Kirk and Spock are staying put on the bridge of Enterprise.
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who have been playing the two characters since JJ Abrams rebooted the Star Trek film series in 2009, have signed new deals with Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions which call for them to play the iconic characters in a potential fourth Trek film (should it get a greenlight from the studio).
Previously, the duo (alongside the other main cast members) had been signed for three films, stemming out of their original deals with the studio for 2009’s Star Trek. At present, they are the only ones to have inked contracts for a potential fourth film. Other key cast members Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and John Cho only have deals in place for the upcoming third film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, who broke the story, Pine and Quinto granted the studio an option for a fourth film on the back of salary negotiations. The report states that owing to a claim that the previous contract may be invalid and the rising star power of several cast members, the studio was forced to re-negotiate compensation for the actors. The raises across the board has reportedly led to a $10-15 million dollar increase in the third film’s budget.
The news of the new deals for Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto come as production is just getting underway in Vancouver on the third film in rebooted series (rumoured to be titled Star Trek Beyond). It’s been a rocky road, with Roberto Orci stepping down as director after his script was all but thrown out, leading to something of a scramble to find a new writer and director.
After some searching, Paramount Pictures and Skydance set cast member Simon Pegg and Doug Jung to pen the script, with Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin coming on-board as the director for big budget feature. The Wire and Luther star Idris Elba is also understood to have been cast as the villain. The film is set to open on July 8th 2016, marking the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.