With the Kelvin Timeline films all but dead in the water, a transition to the small screen may be the best way to continue the adventure.
This week marks the tenth anniversary of the release of 2009’s Star Trek, the J.J. Abrams directed feature film that rebooted the franchise and sent it in a whole new direction. Fans have been reminiscing about what a great movie it was and the fact that it introduced an entirely new audience to the world of Star Trek.
However, all those joyful memories have been tinged with a touch of sadness due to the uncertain future of the Kelvin Timeline films.
A fourth entry in the series, following Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond, was supposed to be in full pre-production by now. The film was to bring back Chris Hemsworth’s George Kirk and have him team-up with the son he never met, namely James Kirk played by Chris Pine.
The problems started when Star Trek Beyond tanked hard at the box office and Paramount felt the need to try to reign in the budget for Star Trek 4. Negotiations with Pine and Hemsworth went sideways fast, the director found another gig and the entire project was removed from Paramount’s release schedule.
In other words, Star Trek 4 was dead and likely never going to get made.
While there is still hope that Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek film may see the light of day, it is unknown if it includes the Kelvin versions of the characters, the Prime versions or some combination of the two. And even if it did, it would more than likely be a one-off film and not an actual continuation of the Kelvin Timeline.
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As a result, many fans of the series (and there are many) fear that the Kelvin Timeline films are destined to end up on the trash heap of movie history. Nothing but a footnote in the legacy of Star Trek.
And while that may be the case on the big screen, that might not necessarily be true on the small screen.
Rumors that Viacom, Paramount’s parent company, and CBS might be getting ready to merge continue to gain steam. The creation of a Star Trek global Franchise Group (think Lucasfilm for Trek) all but guarantees that they are expecting this is going to happen. And if it does, there is no reason to think that the Kelvin Timeline couldn’t continue as a streaming show on CBS All Access.
If they follow the formula Star Trek: Picard is using and consider each season a 10 hour movie, most of the cast might at least consider returning. Plus, with a streaming series there would really be a chance to develop the characters in ways you just can’t in feature films.
There is no doubt that if Paramount and CBS merge, Star Trek movies will return to a theater near you sooner rather than later. But odds are that they will feature the Star Trek: Discovery cast or some variant thereof. It’s safe to bet that the Kelvin Timeline’s days on the big screen are done.
Moving the stories to CBS All Access will enable the fans of that version of Star Trek to continue to enjoy that series while also giving the Discovery haters another option. Or something else to bitch and moan about, who knows with them.
The Kelvin Timeline wasn’t everyone’s cup ot Earl Grey tea, but the series did have more than enough fans that CBS and Alex Kurtzman should at least consider this as viable option rather than just letting it die and ignominious death.
It deserves better than that.