Star Trek has been doing pretty well for itself on television. The animated Below Decks has just premiered on the CBS All Access streamer with the third season of Discovery set to launch after Below Decks finishes its first season run while a second season of Picard is just waiting on the passing of the coronavirus pandemic to get in front of cameras.
However, things on the theatrical side of the franchise have somewhat stalled out. It has been four years since Star Trek Beyond, the third film in the franchise reboot from JJ Abrams. And while it didn’t do as strong box office as the first two films did, the studio was at least ruminating on another big screen installment. The problem is, they weren’t sure which way to go, putting not one but three potential big screen projects into development= a straight sequel to Beyond and new and different takes on the franchise from Fargo creator Noah Hawley and iconic filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
But Paramount, in the form of incoming Paramount Motion Pictures Group president Emma Watts, has put the development of all three projects on hold until, according to Deadline, “[figure] out which way to go.”
Deadline’s report doesn’t offer much more in the way of details as to what project may eventually go, but does state that at the time the pause button was hit it was Hawley’s film that was in soft prep for a possible greenlight. Deadline does note that the film would have featured a new cast of characters and involve a storyline about a deadly virus, which probably doesn’t seem like the most appealing of plots currently. Initially, salary demands for the returning cast put this one on the back burner, though Deadline suggests that it may still have a chance at getting a greenlight.
The story did offer some interesting updates on the other two projects.
The first is Star Trek 4, what would have been a direct sequel to Star Trek Beyond. The film would have seen the return for the reboot cast and have been a time travel adventure which would have seen Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk reuniting with his father (Chris Hemsworth), who died in the reboot series’s first film’s opening moments.
As for the Tarantino project, Deadline reports perhaps unsurprisingly that the director himself has dropped out. However, the script that he developed with The Revenant screenwriter Mark L Smith is still under consideration. The story is being reported as a follow-up to a classic Trek episode “that takes place largely earthbound in a 30s gangster setting,” which sounds to me like the original series second season episode “A Piece Of The Action.”
And while the Hawley and Tarantino/Smith projects may not turn out to be the priority for Paramount, Deadline notes that they still could go forward as spinoff features.