“This is a new beginning” is what writer-director Noah Hawley said this week when asked about the upcoming fourth Star Trek film. Hawley came on after an earlier version of the film, to be directed by S.J. Clarkson and starring the returning Chris Hemsworth, stalled. But his “new direction” won’t necessarily bring back all of the current Trek cast.
“It’s still early days,” Hawley told Collider when asked if the original cast would come back. “For me, it’s definitely a new direction, but it’s still early, in terms of who exactly would be in it or what the characters would be. I don’t think of it as Star Trek 4, to be reductive. This is a new beginning.”
Hawley, who was at an event to promote his latest season of Fargo, also spoke about the responsibility of entering a world created by someone else. Something he’s done with Fargo, of course, but also Legion. It’s something he’ll do again with Star Trek and he thinks working on those other projects has prepared him for it.
“I have my own take and my own things that I want to do with it,” he said. “Having done this 40-hour homage to the Coens, and having done a Marvel series, I always approach this material understanding that people are really invested in these stories, and I treat the material with real respect, but I’m going to tell my own story now. I always feel, as a fan, if there’s something that I love and somebody tells me new stories, I get excited. I’m excited there’s going to be another Matrix movie. I don’t need it to be the old Matrix movie. I’m excited to see characters used in new ways, or new characters, or whatever it is.”
That might make you wonder, what is Star Trek to Noah Hawley? Well, he talked about that too.
“When I looked at all of the franchises, I kept coming back to Star Trek as something that, ultimately, at the end of the day that is, at its heart, about being human, about diversity and exploration and outsmarting your opponent, as opposed to destroying your opponent through your physical might,” Hawley said. “It’s William Shatner putting on his reading glasses and lowering the shields. That’s Star Trek to me. He’s clever. He’s cleverer than the other guy. But it’s also the conceptual science fiction that was always so great in Next Generation or even the original.”
If you connect the dots here it sounds like Hawley has not 100 per cent committed to bringing back each and every member of the Enterprise crew as seen at the end of Star Trek Beyond. But, as a fan with some reverence himself, that decision feels like – based solely on speculation – he simply wants to make sure the characters he brings back have a place in the story. Really, it’s too early to say for sure. Plus, don’t forget there was that whole deal last time of money issues with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth, so Hawley could just be hedging his bets over something like that happening again.
Since it’s the early days, as Hawley said, and he’s still working on the latest season of Fargo, we doubt we’d see his Star Trek 4 before 2022. When we learn more though, we’ll let you know.