The fourth installment in the ongoing and excruciatingly painful cinematic reboot of Star Trek on the big screen has slammed at warp speed into what could be a deal-breaking dilemma in what many fans will consider is a blessing in disguise.
The as-yet untitled project, simply known at this point as as Star Trek 4, was reportedly going to feature yet another time-travel plot [yawn] with James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) somehow joining forces with his long-dead father George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth).
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, both Pine and Hemsworth have walked away from negotiations to star in the JJ Abrams-produced project as a result of the studio allegedly trying to force them to take a cut in salary.
Both Pine and Hemsworth are now considered A-list talent in Hollywood following their DC and Marvel successes and are reportedly said to be asking the studios to stick to pre-agreed deals. According to THR, Paramount contends that Trek is not like a Marvel or a Star Wars movie and is trying to adhere to a strict – and one suspects smaller – budget.
To complicate things more, producers were apparently waiting to secure both Pine and Hemsworth before negotiating deals for other cast members Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and Simon Pegg (Scotty), so the project certainly sounds like it might be in a predicament. Sadly the franchise won’t see the return of Anton Yelchin (Chekov) who tragically died in 2016 in an accident when his SUV rolled down his driveway, trapping him against a security gate.
Abrams announced that Hemsworth would definitely be reprising his role from the 2009 movie’s opening prologue more than two years ago. It was believed to have been gearing up for production, with Jessica Jones veteran SJ Clarkson on board as the film franchise’s first female director and Black Panther’s Danai Gurira expected to have a key role.
Popularity of this reboot has gradually declined since Star Trek (2009) with lower scores on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes for each successive movie. And quite rightly so. The last movie, Star Trek Beyond, grossed only $343 million worldwide on a budget of $190 million. THR reports that one insider says the companies actually lost money on the movie.
Even for pure-popcorn, sci-fi action blockbusters the quality of writing for these Star Trek movies has been dreadful. Considering how much talent is out there and how much money was available to spend, Star Trek: Into Darkness still couldn’t come up with an original plot that didn’t rely on resurrecting an already-used antagonist. Something that seems to be becoming more commonplace in any Abrams-produced big-budget sci-fi. ‘Cause you know that The Force Awakens was basically a remake of A New Hope, right?
Meanwhile, rumors continue to abound regarding a R-rated Star Trek movie based on a concept from Quentin Tarantino that would not be set in the Kelvin Timeline. Screenwriter Mark L. Smith, best known for penning Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant, is believed to be onboard and Abrams it is thought would once again take the role of producer.
Tarantino is a long-time Trek fan – don’t forget the opening screen for Kill Bill told of the old Klingon proverb that says revenge is a dish best served cold – and in an interview with Nerdist he said that he considers the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Yesterday’s Enterprise one of the best Trek episodes ever written.
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