Back in December, Simon Pegg confirmed that work on the Star Trek 4 script has begun, with the writer teaming up with his Star Trek Beyond partner Doug Jung to knock out the story. There hasn't been much on the project since then, but today we have word from Zachary Quinto that the script is still being worked on, although he doesn't know when the cast may be called back to start production. Here's what Zachary Quinto had to say about the process of putting Star Trek 4 together.
"If I had (an update) I would give it to you. I'm expecting (the news of a fourth movie) to be true, but it's always this way. It's like, 'Yes, we're going to do it!' but then there's always a process, writing a script being primary among them, and I know that's what they're working on now. I think we're all really excited to go back and we'll do that whenever the phone rings and it's J.J. on the other end. It is a process. There's years between the first few movies. I think there were four years between the first two, and at least three between the second and the third, so we're kind of on track. It was two years ago that we shot the last one, and it came out last year, so I feel like we're still in the strike one. Yeah, we'll see."
What's interesting is this interview with Entertainment Tonight comes just a few months after Zachary Quinto hinted in an April interview that there is "no guarantee" that another Star Trek movie would be made. Producer J.J. Abrams confirmed almost exactly a year ago today that Star Trek 4 was happening, with Paramount officially confirming the news a few days later, while announcing that Chris Hemsworth is returning to portray George Kirk, the late father of James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine). James is said to "cross paths" with his father, who he never got a chance to meet, although it isn't clear how this actually will happen.
Chris Hemsworth himself revealed in January that the pitch by J.J. Abrams for this movie was "amazing," although we still haven't had any concrete details about when production may begin, or when Paramount may be releasing the movie. Chris Pine's Kirk and Zachary Quinto's Spock are both expected to return, along with franchise stars such as Zoe Saldana (Uhura), Simon Peggy (Scotty), Karl Urban (Bones) and John Cho (Sulu). It will also be interesting to see how this sequel will deal with the death of star Anton Yelchin, who tragically passed away last year after a horrifying accident. It has been confirmed that there are no plans to re-cast another actor as his Chekov character. There has also been talk that the late Leonard Nimoy may return with a CGI version of his Spock character.
While Star Trek 4 will most likely happen at some point, it's worth pointing out that this franchise is on the decline, both critically and commercially. The 2009 Star Trek still has the highest domestic take with $257.7 million, with 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness dropping to $228.7 million and last year's Star Trek Beyond earning just $158.8 million. While all three movies are still certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, their ratings have also decreased, with Star Trek earning a stellar 95% rating, while Star Trek Into Darkness slipped to 86% and Star Trek Beyond slipping a bit more to 84%. Hopefully we'll have more on Star Trek 4 in the very near future.