Paramount doesn’t really know what to do with Star Trek on the big screen anymore. They’re perfectly happy to keep cranking out a billion series for CBS All Access, but when it comes to feature films, they’re stuck. When they relaunched the franchise in 2009, Star Wars was dormant, so there was room for a big, sci-fi, space action series, but that’s no longer the case. Furthermore, Trek, despite its devoted fans, doesn’t have Star Wars‘ pop culture footprint and easy access mythology of light-side-vs-dark-side. This all adds up to a series that may have name recognition, but struggles to dominate at the box office.
“The fact is, Star Trek movies don’t make Marvel money. They make maybe $500 million at the most, and to make one now, on the scale they’ve set themselves, is $200 million. You have to make three times that to make a profit.
I don’t feel like the last one… They didn’t really take advantage of the 50th anniversary. The regimen at the time dropped the ball on the promo of the film. And we’ve lost momentum. I think losing Anton [Yelchin] was a huge blow to our little family, and our enthusiasm to do another one might have been affected by that. So I don’t know.”
I think those are all fair points. Attention on the 50th anniversary was probably split because the Trek franchise at the time was also split with TV rights living with CBS and film rights at Viacom (Viacom now owns CBS again, so that irons out that kink for the time being). But for a what blockbuster movie requires, Trek is never going to reach those dizzying heights, and that’s a shame because while I think Trek is best suited for television, there is also room for the occasional feature film. Whether that film ever happens remains to be seen. Noah Hawley is attached for a Star Trek reboot, but we’ll see if that manages to hit the warp out of development hell.