Star Trek's Kelvin Timeline Could Still Get One More 'Final Chapter' Movie

There's more "Star Trek" television right now that Trekkies know what to do with. Whether you prefer it when the franchise is philosophical yet whimsical in the manner of Gene Roddenberry's original ground-breaking series ("Strange New Worlds"), a mix of raunchy humor and emotionally mature sci-fi storytelling ("Lower Decks"), or embracing a "warm, flashy, 'heart dangling on the sleeve with such force that you might as well brace for an aerial spray' ethos" (as /News's own Jacob Hall put it in his review of the "Discovery" season 5 premiere), there's something for "Trek" enthusiasts of ever shade right now — again, on the small screen. Unfortunately, if you enjoy it when the property stretches its wings and takes flight in theaters, you've been plumb out of luck since 2016.

Indeed, the last eight years have been a never-ending cycle of news about "Star Trek" films being put into development, only to fall apart faster than the USS Enterprise's hull in ... well, take your pick, the ship's been trashed in a whole lot of movies and shows by this point. From "Fargo" and "Legion" showrunner Noah Hawley to Quentin Tarantino, "WandaVision" director Matt Shakman, and even "Madame Web" mastermind S.J. Clarkson (yes, we're referring to Clarkson as a "mastermind" now, I've just decided), a whole lot of people have tried their hand at reviving the "Star Trek" films to no avail. Now, Variety is reporting that Steve Yockey — who developed the acclaimed Max series "The Flight Attendant" based on Chris Bohjalian's original novel — will take a roll of the dice himself by becoming the latest writer to take a stab at what's simply being called "Star Trek 4" (i.e. the fourth movie set in the "Star Trek" Kelvin timeline).

The budget's the thing

Here we go again. (I'm quoting the wrong sci-fi franchise, I'm aware, but stay with me.) In a massive cover story titled "The Future of 'Star Trek': From 'Starfleet Academy' to New Movies and Michelle Yeoh, How the 58-Year-Old Franchise Is Planning for the Next Generation of Fans," Variety revealed that Paramount is once again trying to make what it's referring to as a "final chapter" in the Kelvin timeline film series. Like the previous attempts, the earliest of which had Chris Hemsworth reprising his role as George Kirk from J.J. Abrams' 2009 "Star Trek" thanks to a bit of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey business (again, wrong sci-fi property, I know), this one would see Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, and John Cho (minus the late Anton Yelchin) reprising their roles as the alternate universe/Kelvin timeline versions of the Enterprise's beloved crew once more.

So, what's got Paramount convinced this attempt will succeed where the others did not? According to Variety, the studio is said to be really focused on "rightsizing" the price tag after 2016's "Star Trek Beyond" saw its budget sky-rocket to $185 million, a number far too big for a franchise that's only ever been modestly successful at the box office. Pine himself previously criticized the studio's strategy of "trying to compete with the Marvels of the world" (as he put it), and most Trekkies would surely agree that scaling things back would serve the project well, arguing that "Star Trek" has never benefitted from trying to be a splashy action franchise. This would also be a chance to finally give the Kelvin timeline a proper ending more in keeping with the core values of "Star Trek," assuming Paramount likes what Yockey brings to the table.

Keep it tuned to /News for all your future "Star Trek" updates.