"Star Trek 4": That's why the new film doesn't get going

In 2016, "Star Trek Beyond" was the last feature film about the crew of the spaceship Enterprise to be released in cinemas.

"Star Trek 4": That's why the new film doesn't get going

In 2016, "Star Trek Beyond" was the last feature film about the crew of the spaceship Enterprise to be released in cinemas. Since then, fans and “Trekkies” have been waiting for a whole six years for a new adventure by the ensemble led by Chris Pine (42). The producing film studio Paramount has just canceled the previously announced start date of "Star Trek 4" without replacement. The next entry in the successful franchise was originally supposed to be in cinemas for Christmas 2023, but after director Matt Shakman (47) left about a month ago, Paramount is now looking for a new filmmaker to oversee the project - and the "Star Trek fans will have to wait even longer than previously thought.

The next "Star Trek" movie has been simmering in Hollywood's notorious development hell for six years now. Directors and screenwriters - including director legend Quentin Tarantino (59) - come and go, but "Star Trek 4" does not get a green light for the start of production from the Paramount studio. Here is an overview of why.

With the start of "Star Trek Beyond" in 2016, it is announced that the next part of the film series is already in the making. For the screenplay for "Star Trek 4" at the time, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are now the showrunners and executive writers of Amazon's controversial The Lord of the Rings series The Rings of Power. Superstar Chris Hemsworth ("Thor", 39) is said to be playing Captain Kirk's father - as before in "Star Trek" from 2009.

But the project fails because the stars Hemsworth and Pine are said to be asking too much money, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Marvel star Hemsworth also later explained that Payne and McKay's script didn't convince him.

Then comes the big performance by Quentin Tarantino. Master director pitches 'Star Trek' producer J.J. Abrams (56) in December 2017 an idea based on the classic "Spaceship Enterprise" episode "Epigonen". In the 17th episode of season two of the original series, Kirk and Spock visit an alien planet inhabited by a humanoid species like 1920s American gangsters.

Tarantino himself describes his project as "pulp fiction in space", he is quoted by "Deadline". The plan is for the film to be rated 17+ in the US, which would have been a first for Star Trek movies. But this project also fails and Tarantino announces his departure in December 2019.

At the end of 2019, Noah Hawley (55), the creator of the series "Fargo" and "Legion", will be announced as the director and screenwriter for the next "Star Trek" film. Hawley wants to return to the classic virtues of the franchise and move away from the action-heavy character of the previous reboot films.

During the first Corona lockdown, Hawley is working on the script, but the story is set to revolve around a virus that is wiping out half the population of the universe. Due to this premise, the Paramount film studio has understandable concerns about the story of the film. Under a new studio management, the project will be put on hold in August 2020.

After that it gets really weird. In February 2022, Studio Paramount announced the official start date of "Star Trek 4" for December of next year and in the same breath announced the return of the stars around Pine, Zoe Saldana (44) and Zachary Quinto (45). However, the actors know nothing about it, as "The Hollywood Reporter" reports. They have not been informed in advance that they will be in the upcoming film, which is a highly unusual occurrence in Hollywood. With this approach, Paramount is depriving itself of its most important leverage in the forthcoming salary negotiations with the stars. Given the given starting position, they can demand high fees without having to fear that the studio will scrap the film because of it.

As mentioned at the beginning, this new version of the fourth "Star Trek" film also failed for the time being after the director's departure. While the "Star Trek" series like "Strange New Worlds" (since 2022) or "Discovery" (since 2017) are flourishing on the Paramount streaming service, the cinema universe is noticeably stuck. "Star Trek 4" remains in development hell for the time being.