To "Star Trek Beyond" lead Chris Pine, "Star Trek" is a franchise that can't be executed "cerebrally" in this day and age.
In an interview with Britain's SFX magazine (via TrekMovie), Pine addressed the criticism that the Abramsverse films lack a certain intelligence. Pine said the material simply can't be adapted in a "cerebral" way for broad audiences these days:
"You can’t make a cerebral Star Trek in 2016. It just wouldn’t work in today’s marketplace. You can hide things in there – Star Trek Into Darkness has crazy, really demanding questions and themes, but you have to hide it under the guise of wham-bam explosions and planets blowing up. It’s very, very tricky. The question that our movie poses is “Does the Federation mean anything?” And in a world where everybody’s trying to kill one another all of the time, that’s an important thing. Is working together important? Should we all go our separate ways? Does being united against something mean anything?"
Based on Pine's comments, it seems we may have to wait until Bryan Fuller's 2017 "Star Trek" series for a return to an intellectual take on the material.
This isn't the first time the franchise has had to address its "cerebral" decline. When the original "Star Trek" and "Into Darkness" creative team parted ways --save for Roberto Orci -- rumors posited that Orci was taken off "Star Trek Beyond" because his initial script take was too "Star Trek-y."
Also in the mag, Pine responded to a question about the rumored William Shatner cameo in "Star Trek Beyond, firmly denying the claims:
At this point there’s been so much built up about this potential portentous meeting between the two Kirks… Fuck the movie, it would just become about that. The movie can’t become about that. The movie has to be about whatever story we’re trying to tell. It’d be fun, it’d be kitschy, it’d be a great piece for you guys to talk about, and for late-night TV, but above and beyond that I don’t know what it serves for our storytelling purposes, you know?
"Star Trek Beyond" hits theaters on July 22.