The Next Star Trek Movie Will Be An Origin Story For The Entire Franchise

When a franchise has lasted for upwards of half a century and is still going strong, the decision-makers in charge will inevitably run into one pressing question above all others: Where do we go next? "Star Trek" became a beloved institution among the nerdiest of fans for a pretty good reason, largely because of its wholesale commitment to treading new ground and envisioning a new future. But with the franchise firing on all cylinders these days (on television, at least) and no signs of slowing down anytime soon, writers have become increasingly hard-pressed to boldly go where no others have gone before ... literally speaking, that is, since recent "Star Trek" shows like "Strange New Worlds," "Lower Decks," "Discovery," "Picard," and more have filled in all sorts of gaps in the official canon.

It's no secret that Paramount is eager to get back in the big-screen business for "Trek," however, and one of the more intriguing productions currently in the works seems to have settled on its main focus. We previously knew that "Black Mirror" and "Andor" director Toby Haynes had been tapped to lead an untitled upcoming "Star Trek" movie – one that's not meant as a continuation of the alternate-universe (aka Kelvin Timeline) movies starring Chris Pine and the rest of those films' cast. The studio is still playing its cards close to the chest on this, but a new report has shed a little more light on what we can expect from this mysterious motion picture.

The key phrase, apparently, is "origin story."

An origin story ... 'of sorts'

Variety has the scoop on the future of "Star Trek," unveiling a flashy new cover story covering practically every corner of the (fictional) universe. One tidbit buried among the rest, however, paints a rather interesting picture of what one of the movies in development could end up focusing on. With names like Toby Haynes and writer Seth Grahame-Smith ("The LEGO Batman Movie," "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter") attached, there's clearly no shortage of creative talent looking to put their stamp on future plans for the franchise. Figuring out what exactly that direction should be, however, is another story altogether.

According to the report, fans can expect the movie to "serve as an origin story of sorts for the main timeline of the entire ['Star Trek'] franchise." What that means, of course, is anybody's guess. In terms of the timeline, the best guess is that this will take place long before the events of the 2009 J.J. Abrams semi-reboot and that of "The Original Series" as well. Discounting time-travel adventures that placed contemporary "Trek" characters on, say, 20th Century Earth, the earliest era of the canon that we've seen was previously explored in "Star Trek: Enterprise," which is set a full century before the likes of Captain James T. Kirk or Mr. Spock ever stepped foot on the USS Enterprise.

Trekkies already know how events like First Contact between humanity and the Vulcans unfolded or how events like the Eugenics Wars ravaged the Earth and set our civilization on a course for the stars, so could this in-development movie tackle the formation of Starfleet and the Federation as a whole? At this point, your guess is as good as ours. We'll definitely be keeping a close eye on this one.