The long-gestating Star Trek 4 has faced an uncertain future since Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth reportedly walked away over a pay dispute with Paramount Pictures after the rest of the cast was expected to signed on earlier this year.
But now, John Cho has cautiously reignited fans' hopes that Star Trek 4 could still happen. Cho has said that a new chapter could be a fitting way to pay tribute to the late Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekov in the three most recent Trek movies.
"I sadly don’t have any news for you, I wish I had more for you there though. I don’t know what the ins and outs at the studio are but I am optimistic there will be another one because I’m optimistic about what Star Trek says and its place in our culture," Cho said, "And I think it will come back around."
In an interview with The Playlist, Cho added "I think it's an important part of American popular culture that speaks to America's best impulses and I think that there will always be a place for Star Trek films and I just hope to be in it and there isn’t another totally different group of people."
Cho has played Hikaru Sulu since the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek reboot hit theaters in 2009. He also appeared in two sequels, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. The latter was dedicated to the memory of Yelchin, who died a month before its release in July 2016, as well as to Trek's original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, who died during pre-production. But Cho did admit this meant a new film could be used to honor the deceased, with Pine himself hopeful of a return someday.
Despite a lack of recent developments, Cho remains hopeful about the future of his Enterprise crew.
"I’m bullish about it, and honestly, for personal reasons I suppose the last film has a cloud over it, losing Anton after the last one. [...] For me it would be important personally to make one more at least. I think it would alleviate that part of us a little bit to make at least one more," he concluded.
In the more immediate future, the second season of Star Trek: Discovery will debut on CBS All-Access on Jan. 17, 2019.