This hasn't come as a massive shocker, but Paramount Pictures has now removed the untitled Star Trek 4 from its upcoming release slate (as first reported over at SFFGazette.com).
The movie had been slotted in for a December 22, 2023 debut, though that always seemed optimistic given reports that the main cast members hadn't officially signed on to star. The studio has spent the past few years trying to figure out where to take the franchise next, listening to pitches from a variety of filmmakers along the way.
Since Star Trek Beyond was released in 2016, one popular idea included a reunion between Chris Pine's Captain Kirk and his father, played in 2009's Star Trek by Chris Hemsworth. Defenders director S.J. Clarkson was once attached to helm that version, while Paramount has since considered movies from Noah Hawley (Fargo) and legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
WandaVision helmer Matt Shakman was attached to the project and things appeared to be going well...until Marvel Studios offered him the chance to take charge of the Fantastic Four reboot following Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts' departure. With that, Star Trek 4 was once again left without a filmmaker to take charge of the Enterprise crew.
Back in February, producer J.J. Abrams (who directed the first two modern Star Trek movies) promised that the fourth instalment would be shooting by the end of the year with original cast members Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, and Simon Pegg.
When Abrams made that bold claim, the cast hadn't actually signed up, leaving Paramount very little time to secure their involvement. Now, with Star Trek 4 without a director, they're back to not having a plan for where to go next. The franchise continues to find great success on the small screen, of course, but the studio needs that all-important box office revenue.
Hopefully, a new director will be found soon. In the meantime, you'll want to keep checking SFFGazette.com for Star Trek 4 updates.