The last time we got a Star Trek movie, it turned out to basically be a less-than-stellar, rather nonsensical remake of one of sci-fi's greatest blockbusters. Fortunately, it doesn't appear as though fans will have to go through the re-do treatment again with Star Trek 3, as director Justin Lin has promised not only an original story, but also brand new worlds and alien species.
Deadline caught up with the filmmaker as he imprinted his hands into a wet concrete slab in front of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, and it was during their chat that Lin revealed his plans to take the next movie in the legendary franchise to some brand new places. Discussing the approach to the project, the director first jokingly noted that Simon Pegg will not be in every scene of the film (referencing the fact that the actor is writing the screenplay), but then added that he doesn't plan to adapt a classic story we've already see. Said Lin,
It’s all new and fresh. The Klingons, Romulans and other species are great, but it’s time to go further. It has been fun to focus on creating whole new worlds and species.
Unlike the last two J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek films - which spent quite a bit of time on Earth - the upcoming Star Trek 3 will find the crew of the Enterprise finally on their five year mission through space. Because of the alternate timeline nature of the rebooted series, it would be rather easy for the production to just borrow from one of the franchise's classic stories, so it's refreshing that the film won't be going in that direction again. Of course, the news takes on a different color when you consider the fact that the sequel has actively been removing its Star Trek-y-ness.
Star Trek 3 - which is said to have the title Star Trek Beyond - is expected to start production soon, which is causing a bit of a time crunch behind the scenes as the script is being put into workable shape. Even if the screenplay doesn't make the deadline, however, it's unlikely that the project will get delayed. This is because 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, and it's incredibly hard to imagine that Paramount Pictures won't try to exploit that fact as much as they possibly can. As such, we can expect Star Trek 3 to head into production in the next few weeks as planned.
The sequel is expected to bring back Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Simon Pegg, and John Cho as the crew of the Enterprise, and there have also been reports linking Idris Elba and Kingsman's Sofia Boutella to the project. Look for it in theaters on July 8, 2016.
The title “Beyond” suggests that deep space will be explored and that the Enterprise will really be going where no people have gone before. This is great and could lead to all sorts of awesome science fiction stuff. Maybe there will be a planet that’s alive and eats other planets. Or an area of space where all alternate timelines become visible. Or Sisko singing with Vic Fontaine on an asteroid somewhere! (What? The Prophets span all of time, don’t they?) Whatever the crew encounters, it will be more interesting than yet another “madman blows up the Federation” plot.
Star Trek Beyond is set to come out on July 8, 2016, the year of the show’s 50th anniversary. Simon Pegg has already mentioned there will be some kind of tribute to the passing of Leonard Nimoy, but might we have a Shatner cameo, too? And why stop with the Shat? I’ve been hoping for Q to show up in these movies for ages (like he did in the IDW comics) or hey, I’d even settle for Trelane. It would be great to see Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and of course, George Takei, but these cameos don’t need to be limited just to classic Trek actors. Let’s get Patrick Stewart in there! And if he won’t do it, we’ll totally settle for Jonathan Frakes, if only because a bare-chested fight between Chris Pine’s Kirk and Riker is something we should have already been given.