During Paramount's recent investor day presentation, producer JJ Abrams confirmed that the cast of the 2009 Star Trek movie and its sequels, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, are returning for the upcoming fourth film in that series. While it may seem obvious, the announcement had significance since contract negotiations had previously stalled Star Trek 4's development and production, having first been announced before Star Trek Beyond even opened. Reports suggest that the news caught the cast by surprise, though they do seem excited to be back. While speaking to Variety mostly about the upcoming third season of Prime Video's The Boys, Karl Urban, who plays the cantankerous Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in the films, expressed that sentiment and confirmed he has not seen a script.
"I haven't seen a script, I know nothing," Urban said. "But I would love to work with those guys again, so much fun, the best hang. We'll see."
Chris Pine, who leads the cast as Capt. James T. Kirk expressed a similar reaction in recent comments. "I think everybody was like, 'Did you hear about this?' We're usually the last people to find out, but I do know we're all excited," Pine told Variety. "Whenever they want to send us a script, we're ready for it. We haven't seen a script. I don't know anything about it.
"I don't trust anybody, but I'm excited. I love the story. I love Star Trek. I love my people."
During the investor presentation, Abrams said, "We are thrilled to say that we are hard at work on a new Star Trek film that will be shooting by the end of the year, that will be featuring our original cast and some new characters that I think are going to be really fun and exciting and help take Star Trek into areas that you've just never seen before. We're thrilled about this film, we have a bunch of other stories that we're talking about that we think will be really exciting so can't wait for you to see what we're cooking up. But until then, live long and prosper."
Matt Shakman, whose profile rose with his work on Marvel Studios' Disney+ series WandaVision, is helming the next Star Trek movie. Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires are rewriting the film's script, first penned by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet.
Star Trek 4 is scheduled for release on December 22, 2023.