Star Trek 4 Kelvin Universe Stars Surprised By Paramount Announcement

When Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS) announced that the J.J. Abrams' Kelvin Universe of the Star Trek franchise would receive a fourth film, it caught the world by surprise…including its own cast members of the previous cast three films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, stars Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Simon Pegg (Scotty), Karl Urban (McCoy), Zoe Saldaña (Uhura), and John Cho (Sulu) were not aware that an announcement for another film was coming, much less that their clients would be touted as a part of the deal, and certainly not that their clients would be shooting a movie by year's end. Pine is reportedly the first to enter early negotiations.

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Chris Pine as Capt James T. Kirk in Star Trek Beyond (2016). Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Current plans are for the untitled fourth Star Trek film is to make the December 22, 2023, theatrical release. The script is still being worked on, but there's no official green light or budget in place. The Star Trek was reinvigorated since the premature cancellation of Enterprise in 2005 on UPN. Abrams rebooted The Original Series in an alternate reality in the form of the Kelvin Universe in the 2009 film. To bridge the generations, Leonard Nimoy reprised his TOS role as Spock but differentiated as Spock Prime from the KU version played by Quinto. The franchise returned to television as the flagship series Discovery as part of Paramount's streaming platform CBS All Access, since rebranded Paramount+. Spin-offs that span generations within the franchise timeline were spawned in the animated Lower Decks and Prodigy and live-action Picard and upcoming Strange New Worlds.

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Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban in Star Trek Beyond (2016). Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

As far as on the theatrical front, the Kelvin universe spawned two sequels in 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness and 2016's Star Trek: Beyond. The fourth film was originally planned with Chris Hemsworth reprising his 2009 role as Kirk's father George and at different points, names like Noah Hawley and Matt Shakman were attached, and Quentin Tarantino were rumored to have some creative involvement, but nothing had materialized. Complicating matters was the passing of Chekov actor Anton Yelchin, which was announced wouldn't be recast, and the problem of diminished box office returns. The 2009 reboot made $386 million globally on a $140 million budget, but Beyond only made $335 million on a $185 million budget, a significant drop from Into Darkness making $467 million on a $190 million budget.

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Zoe Saldana in Star Trek Into Darkness Source: Paramount Pictures

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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