The fourth movie in the big-screen reboot of "Star Trek" was reportedly going to feature yet another time-travel plot with James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) somehow joining forces with his long-dead father George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth).
However, in what many fans might consider a mercy killing, it seems the project has already hit a major stumbling block.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have walked away from negotiations to star in the blockbuster produced by J.J. Abrams over the studio allegedly trying to force them to take a cut in salary. [What Makes a 'Star Trek' Fan? Trekkies Tell All]
Both Pine and Hemsworth are considered among Hollywood's A-list when starring in DC or Marvel movies and are reportedly said to be asking the studios to stick to existing deals. According to THR, Paramount contends that Trek is not like a Marvel or a "Star Wars" movie and is trying to maintain a strict budget.
To further confound the situation, producers were apparently waiting to secure both Pine and Hemsworth before negotiating deals for other cast members Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and Simon Pegg (Scotty), so the project sounds problematic at best.
The as-yet untitled project was believed to have been gearing up for production, with "Jessica Jones" veteran S.J. Clarkson on board as the film franchise's first female director and Danai Gurira from "Black Panther" expected to have a key role.
Abrams announced that Hemsworth would definitely be reprising his role from the 2009 Star Trek's prologue more than two years ago. Sadly of course, the franchise won't see the return of Anton Yelchin (Chekov) who tragically died in 2016.
Popularity of this reboot has gradually declined since "Star Trek" (2009) with lower scores on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes for each sequel. The last movie, "Star Trek Beyond," grossed only $343 million worldwide on a budget of $190 million.
THR reports that one insider says the companies actually lost money on the movie.
Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl about an R-rated "Star Trek" movie based on a concept from Quentin Tarantino that would not be set in Abrams' alternative timeline created in the 2009 movie "Star Trek" and referred to by fans as the Kelvin Timeline.
Screenwriter Mark L. Smith, best known for penning Leonardo DiCaprio's "The Revenant," is believed to be onboard, and Abrams is thought to once again take the role of producer, according a past THR report.
Tarantino is a long-time Trek fan – don't forget the opening screen for "Kill Bill" told of the old Klingon proverb that says revenge is a dish best served cold – and in an interview with Nerdist he said that he considers the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" one of the best “Star Trek” episodes ever written.