Chris Pine Says ‘Star Trek’ Franchise Feels Cursed

Trekkies, we have some bad news to report: Captain Kirk himself does not know when (or if) the next Star Trek movie is coming.

In a new interview with Esquire, Chris Pine, who plays James T. Kirk in the franchise, revealed that he hasn’t heard any news about the long-gestating fourth film. “I don’t know anything,” Pine said. “In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before actors.”

In 2009, Pine starred in the Star Trek reboot. The film was directed by J.J Abrams and garnered a massive fanbase. In 2013, Star Trek: Into the Darkness was released to similar fanfare, followed by 2016’s Star Trek: Beyond. Though the third movie received great reviews, it didn’t perform as well at the box office as its predecessors. At the time, Marvel films were pulling in record-breaking numbers, which made the Star Trek series seem less popular.

While speaking with Esquire, Pine reflected on Star Trek being compared to other franchises. “I’m not sure Star Trek was ever built to do that kind of business,” he said. “Why aren’t we just appealing to this really rabid fan group and making the movie for a good price and going on our merry way, instead of trying to compete with the Marvels of the world?”

It’s been eight years since Star Trek: Beyond was released in theaters, and according to Pine, the franchise is starting to feel a bit doomed. “After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everyone wanted it to do, and then Anton—Yelchin, who played Chekov—passed away, I don’t know,” Pine said. “It just seemed… feels like it’s cursed.”

There probably isn’t some hex interfering with Star Trek, but to Pine’s point, the franchise doesn’t seem to be moving at warp speed. Esquire contacted Abrams to see if he could reveal any plans for the fourth film, and of course, he couldn’t reveal any key details, but it does sound like something is in the works. “It’s the first time [since the original reboot] that we have a story that feels as compelling as the first one,” he said. Could that story have anything to do with the Star Trek 4 script written by the Rings of Power creators? Speaking with Esquire last October, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay described their take as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in space”—but unfortunately, the film never achieved lift-off.

At the end of the day, Pine is just as clueless as we are. “I would say it’s frustrating,” he said. “It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created—I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy.”

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Associate Staff Writer

Bria McNeal is a Manhattan based journalist who is patiently awaiting B5’s revival. When she’s not writing about all things entertainment, she can be found watching TV or trying to DIY something (likely, at the same time). Her work has appeared in NYLON, Refinery29, InStyle, and her personal newsletter, StirCrazy.  

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