Star Trek 4: Everything you need to know
Star Trek 4 has yet to be officially confirmed or cancelled, leaving Star Trek fans in the dark about whether they'll see the USS Enterprise on the big screen again.
Perhaps they can be rest assured that as bleak as it may seem, work is still underway on a potential return. In March 2023, JJ Abrams – who has produced all three movies in the reboot trilogy and directed two of them – said that a search for a director is ongoing.
"I will say it's the first time [since the original reboot] that we have a story that feels as compelling as the first one," he told Esquire. Of course, Chris Pine also called the franchise "cursed" so it depends how hopeful you feel like being.
All we really know right now is that Star Trek 4 won't be coming to cinemas in December 2023 as it was originally announced.
The long-gestating movie finally looked to be on track in February 2022 when it was announced that JJ Abrams was returning to produce and Matt Shakman to directing, to the surprise of the cast as much as the fans.
Unfortunately, Shakman left the movie in August 2022 to direct Fantastic Four for Marvel instead. And then in September 2022, Paramount took the movie off the release calendar entirely, but at least it sounds like a director search is ongoing.
But while we wait, here's everything you need to know about the (potential) return of the USS Enterprise in Star Trek 4.
Star Trek 4 potential release date: When can we expect Star Trek 4?
As you'll know from reading the above, Star Trek 4 hasn't got a confirmed release date at the moment, having been indefinitely delayed from the planned December 22, 2023 slot. There's no rumours about when it could reappear on the schedule.
In June 2022, prior to Shakman leaving the project, Paramount boss Brian Robbins did confirm development was under way on the fourth Star Trek. "We're deep into it with JJ Abrams, and it feels like we're getting close to the starting line and excited about where we're going creatively," he said.
However, in November 2022, star Zachary Quinto told The Independent: "At this point, I honestly have very little attachment to it.
"All of us would like to come back and make another movie, but I’ve learnt to only get excited about things I know are actually real. And there's nothing about a fourth Star Trek movie that feels real right now."
Star Trek 4 cast: Who's going to be in Star Trek 4?
Even when Star Trek 4 was being released in December 2023, it hadn't been 100% confirmed that the reboot cast would be back.
That being said, during his June 2022 announcement, Robbins did say he knew audience "wants that cast in this movie" – referring to the reboot cast.
So, if it ever does come to fruition, we'd be surprised if it was with a brand-new cast. You can likely then expect the returns of Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldaña (Uhura), Karl Urban (Bones), John Cho (Sulu) and Simon Pegg (Scotty).
Urban certainly seems keen for a return, although he also revealed in March 2022 that, like Pine, he hadn't read a script yet. "I would love to work with those guys again; so much fun, the best hang. We'll see," he enthused.
It all feels very up in the air, as per Quinto's quotes, but that doesn't mean we can't hope!
The initial plan for the fourth movie was to have a timey-wimey adventure that featured Chris Pine's James T Kirk somehow joining forces with his long-dead dad, played by Chris Hemsworth.
Hemsworth opened up in May 2019 about why he stepped away from the movie, saying: "I didn't feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet. I didn't want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table."
It's unclear if this new version of Star Trek 4 plans to bring Hemsworth back or if it's gone in a totally new direction, but Hemsworth seems open to a return for the fourth movie.
In October 2022, Rings of Power bosses JD Payne and Patrick McKay teased more about what their original idea for the fourth movie was going to be. "The conceit was that through a cosmic quirk in the Star Trek world, they were the same age," McKay explained.
We also don't know yet whether the new movie will recast Pavel Chekov following Anton Yelchin's tragic death in 2016. "It's bittersweet because we are coming together for a fourth time, and one of us is no longer with us," Saldaña said in March 2022.
"But we honestly feel that going back and keeping the Star Trek family together is a way to really keep him alive in our thoughts and our hearts."
Star Trek 4 plot: What's going to happen in Star Trek 4?
Right now, we don't have any confirmed plot details for the fourth movie, and it's not clear how closely it'll follow on from the ending of Star Trek Beyond.
The third movie ended with Kirk declining the promotion to vice admiral and staying as the captain of the USS Enterprise. Spock also chose to remain in Starfleet and reignited his romance with Uhura.
As the movie ends, they're all set to continue their mission on a brand-new USS Enterprise after the previous one was destroyed during the movie's events.
It means that the fourth movie can go anywhere. But, for Pine, he believes that whatever the plot is, it shouldn't try to compete with Marvel.
"I've always thought that Star Trek should operate in the zone that is smaller. You know, it's not a Marvel appeal. It's like, let's make the movie for the people that love this group of people, that love this story, that love Star Trek," he said.
"Let's make it for them and then, if people want to come to the party, great. But make it for a price and make it, so that if it makes a half-billion dollars, that's really good."
Star Trek 4 trailer: Any Star Trek 4 footage yet?
You're kidding, right? We'd love to get all timey-wimey ourselves and show you a trailer for Star Trek 4 from the future, but we're stuck in the Mirror Universe.
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