Star Trek 4 looks set to boldly go where the (current) franchise has yet to go as the film looks set to lose its star.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, actors Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have walked away from Star Trek 4 as talks have fallen through. The outlet claims that talks ultimately broke down due to money as Pine and Hemsworth wanted the studios to stick to their existing deals for the project. However, it appears Paramount is now going back on those apparent deals in order to try to reel in the budget, as the Star Trek franchise doesn't perform nearly as well as either actors' retrospective DC or Marvel projects.
Pine was set to return for his fourth outing as Captain Kirk, having been a part of the franchise since the 2009 reboot. While Hemsworth was set to return as Kirk's father, George Kirk, who died in the first film but was set to be brought back as part of a time-traveling storyline. While Pine had signed on for a fourth film when he initially joined the rebooted franchise, confirming he does in fact have a deal in place, it remains unclear just what kind of deal Hemsworth signed. After all, the actor's role in the first film was short lived and he's never officially been confirmed for the project -- despite being rumored to return since 2016 when Brad Grey was still in charge of Paramount Studios.
For Paramount, it would make sense that the studio would want to keep an eye on the budget. After all, while Star Trek is a well-loved property, the theatrical reboot has failed to take off since its inception, with the last film, Star Trek Beyond, having only pulled in a measly $343 million worldwide on a massive $185 million production budget. (For comparison's sake, Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness both only took in $467 million worldwide.)
As it stands, the franchise could potentially recast the two roles. Or Pine and Hemsworth could re-enter talks with Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media. For now, though, the future of Kirk in Star Trek 4 remains unclear.
Still, despite losing what looks to be two of the film's stars, it appears Paramount has no intention of shelving the fourth installment. The film is still said to be a priority and still has director S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones) locked in to helm the feature.