The next big summer blockbuster on everyone's list is Star Trek Beyond, which is due out in theaters everywhere next week, after it makes its world premiere at San Diego Comic Con on July 20. That being the case, Paramount is currently pushing the movie and the creative team behind it has been making the rounds doing press for it, including producer J.J. Abrams. According to Abrams, plans are already underway for a fourth installment of the current Star Trek franchise, even though Beyond has yet to be released.
Collider is reporting that Abrams, who directed the first two installments of the rebooted Star Trek, already has plans for Star Trek 4 in the works. The news came from a press conference for Star Trek Beyond that Abrams took part in, and he seemed very optimistic about the possibility for a Star Trek 4. Here is what he had to say.
""Yes, and there's something that hopefully we're figuratively minutes away from talking about. The answer is 100% yes, and it's incredibly exciting."
It may seem a bit forward to already be discussing a fourth Star Trek installment when most people haven't even seen Star Trek Beyond yet, but Paramount clearly has confidence in the movie, as they probably should. Early reactions to the third installment, directed by Justin Lin this time around, have been very positive. Not to mention that the previous entries in this new J.J. Abrams reboot have made an awful lot of money at the box office, and have been generally well received by critics. Paramount will probably wait until at least after the opening weekend numbers and reviews come in to give a green light to the project, but it seems very likely at this point, especially given Abrams enthusiasm.
As for what Star Trek 4 could possibly be about? Well, we don't know a whole lot, especially considering we don't know what happens in Star Trek Beyond yet, but another report gives us a clue as to what Abrams has in mind. Reporter Scott Mantz took to his personal Twitter account today after sitting down with Abarms to give us a juicy bit about Star Trek 4. According to his Tweet, it looks like we may be seeing Chris Hemsworth return to the franchise, after his brief but memorable part in the 2009 Star Trek.
"BREAKING!! #JJAbrams confirms to me that a 4th #StarTrek movie will bring together #ChrisPine & #ChrisHemsworth!!"
In the opening sequence of J.J. Abrams first Star Trek movie, Hemsworth plays George Kick, father of Chris Pine's James T. Kirk. Hemsworth is killed during a Romulan attack on his ship, the U.S.S. Kelvin, as he heroically stays behind in order to save as many of his crew members as possible. That being the case, they would definitely have to play with time travel, or something of the like, in order to bring back George Kirk. But in the world of Star Trek that isn't at all a far reach. Not to mention that Hemsworth has become a much bigger star since he first played the part in 2009, so Paramount would likely be motivated to get him on board, if they could work it out in the story.
Abrams had to leave the director's chair for Star Trek Beyond, because he was quite busy making Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which seemed like it panned out reasonably well for him. It is possible that he could step back in if he wanted to, being that his schedule, though still crazy, is free enough for him to do it. But it is also very possible that if Beyond does well and is well received that Justin Lin could just as likely be back for round two. We will just have to wait and see, but the prospect is indeed exciting. Star Trek 3 opens in theaters on July 22.