Chris Pine doesn’t think the “Star Trek” movie franchise is really prospering.
The star of “Star Trek Beyond” reflected on leading the prequel films as Captain James T. Kirk since 2009. Pine criticized the box office comparisons between the “Star Trek” IP and Marvel films, telling Esquire, “I’m not sure ‘Star Trek’ was ever built to do that kind of business. I always thought, ‘Why aren’t we just appealing to this really rabid fan group and making the movie for a good price and going on our merry way, instead of trying to compete with the Marvels of the world?'”
Pine continued, “After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everybody wanted it to do, and then Anton [Yelchin, who played Chekov] passed away [in 2016], I don’t know, it just seemed…feels like it’s cursed.”
A fourth “Star Trek” film was announced in February 2022, to the surprise of its cast including Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldaña, and John Cho. “Star Trek 4” was eyeing a December 22, 2023 theatrical release, with “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman attached to the project. However, Pine shared that he has yet to read a script or enter production as of March 2023.
“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,” Pine said, adding of the upcoming fourth film’s concept, “I will say it’s the first time [since the original reboot] that we have a story that feels as compelling as the first one.”
Yet the lack of a “partnership” between actors, screenwriters, and producers is a distinct drawback for the franchise, according to the actor.
“I would say it’s frustrating,” the “Don’t Worry Darling” alum said. “It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created — I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy.”
Paramount scrapped plans for “Star Trek 4” when negotiations with Pine and Chris Hemsworth (who played Captain Kirk’s father in 2009’s “Star Trek”) fell through in 2019. Producer J.J. Abrams later announced in 2022 that the fourth film was back on track and slated to be centered around Pine’s Captain Kirk. According to Digital Spy, the screenplay will be written by Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires, based on an earlier draft by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson.
Pine, whose home includes Funko Pop figures of Captain Kirk according to the Esquire cover story, compared the character to James Dean before he “walks in to meet Bones and he hits his head.”
“I want to be able to show that you can be cool and masculine without having it be a pissing contest all the time,” Pine shared of his take on the character, as originated in the TV series by William Shatner. “And if you’re pissing, sometimes you piss on your foot and you can look like a fucking idiot.”
Pine added, citing his turn in “Wonder Woman 1984” as a Kirk comparison, “I’m willfully emasculating myself, because I just don’t give a shit. If it makes me laugh, it makes me laugh. I love looking like a fool. Kirk’s like that, too.”
The “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” actor admitted that during the first “Star Trek” film in 2009, he was “pretty depressed and lonely and really not present.”
“I was very hard on myself, super perfectionist, this kind of Calvinistic thing: If I’m not feeling pain, I’m not producing,” Pine recalled.
The star told IndieWire that he “never had a passion for acting” in April 2022.
“Acting was something that seemed to pop out of nowhere and then just took over my life,” Pine, who is making his directorial debut with “Poolman,” said. “It seemed to be fated and it made a lot of sense. Directing, I never had a desire to direct, really, truthfully.”
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