In 2009, Paramount and JJ Abrams gave us an epic reboot of the Star Trek franchise. However, this was no ordinary reboot. It managed to make the original series canon through time travel and the return of Leonard Nimoy as Spock. It was the perfect way for the series to chart its own course while still respecting what came before. Then the hearts of most Star Trek fans sank when Star Trek Into Darkness followed. A film that unashamedly offered no new ideas and instead opted to rehash old storylines with no thought whatsoever. Paramount did eventually make up for this though with Star Trek Beyond, inarguably the best of the new films. Beyond felt like a 2-hour episode of the original series with a bigger budget and I loved it.
However, my thoughts on these films aside, we’ve known for awhile that a fourth film is in development. It was reported months ago that Chris Hemsworth signed on to return as Kirk’s father in the fourth installment. Hemsworth even went on record with his thoughts on Abrams’ pitch.
“I’ve spoken to J.J. Abrams, and he has an amazing pitch on the whole thing.”
So, for awhile, things were looking up for Star Trek fans… or at least the ones not paying attention to Box Office Mojo. While I maintain that Star Trek Beyond was the best of the newer films, it didn’t do so hot at the box office.
Star Trek (2009) garnered a total of $385.7 million on a budget of $150 million. Into Darkness earned $467.4 million on a budget of $185 million. Beyond, however, earned a gross of $343.5 million on a budget of $185 million. This makes Star Trek Beyond the least financially successful of the franchise. When you do that math, it sadly couldn’t even double its budget at the box office. Yet, the Transformer films made billions of dollars… in what sick twisted universe was this fair? Are you gonna see Transformers: The Last Knight in theaters? Yes? Well then, you are part of the problem. That’s all I’m gonna say.
But Beyond‘s financial shortcomings aside, Zachary Quinto recently had an interview with The Today Show. While promoting his new indie film, Aardvark, Quinto gave an update on the status of Star Trek 4.
“I know that they are working on a script for another one and we’ll see how that all plays out, but the nice thing about that experience is that the time in between those big tentpole films allows us to go off and cultivate a lot of different creative experiences for ourselves…I’m hopeful that we’ll do another one, but there’s no guarantee.”
Well… this leaves us wondering now doesn’t it?
Granted, this would hardly be the first time that the Star Trek series was been put on hold. After its initial show’s cancellation in 1969, the series was pretty much dead. There was an animated series in the 70’s but let’s not bring that up. God knows no one else does. It wasn’t until Star Wars hit it big that Paramount resurrected Star Trek as a film series. This led to not just many films but to several new Star Trek shows as well. However, after Star Trek: Nemesis, the series was put on hold again until 2009 when Paramount opted for the reboot.
I’m taking this all with a grain of salt at the moment. I remain hopeful that another film will be made with this wonderful cast of actors. However, as a realist who understands that Hollywood is all about making the money, I have to prepare for the worst. That’s show business for you.
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Star Trek Beyond is now available on Blu-Ray.