The future of the Star Trek film franchise is in question. For a brief period, it seemed like it was set to grow at a faster pace than ever. SJ Clarkson signed on to direct Star Trek 4 and a second film based on an idea from Quentin Tarantino was also being developed. Then news broke that franchise star Chris Pine had walked away from the film over contract disputes, and that Chris Hemsworth — expected to reprise his role as George Kirk from 2009's Star Trek — exited the project for similar reasons. Based on comments from Hemsworth, that's not exactly the case.
"I didn't feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet," Hemsworth says of returning as George Kirk in Star Trek 4. "I didn't want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table."
Hemsworth's George Kirk is the father of Pine's James Kirk, the captain of the USS Enterprise. Goerge died as James was being born when the Romulan mining vessel Narada was transported back in time and destroyed the USS Kelvin, creating the alternate timeline that the most recent Star Trek movies are set in. Paramount announced before Star Trek Beyond released in 2016 that Star Trek 4 would bring back Hemsworth as George Kirk, leading fans to assume more time travel was in the works for the film. No plot details ever surfaced and Pine's exit forced Paramount to shelf the film indefinitely.
Pine has spoken out previously about the project. "I don't know, man," Pine said at the Toronto International Film Festival. "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."
Pine's Star Trek co-stars remain hopeful that they'll be able to return for a fourth movie. "I would love to," Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the films, said in an interview. "I feel like it's been an anchor of my creative life for the last over 10 years now so if I can go back to it, I'll always be happy to. I love my Star Trek family so we'll see how it goes."
"I certainly am down," said John Cho, who plays Hikaru Sulu. "To be honest, it's not happening right now as far as I know, but I just think it will happen. Somebody, at some point, we'll all get on the same page and do it. That's my belief, maybe I'm being optimistic."
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