Star Trek: Simon Pegg Explains Film Absence, TV's Success

Momentum is peaking like never before for the Star Trek franchise. Picard became one of the most critically-acclaimed series in franchise history, contributing the most significant surge of new subscriptions for CBS All Access. Discovery returns with its upcoming third season with the animated Lower Decks not far behind. Recently announced is the return of the original crew of the USS Enterprise last seen in the pilot for The Original Series in the episode "The Cage." Branded Strange Worlds, fans will finally experience the adventures of Enterprise under Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount). Joining him in the core are Number One/Lt. Commander Una (Rebecca Romijn) and Spock (Ethan Peck). With an unprecedented three live-action Star Trek series running, are things also picking up on the cinematic end? Simon Pegg, who plays chief engineer Lt. Montgomery Scott in Paramount's Kelvin Universe films, spoke with Collider while promoting his latest film Inheritance to provide an update.

Simon Pegg at the UK premiere for "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" in Leicester Square, London. Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Simon Pegg at the UK premiere for "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" in Leicester Square, London. Editorial credit: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com

"Star Trek, I don't know," Pegg said. "Honestly, I don't know." He provided the same response when asked previously. The actor remains optimistic about working with the cast again, but one obstacle creatively and emotionally is how to address Anton Yelchin's character Pavel Chekov with the actor's passing. "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," he said. "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 star of the Cornetto trilogy said he still keeps in touch with the remaining Star Trek cast. "We're all still in contact, we were emailing with each other the other day, just checking in, 'how are we,' and stuff," he said. "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."

Simon Pegg: "Marvel Has Broader Appeal than Star Trek"

Pegg maintains handling the Star Trek film franchise is trickier than a franchise like Marvel. "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," he said. "I think Star Trek is just a little bit more niche, so it isn't gonna hit those kinds 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 conceded TV remains the ideal home for the franchise. "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." Given how busy the actors are, it's no surprise coincidentally enough Pegg ended up working with his Star Trek co-star Karl Urban on Amazon's The Boys. Inheritance premieres on DirecTV on May 22.

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 Fangora. As a professional 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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