Star Trek 4 was officially confirmed last summer, leaving Trekkers and Trekkies alike waiting in anticipation for a signal as to when the next movie might be out.
In the wake of news that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams, who directed the first of the reboot series for the long-loved television and movie series, would like to try his hand at directing an original movie rather than a movie that stems from any sort of franchise, fans may have been somewhat concerned that Abrams was no longer going to be connected to the Star Trek universe that he'd breathed new life into. Abrams has directed only one other original feature-length production - Super 8 - but beyond that, his directorial work largely lies with franchises like Star Trek, Mission Impossible and, of course, Star Wars. There is, however, no concern necessary regarding Abrams' future connection with the rebooted Star Trek franchise; Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, is attached to produce Star Trek 4.
Perhaps the biggest news to resurface regarding Star Trek 4 is that Chris Hemsworth, who played Captain James T. Kirk's ill-fated dad George in the original 2009 reboot, is set to return. Hemsworth said in a recent interview that the pitch for the fourth film in the rejuvenated franchise was "amazing," but did not comment on the story any further than that.
It has proven to be a highly profitable franchise for Paramount Pictures, which began producing all things Star Trek-related in 1966 after it and Desilu were purchased by Gulf + Western Industries. The 2009 reboot netted over an impressive $380 million globally while Star Trek Into Darkness picked up more than $460 million when it bowed. Star Trek Beyond was not quite as successful as its predecessors, though it still posted solid numbers on its $185 million budget. Star Trek Beyond picked up just over $343 million in global box office numbers, which while solid, falls short of the previous two films in the current franchise.
There is no director attached to Star Trek 4 - yet - but series stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have already signed to return, with the rest of the main cast expected to return as well. Patrick McKay and John D. Payne are currently attached as writers for the script; both worked on the Star Trek Beyond script, though McKay was apparently uncredited. Justin Lin, who directed Star Trek Beyond, could possibly return, as Beyond was a big hit with critics - it currently has a score of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Nothing has been confirmed, though.
What remains uncertain is how any Star Trek storyline will explain the absence of Chekov, played by the late Anton Yelchin, who died June 19, 2016 just weeks before Star Trek Beyond hit theaters. Abrams has said that the role will not be recast, but certainly, writers will have the challenge of explaining what has happened to the character in a credible way to give him the sendoff he deserves.
Regardless of what future decisions are made regarding Star Trek 4 and how Captain James Kirk will reunite with the father he never met, it will be a story like any other seen in the current saga.