Why Star Trek 4 Still Hasn’t Happened

By the time Hawley had made these comments, however – in September 2020 – his pull had already been put on hold, reportedly because new Paramount Pictures chief Emma Watts had just started in the job and wanted to personally reassess all the studio’s projects. The other alleged reason, however, was that Hawley’s story dealt with a virus that wipes out half the population of the universe, something that the studio felt COVID-freaked audiences would not want to be subjected to.

Matt Shakman Brings New Vision to Star Trek

While a couple of other random pull ideas floated to the top of the news cycle – including pitches for new films from The Wrath of Khan producer Robert Sallin, Khan director Nicholas Meyer, and Star Trek: Discovery writer Kalinda Vasquez – the next big phase of Star Trek 4‘s torturous development process was launched in July 2021, as Deadline broke the news that Matt Shakman, fresh off the success of Marvel’s WandaVision series, was the new director.

A fresh script by Lindsey Beer (the upcoming Pet Sematary prequel) and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel) was also commissioned, making it the first pull film to at least be written by women, if not directed as envisioned just a few years earlier.

A June 2023 release date was set, although that was moved to December of that year, while it remained unclear at the time whether Pine, Quinto, and the rest of the Kelvin cast was going to come back. In November 2021, a new set of screenwriters came aboard, with Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires handling a rewrite of the Beer/Robertson-Dworet screenplay.

That was where things stood until Paramount’s announcement last February, with the studio’s current regime apparently willing to open up its checkbook and meet not just Pine’s price but that of the rest of the cast as well (Quinto, Urban, Cho, and especially Saldana – with two other franchises on her resume, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar – are all much bigger stars now).

Will a script be delivered, negotiations commenced, a budget greenlit, and all the other stars lined up in time for Star Trek 4 to finally become a reality? We have no idea at this point. And what will it be about? We would like to see it move away from the revenge-driven, action-oriented stories of the previous three movies, and get back to the ideas, philosophies, and wonder of “boldly going where no one has gone before” that has inexplicably eluded this franchise for years.

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