Star Trek 4 is stuck in development hell, and while the franchise continues to find success on television, it appears Paramount Pictures is really struggling to crack the property in theaters.
Those first few efforts found their fair share of success, of course, earning mostly positive reviews and solid enough box office takings. However, with blockbusters often expected to earn $1 billion to be deemed a true hit, it's hardly surprising Beyond's $344 million global haul saw it deemed a disappointment.
Talking to Esquire, Captain Kirk actor Chris Pine shared his thoughts on where things stand with the franchise and argues it was a mistake to expect Star Trek to do Marvel numbers.
"I’m not sure Star Trek was ever built to do that kind of business," he says. "I always thought, Why aren’t we just appealing to this really rabid fan group and making the movie for a good price and going on our merry way, instead of trying to compete with the Marvels of the world?"
Despite wanting to return as Kirk, Pine seems to feel that this iteration of Star Trek may have fun its course. "After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everybody wanted it to do, and then Anton passed away, I don’t know, it just seemed..." After pausing for a moment, he admitted that the franchise "feels like it's cursed."
As for where things go next - after J.J. Abrams made the bold proclamation that the original cast would return for a new movie that's since lost director Matt Shakman - Pine is in the dark.
"I don’t know anything. In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors," the actor explains. "I would say it’s frustrating. It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise."
Since Star Trek Beyond was released in 2016, one popular idea included a reunion between Chris Pine's Captain Kirk and his father, played in 2009's Star Trek by Chris Hemsworth. Defenders director S.J. Clarkson was once attached to helm that version, while Paramount has since considered movies from Noah Hawley (Fargo) and legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
The latest iteration doesn't appear to be going anywhere fast and we'd guess that Pine is ready to move on from Kirk at this point.