Despite the box office success of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” movies, the iconic sci-fi franchise has been exclusively focused on television for the past half-decade. Paramount initially planned more sequels to the Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto-led franchise after 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond,” with everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Noah Hawley taking stabs at script ideas. But none of them ever materialized, and for the moment it appears that Trekkies will have to be content with the cornucopia of series currently streaming on Paramount+.
But, in the spirit of Marvel-induced multiverse madness, that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to ask… “What if?” In a new interview with Esquire, Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, who worked on “Star Trek Beyond” before creating “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” opened up about a sequel they wrote that never made it to production.
“We worked on a couple of ‘Star Trek’ movies. The one you’re asking about would have been the fourth in the franchise, reuniting Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine,” McKay said. “The conceit was that through a cosmic quirk in the ‘Star Trek’ world, they were the same age. It was going to be a grand father-son space adventure — think ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ in space. We were really thrilled about it.”
The writers added that the plot, which was inspired by “2001: A Space Odyssey,” would also have pulled an idea from one of their favorite “Star Trek” television episodes.
“There’s an episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ called ‘Relics’ where they find Scotty, whose been trapped a transporter for a couple of decades, and they’re able to have a cool adventure with him,” Payne said. “Our conceit was, ‘What if right before the Kelvin impacted with that huge mining ship, George Kirk had tried to beam himself over to his wife’s shuttle where his son, Jim Kirk, had just been born? And what if the ship hadn’t completely exploded—what if it left some space junk?’”
That glitch in the timeline would have resulted in Hemsworth’s George Kirk being trapped mid-teleportation, creating an opportunity for him to reunite with his son.
“Think about when you send a text message and you’ve typed it out, but you haven’t quite hit send,” Payne said. “On the other side, they see those three little dots that someone has typed. It’s like the transporter had absorbed his pattern up into the pattern buffer, but hadn’t spit him out on the other side. It was actually a saved copy of him that was in the computer.”
While they worked on the project for several years, it unfortunately looks like the dream of reuniting Pine and Hemsworth on screen won’t be coming true anytime soon.
“The movie eventually fell apart and it really was a heartbreak for us,” Payne said. “We would have loved to make that movie.”
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