We’re still eagerly awaiting the fourth Kelvin-verse Star Trek movie currently trapped in development limbo after it was prematurely announced early last year. Acclaimed WandaVision director Matt Shakman was set to helm the space adventure, however, those plans fell through as Shakman was tapped to direct the highly anticipated Fantastic Four film that will serve as the superhero team’s introduction into the MCU. Recently, Collider‘s Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub caught up with Shakman to discuss his new Prime Video series, The Consultant, as well as his upcoming work in the Marvel Universe and the new Godzilla series.
During their conversation, Weintraub made a point to ask about what would’ve been with Shakman‘s take on Star Trek. Shakman was quick to say that he couldn’t reveal much about the plot of the fourth film because “I think what they’re still working on is a version of what I have been working on for the time that I was involved.”
Given the hiccups that occurred when the feature was first announced, it’s exciting just to hear that Star Trek 4 is still in the works at Paramount. In line with a previous sentiment shared by lead actor Chris Pine—who plays the iconic Captain Kirk in the Kelvin-verse movies—Weintraub argued that the ideal way forward for the next Star Trek movie would be a hard sci-fi project that could be made on a smaller budget. Shortly after the film was announced Pine said, “I’ve always thought that Star Trek should operate in the zone that is smaller. You know, it’s not a Marvel appeal. It’s like, let’s make the movie for the people that love this group of people, that love this story, that love Star Trek. Let’s make it for them and then, if people want to come to the party, great.”
Why Star Trek Movies Cost So Much
Weintraub discussed a similar approach with Shakman, saying “I actually think that the way forward on a Star Trek movie is maybe to make one that’s like $30 to $50 million, that’s hard sci-fi, aimed right at the fans.” The director posited that “In our day and age now, any time you go to space in a movie it’s expensive. When you’re flying around in the Enterprise, even if you’re going to land and be in one place for a long time, it’s still pretty expensive.”
Shakman went on to explain that the film he would’ve made would likely still have been a “large tent-pole film,” thanks to factors including the franchise’s expansive, well-known cast which features Pine, Zoe Saldaña, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and more. He also shared high praise for the way that Star Trek (2009) director J.J. Abrams was able to bring more fans into the franchise with the scale of his films, saying:
“I think that one of the things that JJ [Abrams] has done so well is that, he’ll be the first to admit, he didn’t grow up being a giant Star Trek fan even though he’s a fan now. But he was a huge Star Wars fan. So I think in rebooting it with Chris Pine and Zoe [Saldaña] and Zach [Quinto], he brought a little bit of Star Wars to it, which I think helped expand its audience, in terms of the scope and the scale of it and the energy of it. I think that that certainly is the goal is to find more and more of an audience for Star Trek. But I am, like you, a huge fan of that, and it was a real shame that I couldn’t make the timing work on that.”
Star Trek 4 is still in development, so stay tuned at Collider for further updates on the Kelvin-verse movie. Be sure to check out our full conversation with Shakman when it goes live.