Paramount has announced that the Star Trek franchise is returning to theaters soon—in 2023. The news comes amidst a recent reshuffling of its theatrical releases (Top Gun: Maverick is getting bumped to later in the year, Mission Impossible 7 is getting bumped to next year, Dungeons & Dragons to 2023, and so forth.) Buried in the announcement is that there’ll be an untitled Star Trek film set to hit theaters on June 9th, 2023.
We’ve been expecting a new Star Trek film for a couple of years, but according to io9, this is a completely new project.
For the last couple of years, we’ve watched the studio struggle to get another Star Trek film out into theaters, all while it’s dumped a ton of resources into its television franchise on Paramount + (which includes Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Strange New Worlds, Prodigy, and some additional shows in development.)
A couple of years ago, S.J. Clarkson had been signed for a fourth Kelvin-universe film (which ultimately didn’t go anywhere), Quentin Tarantino had an idea (which ultimately didn’t go anywhere), and Legion’s Noah Hawley was signed for a film (which, you guessed it, boldly went where the others went before: development hell.)
Part of the reason for the complications was cost: the studio reportedly wanted to reduce the salaries of actors like Chrises Pine and Hemsworth — both of whom had gone on to great success in things like Wonder Woman and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Star Trek’s movies didn’t bring in Star Wars-like box office results, so the studio put things on pause while they went about figuring things out.
Since then, there have been some developments: Paramount recently hired Kalinda Vazquez, who’s worked on Star Trek: Discovery, for a new project, with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot producing. But there’s no director or talent attached to it, or even an indication as to whether or not it’ll be set in the Kelvin universe. Reasonably, it would seem that this is the project that’s been dated.
But! “A source close to the project told io9 this is not the Vazquez script. It is, however, a separate J.J. Abrams-produced Trek film but all detail beyond that remains top secret,” says io9. To be fair, studios put a lot of scripts into development all the time: Vazquez’s script might not be all that far along, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll be made. It sounds as though this is a project that’s been in the works already, and that it’s far enough along to hang a date on it. Like the Vazquez script, there’s no indication about talent, director, or story, but as io9 points out, there’s going to be a big Star Trek convention a year from now, and we’ll likely hear all about it then.