Paramount has removed its self-titled “Star Trek” sequel from its upcoming movie list. The project, produced by JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot, is set to hit theaters on December 22, 2023.
The rather inevitable news comes about a month after director Matt Shakman left the movie “Star Trek,” which would nominally mark the fourth cinematic tour of duty for Chris Pine as Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Karl Urban as Bones. , John Cho as Sulu and Simon Pegg as Scotty. Shakman was successfully courted by Marvel Studios to lead the “Fantastic Four” reboot, reuniting the director of “WandaVision” with the studio after Jon Watts, director of “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” that movie left in April.
Shakman first became attached to the sequel to “Star Trek” in the summer of 2021, after its critically acclaimed run directing every episode of “WandaVision” — the announcement of “Trek” even came on the same day Shakman was nominated for a Emmy for the show.
In February, at the Paramount Global Investor Day presentation, Abrams announced that a new “Trek” movie will be shot “by the end of the year” and will feature “our original cast.”
The only problem, according to insiders, was that Pine, Quinto and the rest of the cast hadn’t officially signed up for the film when Abrams made his announcement, giving Paramount less than a year to land the in-demand actors.
With the film off the schedule, that deadline is no longer looming, but Paramount still has no plans for an entry in its most valuable franchise. The last “Trek” feature came in 2016 with “Star Trek Beyond”. Directed by Justin Lin, “Beyond” made $343.5 million worldwide – the lowest grossing of all Bad Robot’s “Trek” reboots.
It hasn’t been for a lack of trying either: Paramount has pursued multiple “Trek” movie projects since “Beyond,” including reuniting Pine and Chris Hemsworth (who played Kirk’s father in “Star Trek 2009”) for director SJ. Clarkson, and as versions supervised by “Fargo” author Noah Hawley and, yes, even Quentin Tarantino. None of them have been able to reach Earth orbit.
Meanwhile, “Star Trek” enjoys the most robust presence ever on television, with five ongoing “Trek” series – “Star Trek: Discovery”, “Star Trek: Picard”, “Star Trek: Lower Decks”, “Star Trek: Prodigy” and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” – all in different stages of production for Paramount+. In fact, the latest entry, “Strange New Worlds,” is set roughly around the same time period as the Pine and Quinto films, albeit in a completely separate timeline.