Both JJ Abrams and Paramount Pictures seemed to have ambitious plans for the next instalment of the Star Trek franchise. However, those ambitions are now facing uncertain future with Hollywood stars Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth walking away from Star Trek 4.
The bone of contention happens to be the salary negotiations. Given Pine and Hemsworth's A-lister status in the industry at the moment — Pine stars in a leading role in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie while Hemsworth has been carrying the mantle of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for some time now — it is being reported that the stars and the studio are unable to reach an agreement over payments.
However, unlike the lucrative DC/Marvel superhero business, Paramount's Star Trek franchise appears to have budget restrictions, leading to talks about pay cuts. The situation is further aggravated, according to The Hollywood Reporter, by the mediocre performance of 2016's 'Star Trek Beyond' — which forced the studio and producers to re-evaluate their plans and budget for Star Trek 4.
All these uncertainties have put the future of the Star Trek movie in a jeopardy. Pine, who has been attached with the movie for years was supposed to reprise his role in the upcoming reboot — described as a time-travel adventure — as Captain James T. Kirk.
Hemsworth, on the other hand, has been linked to the fourth Star Trek film since the movie's announcement in 2016. He was in talks to join the cast as James' father George Kirk.
Apparently the negotiation hit a snag after both the actors and the production companies (Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media) walked away from the table. The contract negotiation with supporting cast members including Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, and John Cho, were to take place after the deal with Pine and Hemsworth. Now that talks with the two A-listers have stalled, it is all a hot mess with the Star Trek production.
Previously, the film was reported to be going ahead with the production in January 2019 with London and Atlanta being the possible filming locations. In fact, in July, British actor Pegg had even offered an update about the movie which has S. J. Clarkson on board as the film franchise's first female director. "As far as I know, we are pushing ahead," Pegg had said, adding, "We are in prep, I think, for it, but then there’s so much to do before we start shooting, like making sure everybody is available."