Karl Urban, who plays the Kelvin timeline version of Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, gives an update on the long-awaited Star Trek 4. Beginning with the 2009 Star Trek reboot, the newer releases have brought the franchise into the modern motion picture era, although strong box office performances haven’t always been matched by a welcome reception from fans. The 2009 film was followed by two sequels: Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013 and Star Trek Beyond in 2016, the latter of which was the first not to be directed by J. J. Abrams, as Justin Lin took the helm. All three installments have featured the same cast, including Urban as McCoy, Chris Pine as Kirk, and Zoe Saldaña as Lieutenant Uhura.
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It was after the release of Star Trek Beyond that the film side of the long-running franchise ran into some development difficulty, as the next movie has been unclear for some time. There was a brief period where Quentin Tarantino was said to be developing his own Star Trek movie, and Fargo creator Noah Hawley was similarly attached to a project that could’ve ended up being the fourth installment in the rebooted timeline. S.J. Clarkson was also in the mix with a Star Trek 4 that would’ve brought back Chris Hemsworth as Kirk’s father. Eventually, it landed in the hands of WandaVision director Matt Shakman, who is still set to helm the film. While negotiations are still ongoing, several members of the main cast have said they are excited to return, although what Star Trek 4 will be about remains a mystery.
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Now, in an interview with British radio station Radio X, Urban has given an exciting update on the progress of Star Trek 4. Urban explains that, while he has heard it is happening, he has been “hearing that for the last three years,” displaying an uncertainty as to when exactly they might begin production. What he is sure of is that they are developing it and “they’re writing a script.” He also confirms that the cast are all keen to return and that, at this point, a start date is “just a matter of timing and logistics.” Read the full quote below:
“I have heard that [Star Trek 4] is happening, but I’ve been hearing that for the last three years. [Laughs]. Listen, all I know is that they’re developing it, they’re writing a script, and I know 100% that we all wanna come back and do it, so I think it’s just a matter of timing and logistics at this point… Where there’s a will there’s a way, and there’s definitely a will, so we would love to come back together and make one of those.”
Urban’s enthusiasm is a good sign for fans of the franchise who are desperate to see the crew of the Enterprise back on the big screen. Though there were some negative responses to he second installment, Star Trek Into Darkness, 2016’s Star Trek Beyond was widely considered to be a return to form. The biggest thing dampening anticipation for the fourth film is its long development period. However, there might still be reason to get excited, as Urban’s on-screen captain Pine has said that Star Trek 4 should be more faithful to the source material, even if it means it costs less and makes less at the box office.
It therefore seems like there is a great sense of camaraderie between the cast, similar to the one their characters share onscreen. Urban’s enthusiasm, paired with Pine’s point about the source material, is a sign that Star Trek 4 could end up becoming the most beloved of the rebooted films. Before that, though, it does need to begin production. It can be hoped that Star Trek 4‘s development troubles are behind it, and they manage to find the “will” and “way” that Urban says they’ll need in order to get it finished in time for its scheduled December 2023 release date.