Zoe Saldana is saying what we’re all thinking when it comes to Star Trek 4.
Star Trek 4’s cancellation is not a surprise, not to anyone who was paying attention. The film was announced earlier in the spring of 2022 and was delayed/canceled in the autumn. Considering the film never had a script, already went through one director and franchise star Karl Urban had already said he wasn’t sure about the posted time frame to begin filming (due to commitments with The Boys) this was the logical outcome.
Oh, and the film was announced without the cast even knowing about it. That was probably another sign things were going to go bad.
There was more going on than we know of. It wasn’t just the scheduling issue and one of the stars of the film, Zoe Saldana, has seemingly agreed with that, speculating that there’s more than meets the eyes.
Saldana spoke with Deadline’s on their 20 Questions Podcast and seemingly suggested that the franchise may not be in the best place possible.
"We were in touch with J.J. and we were trying to sort of see if we were going to be able to this past fall. I don’t think it was possible. I have my sort of ideas that maybe it was just like schedules were very… we couldn’t manage to get a whole cast and a whole crew to sort of come together. But I think as well it probably has something else to do with the project. But I know that we’re all on the same page that we would love nothing more than to be able to come back."
One huge concern fans should have is the viability of Star Trek pumping out three or four new seasons a year, all costing north of $100 million. Warner Media is in the same situation, having spent gobs of money on the idea that their multiple streaming outlets would be successful.
That has not been the case.
CBS is not in a dissimilar situation. As Warner merged with Discovery and started cutting costs, Paramount and CBS merged, and only increased their costs. More so, they spent untold fortunes to rebrand their failing streaming service.
With the lackluster arrival of most of the Nu Trek series and the fact that Paramount+ is built on them, the iCarly revival, and the 42 different versions of Yellowstone, the network is more than likely not in a great place. Considering how interconnected everything is, it would make sense that the film arm of Paramount may have reservations about putting out another Star Trek film if the numbers aren’t there for the series side of things.
Is the Star Trek brand starting to lose its luster?
This theory is supported by something our own Rachel Carrington spoke about covering Saldana’s quote. She quoted Brian Robbins from a Hollywood Reporter story from last year, where Robbins spoke about how big movies ignite franchises. Basically alluding that films bolster franchises.
"There’s no doubt that big theatrical movies are the beacon that ignite franchises. We’re in it and I don’t really have anything to say because I’m waiting for the development to be delivered. I can’t wait to get going on it, but we’re not there yet but we need to get there soon."
Another point to note is that during the same article, most of the emphasis on future Star Trek films seems to hint at animated films. If the goal is to make an animated Star Trek film, that may be yet another reason why Trek 4 was canceled. This may be a sign that the powers that be are moving away from the more divisive content that split the fan base and going towards the stuff that is less polarizing.