Since J. J. Abrams first brought Star Trek back to the big-screen in his splashy, high-octane 2009 reboot (followed by two sequels following this new canon), Trekkies have been hearing buzz about Quentin Tarantino giving his idiosyncratic, likely R-rated spin to the Enterprise. But now, another idiosyncratic auteur is being given the keys to the starship. According to Variety, Noah Hawley will write and direct the next big-screen Star Trek film — and it will feature the same cast members as the Abramsverse.
Hawley will lead the returning team of Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), and Karl Urban (Bones) into the next unknown adventure. Plot details are scarce about Hawley’s vision, but it will be completely unrelated to both Tarantino’s separate film and the now-aborted film featuring Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as Kirk’s father. Hawley has had a ton of success taking well-trod properties and finding something new to talk about on the small screen — both Fargo and Legiontook a beloved film and a beloved comic book franchise (respectively) to new heights of narrative and filmmaking pleasurability and complexibility for FX. But his big-screen directorial debut, the Natalie Portman-starring Lucy in the Sky, was critically drubbed (a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes) and made a shockingly small amount of money at the box office. It’s interesting to see Paramount put their faith in Hawley even after his astronaut movie did so poorly — after all, what is a Star Trek movie if not a more stylized astronaut movie?
While Abrams is not returning as a writer or director (yet, cough cough Rise of Skywalker cough cough), his production company Bad Robot is still onboard, alongside Hawley’s production company 26 Keys. I’m still cautiously optimistic for Hawley’s vision despite the stumble of Lucy in the Sky. He takes big swings and risks, and that might be just what the Pine-led Star Trek franchise needs to keep moving.