Paramount Pictures is having a rough couple of years. A lot of their big movies have bombed recently, like Ben-Hur and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, but perhaps the most surprising was the very well-liked Star Trek Beyond. The movie came out over the summer and is now the lowest grossing of the new Star Trek series, but the Justin Lin directed entry was also the most expensive to make. Before the movie was even released Paramount made it clear they had plans for Star Trek 4. Well, it looks like less than stellar box office performance isn't going to keep the franchise from boldly going on, because Simon Pegg has teased that work has already begun on the fourth installment.
Simon Pegg co-wrote the script for Star Trek Beyond, in addition to playing Scotty, so if he is going to write Star Trek 4 as well, he would be one of the first people in on the project. He took to his Twitter account recently to post a picture of himself and his Star Trek Beyond co-writer Doug Jung hard at work on a project of some kind at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production offices. Given the context of the picture, it is hard to imagine this is a tease to anything but Star Trek 4, unless J.J. Abrams has roped the duo in for another, completely unrelated project.
Prior to the release of Star Trek Beyond it was teased that Chris Hemsworth would be returning to play the father of James Kirk (played by Chris Pine) in Star Trek 4. His turn as George Kirk in the first Star Trek was actually Chris Hemsworth's first feature film role and he made such an impact that it helped land him the role of Thor for Marvel. All things considered, that worked out pretty well. There is no telling how Simon Pegg and Doug Jung would bring him back into the fold since *spoilers* he died an epic, tragic death in the first movie. But, timeline maneuvering, wormholes and other staples of the Star Trek franchise could easily make that a reality.
Despite only bringing in $343 million worldwide against a reported $185 million production budget, Star Trek Beyond was received very well by fans and critics. The movie currently has an 84 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 81 percent audience score. In a summer filled with disappointing blockbusters, it is fairly surprising that Star Trek Beyond didn't manage to do better financially. Perhaps Paramount understands that and sees the value in Star Trek 4 still. If this picture is any evidence, that certainly appears to be the case.
The prospect of getting to see Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth interact in Star Trek 4 is surely enough to get many fans of the franchise excited. Not to mention that Chris Hemsworth has since become a massive star in his own right, so they could help put butts in seats. Sadly, Anton Yelchin passed away in a tragic accident following the filming of Star Trek Beyond, so he wouldn't be able to return as Chekov, but the producers have made it clear they have no intention of recasting him. Simon Pegg and Doug Jung clearly have their work cut out for them, but hopefully this means we will be seeing Star Trek 4 happening, and possibly sooner rather than later.