Well Paramount sure is confident in Star Trek Beyond. The third Trek film in the rebooted franchise that began with J.J. Abrams’ 2009 film opens in theaters this Friday, but today Paramount and Bad Robot went ahead and announced official plans for Star Trek 4. As we heard on Friday, Chris Hemsworth is now confirmed to co-star alongside Chris Pine, reprising his role as Captain Kirk’s father from the prologue of Star Trek 2009 and continuing Pine’s Daddy Issues arc that’s been the backbone of this rebooted franchise thus far.
The official logline for Star Trek 4 is as follows:
In the next installment of the epic space adventure, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk will 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.
This is a huge get for the franchise, as Hemsworth’s turn as George Kirk in 2009 came as he was simply a burgeoning actor with Cabin in the Woods on his docket. But now, since landing the role of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and proving his comedic chops in films like Vacation and Ghostbusters, Hemsworth is a bona fide movie star. So for Star Trek 4, the franchise is getting even more starpower.
While Simon Pegg and Doug Jung wrote the script for Star Trek Beyond, Paramount says J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will pen the Star Trek 4 script while J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot Productions. Payne and McKay were actually the first writers on Beyond when Roberto Orci was directing, but once he left the project, Pegg and Jung came in and did a Page One rewrite, so I’ll be curious to see how the script develops going forward.
The remaining cast is expected to return, sadly this time without Anton Yelchin who passed away recently in a tragic accident. Fast & Furious 6 helmer Justin Lin stepped in to direct Star Trek Beyond, but Paramount has not yet confirmed who will direct Star Trek 4. With Abrams once again producing, I wonder if he’ll approach the franchise like Mission: Impossible going forward, bringing in a new filmmaker each time around to put his or her stamp on the series.
Beyond’s early reviews have been widely positive, with many praising its Star Trek: The Original Series vibe, so clearly the studio is feeling bullish about the franchise’s prospects even as CBS ramps up its new TV iteration of Star Trek to debut in January 2017. But with Hemsworth onboard, Trek 4 now has a new wealth of possibilities at its disposal. Will the Enterprise crew be traveling backwards in time? Just Kirk? Or is George Kirk brought into the future? We’ll find out in due time, but for now, Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters on Friday.