There is a great deal of uncertainty and confusion surrounding the future of the Star Trek franchise. On the big screen anyway. That aside, Chris Pine would still love to return as Captain Kirk once more for Star Trek 4, whatever shape that may ultimately take. At this point, the ball is firmly in Paramount Pictures' court.
Chris Pine is gearing up to return in another big franchise as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman 1984. Pine was recently a guest on J Claude Dearing's podcast. The subject of Star Trek 4 came up and Pine revealed that he has heard a lot of rumblings in that department but nothing has been firmed up. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I haven't heard anything. I mean, I get asked these questions all the time. I'm like the last person to find anything out. So, I've heard, what have I heard? Tarantino is going to do one. And then, who is it? Noah Hawley was going to do something else, and then that fell through. And then he's going to do something with the Discovery, the new Alex Kurtzman-led cast. So, I really don't know. I know that Paramount is coming out of having restructured a bit and kind of a major corporate restructuring. So hopefully, when all that dust settles, something concrete will come out of it, and we'll get to work. I'd love to do it."
Indeed, Paramount has quite a few irons in the fire. Quentin Tarantino had pitched a new movie within the franchise that will involve gangsters in space, though he is unlikely to direct it. There is also the Noah Hawley project which seemed to be getting closer to happening but was recently put on the backburner. Lastly, there is the original pitch for the sequel, which would have brought back Chris Hemsworth as Kirk's father, with S.J. Clarkson attached to direct at one point.
The problem is that Paramount is trying to find the best path forward for the series in movie form. Over on CBS All Access, things are going well with Star Trek: Discover, Picard, the animated Lower Decks and another live-action spin-off centered on Captain Pike in the works. Nickelodeon also has Star Trek: Prodigy coming down the pipeline. It's not so simple with the movies right now and there is no clear answer.
Star Trek Beyond hit theaters in summer 2016. It earned strong reviews and $335 million at the box office, but its inflated budget got in the way of it being profitable. Even so, much of the core cast has expressed a desire to return for another installment, assuming the studio can get the details ironed out in a way that is satisfying for all involved. For now, it seems it may be a while before that ends up happening. You can check out the full interview with Chris Pine on the latest episode of the Things Are Going Great for Me podcast.