After establishing itself as a television sci-fi staple in the 1960s, “Star Trek” TV series found a new lease on life following its cancellation as several films produced from 1979 all through to 1991, a process repeated with its follow-up show “The Next Generation.” With the petering out of the franchise on both big and small screens however, Paramount Pictures produced a film reboot of the original TV series setting in 2009, starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto among others under the direction of J.J. Abrams. The reimagined “Star Trek” movie was followed by two sequels with a third under development, with the primary cast returning under a new director.
The Hollywood Reporter tells us that “Star Trek 4,” the anticipated follow-up to 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond,” is now further along in its pre-production preparations. The good news, shared this Tuesday, November 19, is that a director/writer has been attached to the project in Noah Hawley, who has directed series on FX such as “Fargo” and more recently “Legion.” His cinematic directorial debut was this year’s “Lucy in the Sky” starring Natalie Portman for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Even better, the “Kelvin timeline” main cast and bridge crew of the USS Enterprise has been confirmed too.
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto will again journey where no man has gone before alongside Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and Simon Pegg for their fourth “Star Trek” film together. It is a sobering reunion however, seeing as they are missing one member in Anton Yelchin, who played Ensign Pavel Chekov the navigator. Yelchin had died in an accident a month before the 2016 premiere of “Beyond,” which was thus dedicated to him and original Spock actor Leonard Nimoy, who himself passed away one year earlier.
Prior to Hawley’s selection, Paramount had its eye on S.J. Clarkson for “Star Trek 4,” which would have made her the first female director for a “Trek” movie. An original pitch for the fourth movie had involved a time-travelling plot that would reunite Pine’s character of Captain James T. Kirk with his father George, portrayed in 2009 by Chris Hemsworth. Unfortunately the two actors had a falling out over deals for starring in the film, causing the original idea to be dropped last year. With Hawley on board, he would bring in his production shingle 26 Keys to work with the Bad Robot banner of J.J. Abrams, who was at the helm of the 2009 reboot and its immediate sequel “Star Trek into Darkness” (2013).
Image courtesy of The Verge