The future of the Star Trek film franchise is in doubt after the disappointing performance of Star Trek Beyond at the box office. Simon Pegg, one of the film’s stars and writers, has offered his take on what went wrong.
Pegg spoke to Geek Magazine and offered this diagnosis for why Star Trek Beyond’s underperformed.
“I think it was poorly marketed, to be honest,” Pegg said. “If you look at a film like Suicide Squad, that was around for such a long time before it finally came out and people were so aware of it. Whereas with Star Trek Beyond, it was left too late before they started their marketing push. It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to Into Darkness.
“From a professional standpoint for me, it was such a great experience in the end, because the critical response that we did get was exactly what [co-writer] Doug Jung and I and [director] Justin Lin had hoped for, which was a much more favorable response in terms of being Star Trek and not just something there that’s disguised as Star Trek.”
The first trailer for Star Trek Beyond, which was set to the Beastie Boys song “Sabotage,” remains a sticking point for Pegg.
“I was really angry about that,” he says, “because it used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th Anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; they didn’t know what to do with it and it’s a real shame. But I came away from it really, really happy and very proud of it.”
Is there still hope for Star Trek’s film future? The fate of the franchise may now rest with a pitch from lauded director Quentin Tarantino, though Pegg has stated that a separate Star Trek 4 script also exists.