'Star Trek 4' Is Canceled, but John Cho Says It "Will Happen"
Captain’s log, Friday, January 11. The future of Paramount’s Star Trek film series looks bleak, with a fourth film now unlikely as some of its stars are unsure if they’ll ever return to the Starship Enterprise on the big screen. One report even says the movie is canceled entirely.
Confused? Us too. Here’s a breakdown of what’s going on with Star Trek 4 and whether the possibly canceled film will ever get a released date.
First, the cancellation. On Tuesday, Deadline reported that a fourth Star Trek movie in Paramount’s reboot trilogy was “shelved” after its hired director, SJ Clarkson (whose credits include Marvel’s The Defenders and Jessica Jones), “became available” for HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off series.
Now, the cautious optimism. John Cho, who played Hikaru Sulu (a role portrayed by George Takei in the original CBS series) in all three modern Star Trek movies, told Entertainment Weekly at the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Awards that the film “will happen.” Or, he thinks it will.
“To be honest, it is not happening right now as far as I know,” Cho said, “but I just think it will happen. Somebody at some point, we’ll all get on the same page and we will do it. That’s my belief. Maybe I am being optimistic.”
The actor added that Star Trek is not a thing that can just go away so easily.
“To me, it is just a significant part of American popular culture. I just don’t see how it goes away forever,” he said.
A landmark franchise that’s endured for 50-plus years, it is remarkable that in the age of tentpole franchises, a fourth Star Trek film seems unlikely. But the cold feet of Paramount may be due to the last movie’s underwhelming financial intake.
Star Trek Beyond, released in a very crowded 2016 summer season, took in just $343 million worldwide, a low estimate for a movie of its caliber and the third entry in a well-known, established series. In 2016, Deadline reported Paramount lost approximately $50.5 million because of Star Trek Beyond. Which is a bummer because, the movie was awesome. It had Idris Elba and a whole action scene set to Beastie Boys and everything!
Will the Enterprise again boldly go forward at the cineplex? Perhaps one day. For now, there is Star Trek Discovery, streaming on CBS All Access.