‘Star Trek 4’ Gets Another Writer, But “Franchise Origin Story” Movie Could Arrive First – TrekMovie.com


In addition to the update on the future of Trek TV, today also brings some news about Star Trek on the big screen. Not to be confused with the Section 31 streaming movie (or potential future Paramount+ movies), Paramount Pictures appears to be closing in on a plan for the Star Trek feature films.

New writer for Star Trek 4

The Variety cover story and a follow-up article include tidbits on Star Trek feature films. According to the trade, the “Star Trek 4” sequel to 2016’s Star Trek Beyond has brought in another screenwriter. The latest scribe to take on the long-gestating project is Steve Yockey who has primarily worked in TV writing for shows like Supernatural and Doom Patrol, and more recently creating and showrunnering Max’s The Flight Attendant and the upcoming Netflix Sandman-spinoff series Dead Boy Detectives.

Paramount still sees this movie as the final film for the Kelvin crew of Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldaña (Uhura), Karl Urban (Dr. McCoy), John Cho (Sulu) and Simon Pegg (Scotty). Members of the cast have consistently indicated they are eager to do another film if they can align their busy schedules, but “creative differences” and “script issues” have reportedly kept the film from getting off the ground.

No details are available regarding the story for this film which has gone through a number of iterations since Paramount first envisioned a sequel to Beyond in 2016. Paramount had put the movie on the release calendar for Christmas 2023 but director Matt Shakman (WandaVision) exited the project in the summer of 2022 months before filming was set to start, moving Star Trek 4 back to the development queue. Shakman was working on a script written by Josh Friedman (Avatar 2) and Cameron Squires (WandaVision), based on an earlier draft from Lindsey Beer (Pet Semetary: Bloodlines) and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel). According to Variety, Yockey is writing a “new draft,” indicating the film is still at least partially based on those previous drafts.

Simon Pegg as Scotty, Sofia Boutella as Jaylah and Chris Pine as Kirk in Star Trek Beyond (Paramount Pictures)

“Origin story” movie update

In January it was reported Paramount was developing a separate Star Trek movie to be directed by Toby Haynes (Andor and Black Mirror “USS Callister”) from a script from Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter). At the time it was reported the movie “expands on the Star Trek universe” and will be “an origin story that takes place decades before” the 2009 Star Trek movie. Today’s Variety article added a bit more clarity, saying this movie will “serve as an origin story of sorts for the main timeline of the entire franchise.” This indicates a movie is set in the Prime Timeline, before the Kelvin attack that split off to make the movie franchise timeline used in the last 3 feature films.

Variety is also reporting that this origin story is “further along” than the current status of Star Trek 4, which makes sense because it already has a director. This Haynes-directed Star Trek movie is reportedly “on track to start preproduction by the end of the year,” according to studio insiders. In theory, that could get a Star Trek movie into theaters by the end of 2026, the 60th anniversary year of the franchise.

The Variety cover story points out that the Star Trek film franchise has failed to break past the $500 million box office barrier and so the studio is now “focused on rightsizing the budgets to fit within the clear box office ceiling” for Star Trek feature films, which is a smart move. The franchise has seen this kind of adjustment throughout its history, most famously after Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979 failed to hit Star Wars box office levels the studio cut the budgets for subsequent Trek movies — which became solid earners for the studio through the ’80s and ’90s.

Oh, and there’s another Trek movie

Back in 2021, it was reported that former Star Trek: Discovery and Fear the Walking Dead writer Kalinda Vasquez had been tapped to write a Star Trek movie based on an “original movie that she hatched.” There haven’t really been any updates on the project since, and with so many failed attempts to make a Star Trek movie, it had been assumed it had been added to the discard pile. However, today Variety reported that the Vasquez Trek film “remains in development.” So, there’s that.

Could it be that Paramount will finally catch up with Star Wars, Marvel, and DC and start putting out a variety of Star Trek feature films over the next decade? Could they finally have the right mix of budget and box office expectations? Have they found the creative and production teams to make this all happen? For now, let’s go with a solid: maybe.

Find more news and analysis on upcoming Star Trek feature films.

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