Mere days before Star Trek: Beyond is due to be released, Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Bad Robot Productions have green-lit a fourth film in the rebooted Star Trek series, also known as the ‘JJ-verse’.
The fourth as-yet untitled film will see Captain James T. Kirk cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father. George Kirk appeared briefly in the opening scene of 2009’s Star Trek, when he gave his life to save the crew of the USS Kelvin.
Chris Hemsworth, best known for playing Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, is on-board to reprise the role of George Kirk. JJ Abrams tipped the move earlier this week in an interview with Access Hollywood’s Chris Mantz. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who previously inked multi-million deals with the studio to appear in a fourth film, will also star. Other cast members Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Simon Pegg are all expected to return.
JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who worked on the first draft of the script for the third film with Alex Kurtzman before Simon Pegg and Doug Jung eventually took over, are on-board to pen the script. There has even been talk that it may be an update of the discarded first script for the third film. Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Bad Robot Productions will produce, with J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber serving as producers. Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg will serve as the executive producer. Paramount has not yet set a release date or landed on a director for the film.
There had been some question as to whether or not the studio would opt to proceed with a fourth film, despite having previously signed Pine and Quinto to new deals, following the recent death of Chekov actor Anton Yelchin, who passed away last month following a tragic car accident at his home. It is worth noting, however, that the rebooted series has been a cash cow for Paramount, with Star Trek earning $387 million and Star Trek Into Darkness pulling in $467 million at the box office. Despite the decision to proceed with a fourth film, it is unlikely that the studio and producers will look to recast the role of Chekov for the new film.
With the official green-light, this will be the first time since the early 2000s that new Star Trek is being produced for both the big screen and the small screen. In addition to this fourth film, CBS Television Studios, who hold TV rights to the Star Trek franchise, are prepping a new thirteen episode TV series, shepherded by Bryan Fuller, which will air on streaming service CBS All Access in January 2017. Netflix just took exclusive rights to the untitled series in more than 180 territories, including the UK, with plans to stream new episodes less than 24 hours after they air in the United States.