Chris Pine still wants to come back for Star Trek 4. But the question is, can the studio come to an agreement with him? We recently reported that both Pine and Chris Hemsworth, who was scheduled to reprise his role as George Kirk in the upcoming sequel, ran into contract negotiation issues with Paramount, leaving their future with the franchise in doubt. Despite that, Pine is still interested in coming back as James T. Kirk for at least one more go-around.

The news of these contract issues came to light last month. Basically, Star Trek Beyond didn't make the money Paramount was hoping it would. In order to try and get the budget where it needs to be for Star Trek 4, they are trying to pay Pine and Hemsworth less than they were set to make per deals that were already in place. It comes down to money and the studio isn't prepared to shell out what they would need to in order to get the two A-list men named Chris on board.

Since the news broke, Chris Pine has been radio silent on the matter. However, he was recently on hand at the Toronto International Film Festival for the premiere of his new movie, Outlaw King, which arrives on Netflix later this year. On the red carpet, he was asked about his potential participation in Star Trek 4. Here's what he had to say about it.

"I don't know, man. I'd love to be involved, and we'll see what happens. I'll await the phone call. Until then, I look forward to it."

The tone in his voice is one that doesn't scream enthusiasm. It's probably a tense situation and what that could be a little bitter behind the scenes. But the good news for fans of the franchise is that the desire is there. It's not as though Chris Pine is fed up with Trek and is dying to walk away. His co-star Karl Urban spoke recently and expressed confidence that Paramount will work out a deal with both of the actors and that Star Trek 4 will move ahead as planned. The studio is also still developing Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek movie, which will be R-rated and intends to use the current cast as well. So it would be very helpful if they could work some sort of deal out.

S.J. Clarkson was recently hired to helm Star Trek 4 and, should the movie actually move forward, she'll become the first female director in the history of the movie franchise. The movie does not currently have a release date and, as far as plot details go, all we've heard is that the plan is to reunite the Kirks somehow, which could be quite intriguing. We'll have to see how this all plays out over the coming months. You can check out the interview clip from the Variety Twitter account for yourself below.

Ryan Scott