The current Captain Kirk has no idea what state the next Star Trek film is in, and that’s surely not a good sign.
Paramount’s stalled Star Trek 4 project remains as a masterclass in franchise mismanagement, given that the seven years since the release of Star Trek: Beyond have been littered with creative changes, false starts and public relations gaffes.
All of the classic studio mistakes have been on display throughout the project’s tortured history: executives drawing up plans for multiple films (rather than focusing on the one squarely in front of them), keeping talent suspiciously in the dark (also to be found in the Lucasfilm Star Wars playbook as you can see from this story today) and miring the project in traction so filmmakers depart for fairer shores.
The series’ Captain Kirk, none other than Chris Pine, was asked about the status of the next film while out and about promoting Disney’s Wish this week. Pine has been increasingly cutting about the film’s lack of progress over the last few years, memorably telling Esquire back in March that, “In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors.”
This time out, the actor offered a similarly pithy response to the questions. When asked if he knew of any plans to get the stalled Star Trek sequel going again, Pine bluntly said: “Not that I know [of]”.
When asked if he’s seen a script? “Of course not,” was the simple response.
We’re perfectly aware that making films (especially one of this scale) isn’t an easy task, not least because of the turbulence of the last few years. However, it’s the sloppy manner in which Paramount has gone about the process (rather than the end result) which leaves something to be desired. From unnecessary public spats over paying actors to announcing projects without actually bothering to inform your principal cast first, it’s been one PR gaffe after another for the studio and sadly, at this point, Star Trek 4 looks like it’s boldly going nowhere.