The Future of the 'Star Trek' Film Franchise is Uncertain, According to Simon Pegg

The future of the Star Trek film franchise at Paramount Pictures appears to be in limbo. At one time, there were discussions to get a Star Trek 4 off the ground that would have given us a time travel story where Chris Pine as Captain Kirk teamed up with Chris Hemsworth his late father George Kirk. Unfortunately, difficult salary negotiations stopped the movie dead in its tracks, and according to Simon Pegg, there doesn’t appear to be any urgency to pick up where Star Trek Beyond left off in 2016.

Collider caught up with Simon Pegg as the actor is making the publicity rounds for his new movie Inheritance, and he mentioned one big issue that took away some of the enthusiasm to make another Star Trek movie with the cast that director J.J. Abrams assembled back in 2009. Pegg said:

“One thing I did mention when I spoke about it recently is that for us, losing Anton Yelchin the way we did was a real blow. And I think it slightly took the wind out of our sails in terms of our enthusiasm to do another one, just because we’re now missing one of our family. He would be conspicuous by his absence.”

Indeed, the absence of Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov would be felt, but there have always been ways to continue franchises without certain characters, whether it’s from actors leaving a series or franchise or unexpectedly passing away. Either way, it sounds like no one on the Star Trek cast is clamoring to get a sequel off the ground. Pegg added:

“We’re all still in contact, we were emailing with each other the other day, just checking in, ‘how are we,’ and stuff. But it’s not like any of us have been banging on the door at Paramount saying, ‘Hey, when are we doing this?’ If they say, ‘We’d like to do another movie,’ I’m sure we’ll all jump at the chance. I miss those guys, and I love making those films. But I just don’t know. Noah Hawley’s project has been mentioned, and maybe that will happen. I don’t know anything about that. So yeah, I’m as in the dark as everyone else, I’m in the same boat as you guys.”

If Pegg doesn’t know anything about Noah Hawley’s proposed Star Trek project, which he’s mentioned before, then that would seem to indicate that it’s something separate from the J.J. Abrams reboot franchise. It’s also possible that the project was being developed at the studio before they reached out to any cast members to be involved. But considering Pegg’s involvement in the franchise as both Montgomery Scott and a writer on Star Trek Beyond, you would think he’d be in the know. But here we are.

Perhaps the problem with the modern Star Trek film series is that Paramount wanted to turn it into a tentpole blockbuster franchise, and that’s never really been Star Trek‘s style. As a longtime fan, Pegg recognizes this and thinks maybe the studio should pull in the reins a bit, that way the box office expectations aren’t so high. He reasoned that Star Trek doesn’t have as broad of appeal as the movies of Marvel Studios or other blockbusters:

“I think Star Trek is just a little bit more niche, so it isn’t gonna hit those kind of numbers. So yes, the obvious thing to do would be to not go for that massive spectacle, go for something a little bit more restrained in the vein of the original series. Yes, that would be a brilliant thing to do, and I’m sure it probably has been discussed… You specialize a little bit more.”

But at the end of the day, Star Trek isn’t dead. In fact, the property is flourishing over at CBS All Access with Star Trek Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, and the upcoming spin-off series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that was recently ordered. And don’t forget about the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks too. So maybe we don’t need the Star Trek franchise to be shoehorned into continuing on the big screen right now, and it just needs to happen naturally, whenever that may be.

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