Star Trek 3, which is being referred to as Star Trek Beyond in some circles, just started shooting this past week. But Paramount is already planning Star Trek 4. Both Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, who play Captain James T. Kirk and Spock, respectively, have nabbed big pay raises after renegotiating their contracts for the third movie, according to THR. And both are now confirmed to return in a fourth installment.
Star Trek 3 is currently shooting in Vancouver, with Paramount and Skydance Entertainment securing their new contracts with the stars at the very last minute. The raises have added an additional $10 to $15 million to the budget. The rushed negotiations are somewhat blamed on the upcoming sequel's slow development process. And the raises come courtesy of its cast's current rise to power in Hollywood. Especially Chris Pine, who is said to have scored $6 million for his deal, and Zoe Saldana, whose contract is not up for discussion.
When the entire original cast signed on for the first movie in 2009, they had options for two sequels. No renegotations took place when 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness went into production. At that time, the cast only received the normal raises that were already built into their preexisting contracts. At the time, Paramount argued that the first movie was not a huge blockbuster, though well-recieved. The film grossed $385.7 million, which paled in comparison to their lucrative Transformers and Mission: Impossible franchises.
Star Trek Into Darkness grossed $467 million, with Paramount ready to continue the franchise. But Star Trek 3 ran into delays when series writer Roberto Orci, stepping in as director to replace J.J. Abrams, was fired. Orci spent most of 2014 writing Star Trek 3, but executives decided to scrap all of his ideas and instead bring in star Simon Pegg to co-write with Doug Jung. Justin Lin, who helped reignite Fast & Furious back into a very lucrative franchise, took over as director. Just as it seemed everything was back on track, the actors deals became an issue.
Paramount only wanted to give its stars the standard raise as listed in their initial contracts from way back in 2007. Under California law, a personal services contract cannot bind someone for more than 7 years. In 2014, the old deals became invalid. While Paramount tried to dispute this, neither side wanted to go to court. And complicating the matter was the fact that some of the cast had risen in their star power considerably since 2009. Paramount agreed to a combination of hefty raises and better performance bonuses. At this time, the studio has no comment.
Though, Chris Pine appears to be the biggest winner, as the leader of the USS Enterprise. He only earned $600,000 for his 2009 performance. Now, he is looking to net a cool $6 million for this currently-shooting sequel. In 2013, he only got $1.5 million for Star Trek Into Darkness, and was supposed to get $3 million for Star Trek Beyond. Star Trek 4 is actually a result of these raises. One condition for the pay bump was that both Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto return for another movie, insuring that the iconic duo of Kirk and Spock remain in tact.