The Cast Of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek 4 Didn't Know A New Movie Was Being Announced

After rebranding the company with a new old name, Paramount announced a number of upcoming projects for their streaming service and beyond. This news included big plans for fan favorite franchises such as "Halo," "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," and "South Park" at Paramount+. But the one announcement that caught everyone by surprise was the one from J.J. Abrams. The prolific (and divisive) filmmaker shared that a fourth "Star Trek" movie set in his Kelvin Timeline is not only in the works, but it's scheduled to be released next year. And the whole cast (minus the late Anton Yelchin) of the starship Enterprise will be returning!

However, it looks like Abrams forgot to let the cast know. Apparently, most (if not all) the teams for the major players were completely in the dark about this announcement from the producer that has been trying to get a fourth feature film in this series off the ground for some time.

The Q & A Collective

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the teams that represent Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, and Simon Pegg were not aware that this iteration of "Star Trek 4" was in the works. They were surprised that their clients' names were used to reveal the film to the Paramount investors and to the world on February 15, 2022. And they were especially surprised that their clients are meant to start shooting this movie before the end of the year in order to make the December 23, 2023 release date.

Sources say that Pine, who will reprise his role as Captain James T. Kirk and is viewed as the lynchpin of the whole production, is the first to enter the early stages of negotiations. However, the script by Josh Friedman ("Terminator: Dark Fate") and Cameron Squires ("WandaVision") based on an earlier draft by Lindsey Beer ("The Magic Order") and Geneva Robertson-Dworet ("Captain Marvel") is still in the works. While "WandaVision" director Matt Shankman is attached, neither a budget nor an official green light has been given yet.

Honestly, this seems pretty par for the course when it comes to Abrams as of late. As we saw with his handling of the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, he charged in without a plan and everyone else had to scramble to find some way to clean it up in the end. Similarly, since the "Star Trek" cast wasn't signed on at the time of the announcement, the producers have given up leverage at the bargaining table and the stars can basically ask for whatever they want if the production wants to ensure their involvement. Now this non-existent budget will have to cover whatever inflated contracts come out of the negotiations. And if something falls through and Abrams' team doesn't secure a cast member that is already present in the script, then they would have to adjust the production timeline to factor in a rewrite and risk missing their original release date. Long story short, they really put the cart before the horse here. Or the spaceship before the warp core, I guess?

However, thanks to the varying levels of success of shows like "Star Trek: Discovery," "Star Trek: Picard," and "Star Trek: Lower Decks," the classic sci-fi franchise created by Gene Roddenberry is more popular than ever and the studio seems like they're willing to invest the necessary funds to make sure that Starfleet stays up and running. We'll see in the coming weeks how this new chapter in the Kelvin Timeline plays out, but hopefully the powers that be find some way to make things work.