Ever since 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, the film franchise has been in a holding pattern. When the films first came back with 2009’s Star Trek, director J.J. Abrams gave them a heavy Star Wars sheen, which then became irrelevant when real Star Wars movies returned in 2015. While the Star Trek brand hasn’t slowed down with Paramount pumping out a bunch of Trek series including Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Picard, and the upcoming Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, not much has happened with the films. There was talk of a fourth installment that would unite Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk with his father George Kirk, played by Chris Hemsworth, but that never came together. There was also talk of Quentin Tarantino tackling a Star Trek, but that seems more like a fleeting fancy than a serious pursuit. And then there was Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley pursuing a Trek film that then also evaporated.
And yet today Paramount announced that they’ve got an untitled Star Trek on the books for June 9, 2023. Of course, release dates are highly subject to change, and it’s now standard operating procedures for studios to claim weekends before they even have a script. The truth is that we don’t know anything about this new Trek. We don’t know if it’s a continuation of the Kelvin timeline started with Star Trek 2009 or if it’s a fresh reboot, but io9 reports that it’s being produced by Abrams.
Personally, I’m hoping for the reboot route. While I think Star Trek 2009 and Star Trek Beyond are fun movies, they still feel like they don’t completely understand Trek, although Beyond gets pretty close to the 1960s TV series in terms of the scope of its adventure. But maybe the best thing for a Trek movie would be to simply rest on the brand name and build something from scratch. You could still interact with major Trek elements like the Borg or the Klingons or whatever, but you wouldn’t have to worry about alternate timelines or how your new take on Captain Kirk compares to The Original Series.
Of course, with everything being big, interconnected IP these days and Viacom gobbling CBS back up (they were previously split apart during the Kelvin timeline), my bet is on something that can link back to what’s happening on the Paramount+ series so that in the name of corporate synergy if you watch this new Star Trek movie you’ll be tempted to check out Star Trek Discovery or Star Trek: Picard or something that makes it so that the movies don’t stand alone. Everything is cinematic universes now, so why should Trek be any different.