live trekkies live long and prosper

Star Trek Wayyyy Beyond

Pull the plug on the Kelvin timeline and crew.

At some point Vger should be showing up to destroy Earth in the alternate universe that diverged with the Kelvin incident. I don’t want to see The Motion Picture remade but there might be a story there to tell somewhere …..

Use elements from Ellison’s intro to his movie pitch (which also had a huge threat to earth, but from time travelling lizards), with a cloaked figure going round kidnapping members of the old crew from wherever they are now and you finally realize it is Kirk who is doing it. Then do a variation on TMP, maybe with less of a police-procedural feel, one where we get to see how tough it is to match speeds and fly alongside something at warp 7+ from 1500 away.

Willl never happen

Whatever the next movie is, Giacchino’s going to have to write a new score, this time called “Enterprising Old Men“.

It will be a hit, and there will be a sequel.

It worked in Star Trek II…

I’d like to see throwback to Star Trek IV, where the Kelvin crew visit the world(s) that sent the alien probe to locate humpback whales.

They can maybe use stock footage from Lynch’s DUNE, since, like TVH, it also featured giant Tootsie-roll lookin’ space vessels.

A while ago I posted the idea of ST4 having the whale probe attacking kelvin earth a’la TVH and the JJ crew go back to San Fran 1986 for some whales but have to avoid running into their primeverse counterparts (TOS cast via cgi deaging and footage from TVH like Trials&Tribulations, BTTF2, Avengers Endgame etc), along the way they encounter/team up with Eddie Murphy’s UFO believing college professor called ‘Gene’ and kirk meets/romances an 80s aerobics instructor (Gal Gadot , but now maybe Dua Lipa whod also do the 80s inspired official song a’la Rhianna/Beyond) who helps them out, plus thered be Lt Saavik (some new hot young actress) along for the ride replacing Chekov

I just get the feeling something fun and trippy and nostalgic like that would probably hit big at the box office (and avoid the usual super angry madman villain with space WMD who wants revenge on the Federation trope thats been done for the past 5? movies)