Not one, but two new Star Trek movies are being developed by Paramount. We’ve known for a bit now that the studio was working on at least a couple of different new Trek related projects, but now Paramount head Jim Gianopulos has confirmed that two different movies in the franchise are in active development, news that was announced during CinemaCon in Las Vegas this past week. Unfortunately, he didn’t dish any additional details, but this makes for an interesting confirmation, considering what we already know.
Starting with the more recent development, it came to light in December that Quentin Tarantino is working on a Star Trek Movie with J.J. Abrams. The Pulp Fiction director pitched the idea to Abrams and the duo then took it to Paramount. The studio then assembled a writer’s room to flesh out the idea and, ultimately, Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) was hired to pen the screenplay for this proposed movie. Reportedly, Tarantino wants it to be R-rated and, if he likes the way the script turns out, he may even direct it. First, he’s going to focus on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which shoots later this year, leaving the studio time to develop the script.
When this news first broke, it raised a lot of questions, beyond the fact that it was genuinely surprising for many to hear that Quentin Tarantino was working on and very well may direct a Star Trek movie. He’s not a franchise guy and controls his own creative destiny. But the biggest question was how this would affect Star Trek 4, the sequel to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond. Updates on that movie have been slim and it seemed possible that the studio would abandon Star Trek 4 in favor of Tarantino’s idea.
It now appears that both the Tarantino Star Trek movie and Star Trek 4 are happening somewhat simultaneously. After the news that two different Star Trek movies were in development, it was announced that S.J. Clarkson will direct what is officially being known as Star Trek 4. This has made franchise history, as she is the first female director to ever work on the series. She is known for helming recent episodes of Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones. Clarkson started her career directing several episodes of hit U.K. TV series’ Doctors and EastEnders, before heading across the pond to direct episodes of Life on Mars, Heroes, Ugly Betty, House, Dexter, Hunted, Banshee, Smash, Bates Motel, The Bridge, Hostages, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Orange Is the New Black, Dig, Jessica Jones, Vinyl, Love, Nina, The Defenders and all four episodes of the Netflix mini-series Collateral, which debuted last month.
This all raises a lot more questions with very few answers, but it would mean the current, cinematic version of the franchise is expanding in scope. What we do know is that a script for Star Trek 4 has been turned in and that the idea being kicked around is for Chris Hemsworth, who made a brief but memorable appearance in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, to come back as Kirk’s father. How that will be made possible remains to be seen. A new version of the script is currently being worked on by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are set to return, and it seems likely that the rest of the main cast will be back as well, including Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones, John Cho as Sulu and Simon Pegg as Scotty.
Currently, no release date is set for either of these Star Trek movies. Star Trek Beyond underperformed at the box office, bringing in $343.5 million worldwide, working from a very high $185 million production budget. That likely caused Paramount to rethink their strategy with the franchise moving forward. There are still a ton of unanswered questions, but Paramount is doubling down on Star Trek. Will both movies being worked on actually see the light of the day? That may be the biggest question of all. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details are made available. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.