When it comes to box office, the rebooted Star Trek franchise has still yet to hit the heights Paramount envisioned for the series. Director J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot was a hit, providing a solid foundation, and going forward Paramount was aiming towards Mission: Impossible or Fast and Furious-style success. That never materialized. While Star Trek Into Darkness improved upon the worldwide gross of the first movie by just under $100 million, scoring $467.3 million worldwide, the third film Star Trek Beyond fell below expectations, earning $343.4 million worldwide—$20 million less than Abrams’ first movie.
This has put the future of the franchise somewhat in doubt, but Beyond was a solid effort by all with Simon Pegg coming in to rewrite the entire screenplay with Doug Jung after the film’s initial director, Roberto Orci, left the project. Pegg and Jung took the franchise into a direction more in line with the original TV series, with Fast Five director Justin Lin providing the necessary action beats from a visual standpoint, and while the film itself was very different from Abrams’ two movies, it was marketed like Fast & Furious in Space.
“I think it was poorly marketed, to be honest. If you look at a film like Suicide Squad, that was around for such a long time before it finally came out and people were so aware of it. Whereas with Star Trek Beyond, it was left too late before they started their marketing push. It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to Into Darkness.”
Pegg was also upset that the film’s trailer spoiled what was supposed to be a surprise: the reprise of “Sabotage”:
“I was really angry about that, because it used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th Anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; they didn’t know what to do with it and it’s a real shame. But I came away from it really, really happy and very proud of it.”
The actor/writer says he was ultimately happy with the way the film turned out, saying it got the reception they hoped for in trying to make a film that was Star Trek “and not just something that’s disguised as Star Trek.” But the box office wasn’t great, and Paramount has now turned to none other than Quentin Tarantino to potentially craft an original Star Trek movie all its own.
Tarantino came up with an idea that’s currently being written, and if everyone likes the script then he may direct with Abrams producing. Pegg offered his thoughts on this fascinating development:
“There’s a script that’s been written, and there’s also the story of Quentin Tarantino coming and chatting with J.J. about an idea that he’s had for a long time. That idea is going into the writer’s room to be looked at. I think it might take something like him to restart it. It’s an interesting proposition, although I don’t know if that means everybody will be blowing each other’s heads off with phasers and calling Klingons motherfuckers, but, who knows, that could be fun.”