Star Trek Beyond hasn’t even opened yet, and Paramount Pictures is already looking ahead to the future of the franchise. Many analysts hypothesized that Beyond could be the final entry into the rebooted series, but apparently, that’s not the case: this morning, Paramount confirmed development on another film, and announced that Chris Hemsworth would reprise his role as George Kirk from the 2009 film.
Of course, fans will remember that Hemsworth’s character perished in the opening moments of Star Trek, just moments after his son was born – a son that would later grow up to be James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine), the Captain of the Starship Enterprise. At first, the idea of Kirk Sr. crossing paths with his baby boy might seem problematic, but the series has already opened the door to alternate timelines, so it should be easy for writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to come up with a reasonable explanation for this phenomenon.
No other cast members have been confirmed for Star Trek 4, but the existing ensemble are all expected to return for this new installment. The studio also does not have a director attached, and did not specify a release date – so the only thing we know at this point is that Star Trek 4 is happening, and Hemsworth and Pine will meet onscreen. Any additional details will have to wait.
Here’s the official press release:
PARAMOUNT PICTURES, SKYDANCE AND BAD ROBOT
ANNOUNCE FOURTH “STAR TREK” FILM
Chris Pine and Cast to Be Joined by Chris Hemsworth, Who Returns to the
Blockbuster Franchise as George Kirk
With Star Trek Beyond set to debut in theaters later this week, Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Bad Robot today announced that the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will return to the big screen for another voyage in Star Trek 4. In the next installment of the epic space adventure, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk will cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father, played by Chris Hemsworth.
Hemsworth, who appeared in 2009’s Star Trek as the character, will return to the space saga as George Kirk to star alongside Pine. The remaining cast is also expected to return.
J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will write the screenplay. J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot Productions. David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance will executive produce. No director or release date have been confirmed for the film.
Star Trek, the first film in the rebooted franchise based on “Star Trek,” created by Gene Roddenberry, earned more than $380 million worldwide in 2009. The second installment, Star Trek Into Darkness, earned more than $460 million worldwide when it opened in May 2013. The series’ third film, Star Trek Beyond, is directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise) and opens in theaters on July 22.