As the project stalls once more, the scribes behind the first failed attempt to get Star Trek 4 off the ground have been chatting about their version of the film.
The unexpected news to emerge out of Paramount’s big investor call back in February was that a fourth Star Trek film in the Kelvin timeline was apparently on the way, a prospect which had seemed increasingly unlikely over the past few years. Of course, this followed several other aborted attempts to get Star Trek 4 going, all of which fell apart in quite a public fashion.
This time around, WandaVision‘s Matt Shakman, the planned director for the project, would walk away in favour of helming Marvel’s Fantastic Four and Paramount has since removed the Star Trek sequel from the production schedule. But even before Shakman’s high-profile about turn, there was Paramount’s failed public courting of Quentin Tarantino, a Noah Hawley script that went nowhere and before that, a different version of the film which ultimately saw the cast reportedly opt not to sign up over a pay dispute.
Of course, none of these projects would come to pass, with the earliest incarnation stretching back as far as 2016.
Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne are currently plying their trade as the showrunners on Amazon’s Rings Of Power series, but back then they had combined to write the screenplay for what was supposed to be a pretty quick sequel to 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond. Whilst speaking to Esquire, the duo have opened up about what their Star Trek movie would have looked like, given that the project also had the services of Chris Hemsworth returning as George Kirk’s, father to Chris Pine’s James, in some sort of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey fashion.
“The conceit was that through a cosmic quirk in the Star Trek world, they were the same age. It was going to be a grandfather-son space adventure – think Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in space. We were really thrilled about it. [It has] a really cool 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque sci-fi idea at the core. There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called Relics where they find Scotty, who has been trapped in a transporter for a couple of decades, and they’re able to have cool adventure with him”.
The pair questioned “what if right before the Kelvin impacted with that huge mining ship, George Kirk had tried to beam himself over to his wife’s shuttle where his son, Jim Kirk, had just been born? And what if the ship hadn’t completely exploded – what if it left some space junk?”
We’ve got a feeling that the story outlined above would have pleased Star Trek fans of any ilk, especially the nod to such a classic episode of The Next Generation. As it stands, some six years later Star Trek 4 is just like George Kirk trapped in that piece of space junk transporter, presumably existing in some fashion but seemingly trapped in stasis just waiting to be released. We’ll bring you more on Star Trek 4 as and when we hear it.
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