Paramount Pictures has a one-two punch planned for Star Trek’s cinematic future. Paramount’s parent company, Viacom, in December merged with CBS, the company that controls Star Trek television. The new, merged company, ViacomCBS, brings the Star Trek film and television rights back under the same umbrella for the first time since 2005. While the Star Trek television franchise is already expanding on CBS All Access with shows like Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard, Paramount’s Star Trek film franchise has been adrift after Star Trek Beyond disappointed at the box office in 2016 and the studio's initial plans for Star Trek 4 were sidelined by contractual disputes with stars Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth.
But ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish confirmed that the Star Trek film franchise is ready for a comeback. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bakish stated at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications Conference in New York that Paramount has two Star Trek movies in the works.
While Bakish did not reveal any specifics about the films, the first is presumably the fourth Kelvin Timeline Star Trek movie. Paramount is in negotiations with Legion creator Noah Hawley to write and direct the film, and Pine is said to be returning to the captain’s chair. There’s no word on whether Hemsworth will return as George Kirk, father of Capt. James T. Kirk, or if the original time travel plot for the film has been abandoned altogether.
The other Star Trek film is likely the Quentin Tarantino project. Tarantino pitched the idea for the film to producer J.J. Abrams, and Paramount handed the idea to a writers’ room to break down. Mark L. Smith was hired to pen the script. At last update, the project was awaiting Tarantino’s notes on the finished draft of the screenplay to move forward. Tarantino was busy promoting his latest film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and Paramount always planned for the Tarantino film to follow Star Trek 4. The studio also hopes to have Tarantino direct the film, which he has described as “Pulp Fiction in space,” though that deal has not been struck as of yet.
“Well, it’s an idea then we got together and talked it out and then we hired Mark Smith, who did [The] Revenant to write the script,” Tarantino said during an interview while promoting Once Upon a Time. “I don’t know how much I can say. The one thing I can say is it would deal with the Chris Pine timeline. Now, I still don’t quite understand, and JJ [Abrams] can’t explain it to me, and my editor has tried to explain it to me and I still don’t get it...about something happened in the first movie that now kind of wiped the slate clean. I don’t buy that. I don’t like it. I don’t appreciate it. I don’t — f*** that...I want the whole series to have happened, it just hasn’t happened yet."
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