'Star Trek 4': William Shatner Weighs in on Chris Pine Exit

The future of the Star Trek film franchise is in question after series star Chris Pine walked away from the negotiating table for Star Trek 4. Pine plays the iconic Captain James T. Kirk. Now the man who made the character iconic, William Shatner, has weighed in on the matter.

In an interview with Shatner, Trek Movie asked the Star Trek icon what he thought of the situation, and if his own negotiations ever turned so ugly.

“Well, we negotiated,” Shatner said. “I don’t recall, although there is something vaguely reminiscent about saying, ‘I can’t do that.’ But, Chris is in a wonderful position in that he is so good and such a leading man, that he has many opportunities to explore without being Captain Kirk. So he is in a really good negotiating position. I think he’s doing the right thing in terms of getting more money, as the movies seem to be making a lot of money.”

As for advice, Shatner says Pine should look elsewhere.

“I know nothing. I am a negotiator, but that is for travel,” Shatner joked, referencing his Priceline commercials. “I can get you a ticket you wouldn’t believe!”

While there’s been no news of talks between Pine and Paramount resuming, Pine recently said that he’s still looking forward to Star Trek 4.

"I don't know, man," Pine said. "I'd love to be involved, and we'll see what happens. I'll await the phone call. Until then, I look forward to it."

Negotiations broke down between Pine and Paramount when the studio tried to renegotiate Pine’s pay. The most recent Star Trek film, Star Trek Beyond, underperformed at the box office. This has made Paramount more budget-conscious as the series pushes forward. But Pine’s star continues to rise with roles in franchise films like Wonder Woman 1984. It is easy to see how the two parties could come to an impasse.

Paramount was also hoping to bring back Chris Hemsworth as Captain Kirk’s father, George Kirk. Hemsworth also walked away from the negotiating table. He's currently filming the next film in the Men in Black series.

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The first three Kelvin timeline Star Trek movies — Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond — are all available now on home media. Star Trek 4 still does not have a release date, but was expected to begin filming in early 2019.