Image via Paramount
At this stage, it would be more of a surprise if the long-gestating Star Trek 4 actually happened, given the massive volume of high-profile setbacks to have dogged the sci-fi sequel over the years.
Chris Hemsworth signed on to return as the father of Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk, only for both of them to end up dropping out. The latter did eventually agree to return as the captain of the Enterprise, but the train has kept on careening off the rails ever since without showing a hint of getting back on track.
S.J. Clarkson was lined up to direct before abandoning ship, which then led to WandaVision‘s Matt Shakman agreeing to step behind the camera, with Paramount going ahead and announcing a release date. The only problem was that nobody bothered to inform the cast, leaving them fielding questions about Star Trek 4 they didn’t have a clue how to answer.
With Shakman departing as well in favor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Fantastic Four reboot, it’s back to square one all over again for the Kelvin crew, with Pine admitting in an interview with Esquire that his stint as the leading man is more than likely cursed.
“I’m not sure Star Trek was ever built to do that kind of business,” Pine says. “I always thought, “Why aren’t we just appealing to this really rabid fan group and making the movie for a good price and going on our merry way, instead of trying to compete with the Marvels of the world?” After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everybody wanted it to do, and then Anton passed away, I don’t know, it just seemed cursed.
I don’t know anything. In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors. I would say it’s frustrating. It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created—I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy.”
Of course, fans have been saying it for years, but that doesn’t make it any less disconcerting to hear it directly out of the mouth of the star himself. He’s almost certainly right, and with no horizon line in sight for Star Trek 4, nobody’s going to be shocked if it ends up simply fading away into nothingness.