It’s a great time to be a Trekkie. Star Trek fans have a pick of the litter of stuff to watch, from the copious back catalog of classic shows and movies (The Next Generation being my favorite), to the current slate of shows like Discovery, Picard, and the just-announced Pike-centered spinoff Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. But what of the “Kelvin timeline”? The trilogy of rebooted films helmed by J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin featuring the OG cast of characters played by Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and Simon Pegg? Will we ever get another big screen adventure with this capable cast?
Pegg recently chatted with our own Steve Weintraub for his upcoming movie Inheritance, and when the subject of more Star Trek films came up, Pegg put it bluntly: “Star Trek, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know.” But it isn’t because of lack of desire. Pegg said that he’d “love to work with those guys again, and obviously Star Trek is very dear to me, so we’ll see what the future holds.” But for Pegg, one unfortunate truth casts a glow over the idea of a future film: The accidental 2016 death of Yelchin.
“One thing I did mention when I spoke about it recently is that for us, losing Anton Yelchin the way we did was a real blow. And I think it slightly took the wind out of our sails in terms of our enthusiasm to do another one, just because we’re now missing one of our family. He would be conspicuous by his absence.”
The rest of Pegg’s Star Trek family has still been staying in touch, however:
“We’re all still in contact, we were emailing with each other the other day, just checking in, ‘how are we,’ and stuff. But it’s not like any of us have been banging on the door at Paramount saying, ‘Hey, when are we doing this?’ If they say, ‘We’d like to do another movie,’ I’m sure we’ll all jump at the chance. I miss those guys, and I love making those films. But I just don’t know. Noah Hawley’s project has been mentioned, and maybe that will happen. I don’t know anything about that. So yeah, I’m as in the dark as everyone else, I’m in the same boat as you guys.”
The Noah Hawley project he’s referring to is a new Star Trek film the Fargo and Legion helmer is undertaking. Hawley’s plans likely involve a new cast playing new characters, and Hawley explicitly said, “I don’t think of it as Star Trek 4, to be reductive. This is a new beginning.” Based on Pegg’s comments here, it sounds like Pegg indeed has nothing to do with the project — if that project is, indeed, still on the table.
Pegg went on to muse about what creatively and financially successful future Star Trek films could look like, while conceding a fact many fans have oft felt in secret:
“The fact is, the appeal of Star Trek is slightly more niche than the appeal of, say, the Marvel movies, which make huge amounts of money, and have this really, really broad appeal and they do very well. I think Star Trek is just a little bit more niche, so it isn’t gonna hit those kind of numbers. So yes, the obvious thing to do would be to not go for that massive spectacle, go for something a little bit more restrained in the vein of the original series. Yes, that would be a brilliant thing to do, and I’m sure it probably has been discussed… You specialize a little bit more.”
Pegg concluded his thought with something I’m sure many hardcore Trekkies will be quick to agree with:
“Maybe TV is a better place for [Star Trek] now. Television has evolved so much. It’s become something which is very much a contemporary, a peer of cinema. It’s simply viewed in a different way. It isn’t a reduced scope anymore. You can still do masses of interesting things, and it can still look modern and not inexpensive. Maybe television is a better format for Star Trek. That’s where it started, you know.”
And with that final, winking joke, Pegg reminded us exactly why Star Trek‘s future just might be its past; and, exactly why we’d still love to see him play Scotty on the big screen again.
Check out the full clip below. For more from Star Trek, here’s the latest we’ve heard on Quentin Tarantino‘s now-aborted take on the property.