It appears as if the rebooted Star Trek film franchise may have drydocked by its studio as a new report is surfacing stating that plans for a fourth movie in the reviatlized franchise have been shelved.
The news comes from Deadline‘s reportage of Clarkson taking the directorial reigns for the pilot of HBO’s Game Of Thrones sequel.
I hear Clarkson was recruited by HBO for GOT after she recently became available. Earlier this year, Clarkson was the first female director to be tapped to direct a Star Trek movie when she was hired to helm the fourth feature in the current series. That project has since been shelved.
J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay were set to co-write the screenplay which reportedly would have involved some time travel allowing Captain Kirk to travel back and meet up with his father, who dies on the day Kirk was born, sacrificing himself so some of his crew could escape an attacker and live.
To date, paramount has not commented on Deadline’s report.
The film side of the Star Trek franchise was rebooted in 2009, with director J J Abrams using some time travel shenanigans to launch a new timeline featuring new actors in the roles first made iconic by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the rest. It was fairly well received, and turned enough of a profit for Paramount that a sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, followed in 2013 and performed even better than its predecessor. However, a third installment, 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, did not do as well at the box office.
But the fact that the studio was developing a fourth installment, despite the third’s underwhelming box office performance, suggests that it wasn’t Star Trek Beyond‘s receipts that have cause them to chill on a further cinematic installment.
There are a couple of reasons that may in part or in sum combination, have influenced this decision.
In the wake of Star Trek Beyond‘s poor box office came a report that star Chris Pine refused to take a paycut to return for the fourth film. While this has not been confirmed, it would be hard sell for the series to continue on without their Captain Kirk.
Last year saw the debut of the CBS All Access streaming service, in which a new series Star Trek: Discovery was the keystone piece of original programming. Apparently, executives were happy enough with that that they ordered a second season. Additionally they set a number of other Trek-related series into development, including one which would see the return of Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It could be that there is a renewed focus for the franchise on television only.
Alternatively, perhaps the studio is looking towards another, different Star Trek cinematic adventure. They do have a script being developed by The Revenant screenwriter Mark L Smith from an idea by Quentin Tarantino. Previously, it was understood that this film would go, with Tarantino behind the camera, after this fourth installment of the rebooted series. Perhaps executives are now interested in getting that onto the big screen first.