Star Trek Beyond has yet to release to the public until this weekend (excluding its premiere in Sydney, Australia earlier this month), but it looks like Paramount has already gone ahead and green-lit a fourth movie in the rebooted Star Trek film timeline, dubbed in official canon as the ‘Kelvin Timeline’. Paramount, Skydance and Bad Robot Productions all confirmed the news today, after a handful of rumours suggested that they would announce a fourth Star Trek movie for the Kelvin Timeline even before Star Trek Beyond hit theatres. The untitled fourth movie is currently without a director or release date, making it unknown if Star Trek Beyond’s replacement director, Justin Lin will sign on again to helm the follow-up.
What has been confirmed however is that the fourth movie’s screenplay will be written by J.D. Payne and Patrick MacKay, with J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber remaining producers via the Bad Robot Productions banner, and Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg serving as executive producers. The reboot movies’ entire lead cast is also expected to return for the fourth movie according to the studio, including Chris Pine’s Captain James Kirk, Zachary Quinto’s First Officer Spock, Zoe Saldana’s Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, Karl Urban’s Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy, John Cho’s Hikaru Sulu, and Simon Pegg’s Montgomery “Scotty” Scott. Obviously, Anton Yelchin’s Ensign Pavel Chekov won’t be part of the production, due to Yelchin’s tragic death in a freak vehicular accident last month. It’s likely that Chekov will simply be written out of the Kelvin Timeline after Star Trek Beyond, though Paramount has yet to confirm what the plan is regarding his character.
Most noteworthy however is Paramount already confirming that another familiar face from the former movies will be a big part of the fourth movie’s plot; Chris Hemsworth’s George Kirk, the father of Captain Kirk. Hemsworth portrayed George during a brief intro sequence in 2009’s original movie reboot, Star Trek, back when he was an unknown actor, before achieving his big breakout role as Marvel’s Thor from 2011, which made him into a household name in Hollywood. The studio claims that Pine’s Captain Kirk will cross paths with his late father somehow, by some currently unknown means, though it’s unclear whether Hemsworth’s George will prove to be an ally or an enemy to the Enterprise Crew in this new movie. Given Hemsworth’s involvement in the production however, it’s likely that we won’t see this fourth Star Trek movie until at least 2019 at the earliest, particularly given Hemsworth’s heavy commitments to playing Thor for Marvel over the next three years, in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War – Part I, and 2019’s Avengers: Infinity War – Part II.
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