×

What’s going on with Paramount’s “Star Trek” film franchise? Don’t ask Chris Pine, even though he’s one of its headlining stars. Pine has played Captain Kirk in three “Star Trek” movies, and he is painfully out of the loop when it comes to the long-delayed and long-overhauled fourth movie. Directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Noah Hawley developed “Star Trek 4” scripts that never got off the ground. “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman was the most recent filmmaker attached to “Star Trek 4,” but he left the project to shoot Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” reboot instead. Paramount announced last September it was removing “Star Trek 4” from its release calendar.

As part of Chris Pine’s new Esquire cover story, franchise producer J.J. Abrams said the “Star Trek 4″ script is in a good place. “I will say it’s the first time [since the original reboot] that we have a story that feels as compelling as the first one,” he added. But even still, Pine is out of the loop.

“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 the actors.”

Pine and his co-stars Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and more reportedly had no idea Paramount was even moving forward with “Star Trek 4” when Abrams announced as much in February 2022. It’s all par for the course with “Star Trek,” Pine told Esquire.

“I would say it’s frustrating,” Pine said about always being kept out of the loop about the franchise. “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.”

The “Star Trek” franchise has been a question mark ever since the third installment, 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond,” disappointed at the box office with $344 million worldwide. Pine has often lamented over “Star Trek” movies being forced to gross Marvel-level numbers at the box office. He continued to beat the drum on this matter in his Esquire interview.

 “I’m not sure ‘Star Trek’ was ever built to do that kind of business,” Pine said. “I always thought, 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? After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everybody wanted it to do, and then Anton [Yelchin]…passed away, I don’t know, it just seemed . . .”

The only thing Pine added was that the “Star Trek” franchise “feels like it’s cursed.”