While Star Trek has seen plenty of activity on the small screen in recent times, the franchise's movie universe has been in limbo for years since 2016's Star Trek Beyond. Now, Deadline reports that over at Paramount, motion picture group president Emma Watts is looking at three different movie scripts for a new Star Trek feature, each of whom will send the franchise in distinctly different directions going forward.
The first of the three scripts belongs to writer-director Noah Hawley, who served as executive producer, writer, director, and showrunner on FX's Emmy-winning limited series Fargo. It was recently announced that Watts has put the brakes on the project with a desire to achieve greater clarity on where the franchise is headed before moving forward. If the project gets the go-ahead signal, it will see Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and Zoe Saldana returning to crew the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The second script is the one written by The Revenant scribe Mark L. Smith, which Quentin Tarantino was once attached to direct. Although the filmmaker has since left the project, the script is still a viable option at Paramount, and is rumored to be "based on an episode of the classic 'Star Trek' series that takes place largely earthbound in a 1930s gangster setting."
The third and final script that is under consideration is Star Trek 4, the one that was intended to be a direct continuation of the Star Trek movies made by J.J. Abrams. They would have seen Chris Hemsworth return to play Chris Pine's father in a time travel narrative. S. J. Clarkson was attached to direct the movie but left the project after his duties on Game of Thrones started demanding more time.
Rumor has it that Hawley's script dealt with a deadly virus as part of the plot, which might not play as well given the state of the world right now. The Tarantino script is being seen as a Logan-like feature that adds some gritty realism to the space franchise. Finally, S.J. Clarkson's script would continue with Star Trek's attempts to entice a worldwide audience that has eluded it so far, at least to the extent of Star Wars or the MCU.
For fans, the prospect of seeing a new Star Trek movie is an exciting one. But the fact is the previous films have not had as much of an impact as Paramount had hoped for, with Simon Pegg, who was one of the actors in the main cast, bluntly laying out the financial reason why the series was not churning out one sequel after another on the big screen:
"The fact is, Star Trek movies don't make Marvel money. They make maybe $500 million at the most, and to make one now, on the scale they've set themselves, is $200 million. You have to make three times that to make a profit."
Hopefully, Paramount will soon hit upon a proper path for Star Trek films going forward that will please both hardcore Trekkies and general audiences, and honor the celebrated legacy of the franchise. This came from Deadline.