After spending a lengthy time in development hell that included Chris Pine walking away from the franchise, it seemed like Star Trek 4 was finally shaping up to be a reality when Noah Hawley became the newest director attached to the project in November 2019. But since then, there hasn’t been much movement, and Simon Pegg doesn’t sound very optimistic in a recent interview with Games Radar. Pegg not only plays Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (a.k.a. Scotty), but he also co-wrote Star Trek Beyond. In short, he has an inside track on the calculations happening behind the scenes:
“The fact is, Star Trek movies don’t make Marvel money,” Pegg, promoting his latest movie Lost Transmissions, said. “They make maybe $500m at the most, and to make one now, on the scale they’ve set themselves, is $200m. You have to make three times that to make a profit.
“I don’t feel like the last one… They didn’t really take advantage of the 50th anniversary. The regimen at the time dropped the ball on the promo of the film. And we’ve lost momentum. I think losing Anton [Yelchin] was a huge blow to our little family, and our enthusiasm to do another one might have been affected by that. So I don’t know.”
There also appears to be indecision surrounding whether to make the next film a sequel to Star Trek Beyond or start from scratch in a reboot. Hawley seemed to be leaning towards the latter during the TCAs in January 2020, according to Collider:
“It’s still early days. For me, it’s definitely an a new direction, but it’s still early, in terms of who exactly would be in it or what the characters would be. I don’t think of it as Star Trek 4, to be reductive. This is a new beginning.”
With concerns about profits and second thoughts about whether to keep J.J. Abrams’ already rebooted cast, Star Trek fans probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for a new movie. But at least they have Picard.