The crew of the Enterprise won’t be boldly going anytime soon. In an article about S.J. Clarkson directing the pilot for the totally necessary Game of Thrones prequel series, Deadline reveals that her previously pending project, the tentatively titled Star Trek 4, has been shelved by Paramount. Putting the next adventure for Kirk and company on hold is what appears to have freed up Clarkson for the gig. This is likely the fallout of the failed contract negotiations with series star Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth, who played Kirk’s father in the first film set in the Kelvin timeline. Star Trek Beyond, the last movie in the series, was a box office failure, prompting Paramount to try to cut costs for the next installment; the resulting cuts to the marquee names’ promised salaries have apparently done more damage to Star Trek 4 than a fleet of Klingon War Birds could have.
Well, this is a real kick in the pants. When the news broke that Pine and Hemsworth had walked away from the negotiating table, I figured it had to be only a step on the road to finalizing a deal. One lackluster movie performance doesn’t seem enough for Paramount to let the Star Trek franchise fall apart, particularly after they’d gone so far to establish the new timeline and stable of actors. But it looks like Paramount really wants to pinch pennies on Star Trek 4. Now, this isn’t the end; a deal could be worked out between the actors and the studio at some later date, and if she remains unavailable, S.J. Clarkson is hardly the only director on Earth who can film a Star Trek movie. Maybe Paramount can get a little creative in their cost-cutting. After a trio of action extravaganzas, Star Trek 4 could be a lower key outing for the Enterprise, without a planet-ending threat that requires the exhaustion of the ship’s supply of photon torpedoes. A Star Trek movie is never going to be cheap, but if they can shave a few million off production costs by cutting an action sequence and coax back their star and his Thunder God dad, it will be worth it. Does Paramount really think explosions are more essential to Star Trek 4 than Captain Kirk?
Are you worried about Star Trek 4? Do you think it will eventually get back on track? Is a part of you hoping that, somewhere in the course of the negotiations, Karl Urban said, “Dammit, I’m a doctor, not an agent!”? Let us know in the comments and stick around Geeks + Gamers for more movie news and reviews!