Star Trek is one of those massive juggernaut franchises rivaling that of Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings. Beginning in the ’60s with the original Star Trek series, the franchise is very much in the limelight after a period of drought post the lackluster Enterprise series. Beginning with Star Trek: Discovery, there are currently multiple TV shows on the air, with more in development. But what about the movies? After a lot of back and forth, Paramount finally clarified things about the allegedly canceled Star Trek movies. The studio says that development on them continues, even with the slowdown because of COVID. But the real question at this point is, exactly which Star Trek movie are they working on?
It’s A Star Trek Universe and We’re All Just Warping Through It
Image via CBS All Access
The Star Trek franchise is truly massive. First there was the original Star Trek series, followed years later by an animated one featuring the same cast. That cast moved on to make six feature films. Meanwhile, they created one of TV’s first shared universes with The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine. The Next Generation cast also starred in four feature films. Then came the better-than-you-remember prequel series Enterprise. In 2009, J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise, creating the Kelvin timeline and three films set in that universe. Currently, the massive media franchise has 3 TV series on the air in multiple seasons, 1 animated kids’ series in development, as well as 2 live-action series in the works, spinning off from Discovery. It definitely feels like we’re living in a renaissance of the franchise. However, it seems that the feature film side of Star Trek has stalled like a bad set of inertial dampers.
Personally, I’m not too worried, given that the original franchise began in TV, and then transitioned into a film franchise. It’s one of those incredibly rare IPs that successfully transitioned from TV to movies, and back again. Especially with the same cast continuing the same stories without creating a huge fuss about it. And this is even before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a thing. So I can definitely see the potential for the current TV slate getting spun off into movie franchises of their own. Basically going back to the roots of how it all started. But with Paramount’s official confirmation that the Star Trek movies aren’t canceled, I can’t help but wonder what their future plans are.
Paramount Clarifies Star Trek Movies’ Future, but Vaguely
Image via Paramount.
The last Star Trek movie we got was Star Trek Beyond. It was the second sequel to the rebooted Original Series characters that J. J. Abrams launched in 2009. Taking over for Abrams, Justin Lin’s sequel was just as action-packed, in keeping with the tone of this new franchise. However, the movie underperformed at the box office, stalling future plans for the movies. Initial reports said the fourth movie would be a time travel story bringing back Chris Hemsworth as Kirk’s father. However, those plans didn’t fully materialize, seemingly due to creative reasons, as per Hemsworth at least.
Later on, we heard that auteur director Quentin Tarantino himself wanted to do a Star Trek movie in his own unique style set in the 30′ gangster era? But there was no confirmation on if it will be a sequel, or a new Trek altogether. Recently, the current director, Noah Hawley, mentioned that the new Star Trek movie would feature a different cast of characters than the rebooted crew from the past three movies, but even that stalled. Despite Paramount’s confirmation regarding news of them cancelling Star Trek movies, there’s no word on which movie(s) are in development.
Star Trek: Discovery’s third season premieres October 15. Then Star Trek: Picard season 2 premieres January 2021. Star Trek: Lower Decks is currently streaming on CBS All Access, soon to be renamed Paramount+.
So how do you feel about the news that the Star Trek movies aren’t canceled? What sort of stories should they tell on the big screen? Let us know in the comments below.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.