Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t the worst Star Trek movie (that would be Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which is basically two hours of nothing, interrupted only by instantly dated computer effects), but it’s also not the best (The Voyage Home). And it’s a major step down from the franchise-rebooting Star Trek. Even director J.J. Abrams has apologized for Into Darkness multiple times — most recently for how Kirk and Spock were portrayed — so it’s understandable why a cast member might want to jump (space) ship.
That’s almost what happened with Karl Urban. In fact, Star Trek Beyond (watch the trailer, sans Beastie Boys, here) would have been McCoy-less, were it not for the involvement of Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift director Justin Lin.
“It was fantastic. It was a breath of fresh air, and I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics. In fact, I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin… Because I had a conflicting schedule, and I had a decision to make about which film to do, and I was no longer under contract to do a third picture. So I had a decision to make, and it was talking with Justin that enabled me to commit to it.” (Via ign.com)
Lin’s pep talk was the same one Kirk gave to McCoy:
“I’m an actor playing a doctor, not a script doctor.”