What’s Going On With The Star Trek Franchise?
In 2009 J.J. Abrams-directed a reboot of the Star Trek series on the silver screen. In 2005 Paramount was given 18 months to develop the project before the rights were lost.
We hadn’t seen Trek in cinema since 2002’s Nemesis which became the final outing for The Next Generation crew helmed by Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart).
The film became a box office failure with $67m worldwide against a budget of $60m.,
The film was panned critically with critic Roger Ebert stating he was “smiling like a good sport” and wanting the film to deliver but ultimately occurred “to me that ‘Star Trek’ is over for me”.
It seemed the journey was over for The Next Generation cast and series.
The Star Trek Revival
Back to 2009, the series returned to the roots of 1960’s original series, rebooting the characters of Kirk and Spock, the Enterprise in an alternate timeline from the TV shows.
Chris Pine took the lead as Kirk and the late Leonard Nimoy returned in his role as the original Spock and getting him on board was imperative to getting the film made.
The film was a commercial and critical hit grossing almost $400m world-wide.
A sequel Star Trek: Into The Darkness followed in 2013 as the highest-grossing film in the franchise but estimates left its profit at around $25-30m.
The last film came in 2016 and was praised by critics but bombed at the box office, and certainly suffered from a lack of marketing coupled with a huge budget.
The films while reviewing well, there were struggling to with the wider audience, ticket sales and interest.
Especially in light of films from Marvel and the new Star Wars franchise from Disney.
The Star Trek timeline since Star Trek Beyond:
However, in 2016, Abrams dropped hints that a fourth film was in development with the cast returning.
The internet nearly broke with the news that Quentin Tarantino had pitched to Paramount who were highly interested in his take for the series.
The seven-time Academy Award Winner was also poised to direct and a huge fan of the series.
Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine reportedly turned down returning to the series as the salaries offered were much lower as a return of the final films poor performance.
Paramount was rumoured to have cancelled the planned film early in the year.
However, later on in the year, Tarantino in an interview noted he was still writing and had been busy with other projects, but still interested.
Deadline broke the news in November that year that the Chris Pine had agreed on a deal along with the main cast and the film was to be penned and directed by Noah Hawley.
Tarantino also stated he still had a script, but wouldn’t’ be directing if it went ahead.
Director Noah Hawley despite rumours to the contrary stated he was still on board and once he was free he’d be leading the project.
He also alluded that the original cast may not return as his version was “his own take”.
By the Summer once again the project had been shelved despite prep work already underway.
Paramount president Emma Watts wanted to take stock of all the options and redirect the franchise.
Noah Hawley told Deadline he didn’t see the project in his immediate future anymore yet he had been very close to production a year earlier.
Star Trek Discovery writer Kalinda Vazquez was reported to have been given the scripting reigns by Paramount on a fourth film.
However this week Wrath of Khan director Nick Meyer according to TrekMovie written a new treatment for the franchise and pitched it to both Abrams and Paramount president Emma Watts and waiting to hear from them.
Star Trek in 2022?
It seems unlikely we will see any further development until 2022, either with a confirmed script or early development and casting stages at best.
With the recent resurgence of Star Trek Discovery and the return of The Next Generation with Star Trek: Picard series arguably the time is ripe for a return on the big screen.
Yet the franchise has to make a film not only profitable but engaging with a larger audience to ensure its success.
One thing is for certain, it cannot afford a $200m budget and poor returns or we may never see Star Trek on the big screen again.
What are your thoughts on a fourth Star Trek film?
Should Paramount Pictures make another Star Trek movie, or should they just keep on making TV shows instead?
What would you like to see?
Let us know in the comments below.
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