Can Star Trek Survive Stars' Departure?
Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth are walking away from Star Trek 4.
I know that’s disappointing. While the franchise can certainly survive without Hemsworth, who plays just a minor role, losing Pine’s Captain Kirk would be a much bigger deal.
After Star Trek Beyond was such a massive box-office disappointment, Paramount decided to lower the budget for Star Trek 4, which meant cutting the cast’s salaries. Pine and Hemsworth refuse to take a pay cut and have left the project.
It’s important to note the two Chrises did not ask for a pay raise; they are being asked to take a pay cut from what was agreed to in their original deal. So, who’s in the right is less clear cut for me as it is for some fans.
Hemsworth really doesn’t need the Star Trek franchise. He’s been such a small part of it and still has Thor going on, and I believe we will see a Thor 4, or at least Thor’s presence in the MCU beyond Avengers 4. Pine, despite being killed in Wonder Woman, is currently making it big as Steve Trevor in the DCEU and is reprising his role in next year’s Wonder Woman 1984. We don’t yet know the details behind his resurrection but perhaps he’ll be sticking around a while.
Let’s forget about Hemsworth since his character isn’t essential. Pine is very well liked as Captain Kirk and though recasting him would be possible, it certainly wouldn’t be ideal. If Star Trek 4 does still happen, and I’m not sure it will, I’d rather proceed without Kirk. Cut the budget down, have the crew off on some adventure without their leader. That would be an interesting way to close out the franchise.
However, this franchise hasn’t been a massive money-maker for Paramount. They’ve already completed a trilogy and there’s no shame in ending a franchise after that. If renegotiations with Pine don’t take place or aren’t fruitful, I think the entire project gets scrapped. I may very well be wrong, but to continue an already struggling property without its most bankable star doesn’t fall into the realm of good business. I think we’ve possibly seen the last of this iteration of Star Trek.