Star Trek 4 can’t catch a break.
It’s bad enough that Star Trek 4 was announced in 2022 without the cast on board, a director, or a script. It’s certainly bad enough that it was given a quarter-four 2022 start time for production, only to have it canceled. It’s even worse that the film is indefinitely on hiatus.
What’s getting to be the breaking point, however, is the constant updates about the film, many of which conflict with one another. In a Chris Pine interview with Esquire (via TrekMovie.com), the author Alex Pappademas claimed that. J.J. Abrams told him the script was basically done, writing;
"Pine and crew’s return to the screen was announced in February 2022; when I speak to producer J. J. Abrams by phone, the search for a director is ongoing. Abrams is elliptical about the film, even by J. J. Abrams standards. “I will say it’s the first time [since the original reboot] that we have a story that feels as compelling as the first one.”"
But the interview suspect, Pine, made it clear that anything Pappademas is saying is something Pine can’t confirm;
"I don’t know anything. In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors.I would say it’s frustrating. It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created—I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy."
The constant uneven delivery from both sides is affecting fan perception of the film. If it was ongoing, in active production, and getting ready to shoot, say that. If it’s in some sort of holding pattern, say that. Don’t say one thing if another party is just going to challenge it.
If Pine is saying that he knows nothing about the film, then the folks at Paramount need to rope the actors in and talk to them about what’s going on. The synergy needs to be real and the atmosphere around a project positive. Right now, it just feels like the film is limping along because some money-hungry execs can’t put down a potential cash cow.
This could be why Pine would even go on to say that he felt the Star Trek film franchise was cursed. This isn’t surprising considering the way the whole thing has played out.
The Star Trek film franchise has been an uneven affair
Pine’s comments about the franchise being cursed may not be entirely true unless you believe such things, but the films have often found themselves dealing with major backlash for one reason or another.
The first film was a wild change from what the series was, upsetting some fans. The second film had a lot of criticism for the race of Benedict Cumberbatch, who played Khan Noonien Singh, and for the Alice Eve underwear scene. The third film dealt with the loss of Anton Yelchin, and now the fourth film seems to be stuck in some sort of purgatory.
So Pine may not be wrong about the film franchise.