The final frontier may be a little bit lonelier if Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth do not get their way in ongoing negotiations with Paramount according to The A.V. Club. While two Star Trek films appear to be in various stages of pre-production — including a quirky spinoff rumored to be helmed by longstanding silver screen auteur Quentin Tarantino — this particular fracas seems to be focused on the remunerations for Star Trek 4, the impending sequel to 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond.
The project in question is slated to be directed by S.J. Clarkson, well-known for having directed episodes of television hits House, Ugly Betty, Heroes, and Dexter. It will be the first time that a female director will take the command chair in the franchise’s history.
According to reportage from The Hollywood Reporter, the future of Star Trek 4 is in doubt as both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have reportedly walked away from the negotiating table, as have representatives for film studio Paramount.
Pine and Hemsworth are referring to alleged contracts already in existence, with Pine having signed on to do Star Trek 4 almost immediately following the post-production on Star Trek: Beyond and Hemsworth having agreed to play his role in the upcoming film — that of Captain Kirk’s father, George — at a previously established price point.
Paramount, for their part, appears to be balking at the sticker price coming attached to the two A-list actors. Citing poor box office revenues for the franchises last outing — Star Trek: Beyond grossed only $343 million worldwide on an estimated $190 million budget, with some insiders speculating that the project actually lost money — the production studio seems to want a discount on their on-screen talent in order to get things up and going with less overhead.
Despite a large marketing push and the recent success of the television product in terms of Star Trek: Discovery, the film franchise has only been met with a middle response from the box office and from critics and audiences. Standing in stark contrast to films produced within the Marvel Cinematic Universe — with the gigantic box office blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War having grossed over $2 billion dollars worldwide according to Box Office Mojo and Deadpool 2 coming in at a respectable $733 million despite the hard R rating — the Star Trek audience does not seem to be as large or as enthusiastic as the cape and cowl fare on offer from competing genre publishers in the film industry.
Paramount and Skydance do not plan on halting production — helmed by J.J. Abrams Bad Robot — on the film and indicate that it is moving forward as a priority development.