Paramount makes ‘Star Trek 4’ official, Chris Hemsworth’s Kirk to return

Justin Lin's Star Trek Beyond isn't in theaters just yet, but Paramount Pictures, Skydance, and Bad Robot have announced Star Trek 4 is a go and will feature returning star Chris Hemsworth as George Kirk.

Over the weekend I wrote about J.J. Abrams making the big reveal that Hemsworth, currently starring in Ghostbusters, would be sharing the screen with Chris Pine in the next Star Trek film. I thought there was a chance he might be playing an entirely new character but with Paramount's announcement today they've confirmed, he'll be back as James T. Kirk's father. Now it looks like we're back to the simplest explanation – time travel.

From their press release:

In the next installment of the epic space adventure, Chris Pine”s Captain Kirk will cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father. Chris Hemsworth, who appeared in 2009″s “STAR TREK,” will return to the space saga as George Kirk to star alongside Pine. The remaining cast is expected to return.

Paramount also revealed J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will write the screenplay with Abrams and Lindsey Weber, David Ellison, and Dana Goldberg as producers. No word yet on a director. The film is getting good reviews (including from our own Drew McWeeny), but we'll see how the box office responds.

Of course, they aren't revealing exact story details yet, but I'm curious to see if the events which make it possible for Kirk to meet Kirk wind up changing the rebooted Star Trek universe as we know it going forward. The news now also brings to mind 1994's Star Trek Generations in which Captain Jean-Luc Picard was able to meet and team up with Captain Kirk, who everyone thought was dead thanks to an energy ribbon. Could the Kelvin universe start pulling from The Next Generation's films like it did with the original series' films?