Turns out, there are still some surprises in Hollywood. In mid-February, super-producer J.J. Abrams announced during Paramount Investor Day that a fourth “Star Trek” film with the original cast is set to start production soon, with a December 22, 2023, release date locked in. That was news to many people, including the franchise’s current James T. Kirk, actor Chris Pine.
“Well, what’s going on with ‘Star Trek’ is frankly, I don’t know,” Pine told IndieWire during a recent interview in support of his upcoming thriller “All the Old Knives” (more on that to come on IndieWire). “When the announcement was made at the shareholders’ thing, I didn’t know that they were doing that. I don’t think anybody did.” (The rest of the cast has shared similar details in recent months.)
But Pine’s surprise doesn’t mean he’s not thrilled about the prospect of returning to the franchise. In fact, he’s already a big fan of the film’s director, Matt Shakman. Shakman, best known for directing the first season of Disney+ hit “WandaVision,” was first attached to the long-simmering fourth film in July 2021, reportedly picking the film over a variety of other offers.
“I met Matt Shakman, the director,” Pine said. “He’s a super-cool guy, very smart, I like him a great deal.”
The latest film in the franchise, Justin Lin’s “Star Trek Beyond,” was released in 2016, following the Abrams-directed 2009 “Star Trek” and 2013 “Star Trek Into Darkness.” The development of a fourth film has been in flux for years, and several veteran Hollywood talents, including S. J. Clarkson and Quentin Tarantino, have been reported to be involved in the film at different points.
This time around, the film will be scripted by Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires, based on an earlier draft by Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson. But even Pine hasn’t seen it yet.
“I know there’s a script out there somewhere and I’m waiting to see it,” he said. “Looking forward to reading it. I love the group. I love the team. I love the world. Happy to go to work.”
In recent years, the fabled franchise has enjoyed renewed interest in the television space, including continuing series like “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Star Trek: Picard,” and the animated “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”
“All the Old Knives” will be available in select theaters and streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, April 8.