The Star Trek Origins Movie Is Officially Moving Forward, But I Have Two Serious Concerns About It

 Zachary Quinto's Spock and Chris Pine's Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness.
Zachary Quinto's Spock and Chris Pine's Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness.

If you have a Paramount+ subscription, you know full well how the Star Trek franchise has been thriving on TV again for many years now. Streaming has allowed the shows like Discovery, Picard, Strange New Worlds, Prodigy (which is now housed at Netflix) and Lower Decks to be made, and there are more upcoming Star Trek TV shows on the way, as well as the Michelle Yeoh-led Section 31 movie. However, not the franchise’s theatrical film side of things, we haven’t seen anything since 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, but apparently that’s about to change. Paramount Pictures is officially moving forward with that Star Trek origins movie that was reported about earlier this year, though after hearing this news, I can’t help but have two serious concerns about it.

During the Paramount presentation at CinemaCon today that CinemaBlend attended, it was mentioned that this Star Trek movie, which will be directed by Andor’s Toby Haynes and written by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s Seth Grahame-Smith, is set to begin production later this year and is expected to be released sometime in 2025. Beyond that, no other details were revealed, so the only other thing we know about this project is that it’s set decades before the events of 2009’s Star Trek, i.e. the movie that kicked off the alternate timeline which follows Chris Pine’s James Kirk, Zachary Quito’s Spock and more.

Therein lies my first concern with this origins movie: exactly how is this going to function as a prequel? Not to get too nerdy, but the point of divergence between the Kelvin timeline and the main Star Trek timeline occurs when Nero’s ship’s came back in time to the former reality, which also happened to be the same day James Kirk was born. Everything before that day happened the same way in both timelines, including the events of the TV show Star Trek: Enterprise. So because that series chronicled Starfleet’s first deep-space exploration and ended with the formation of the United Federation of Planets, what origin is there to tell?

The main thing I can think of at the moment is we’d learn how Starfleet and the United Federation became the powerhouse forces they are by the time the 2009 Star Trek movie begins. But even setting aside the fact that this doesn’t need to be classified as a Kelvin timeline exclusive-story since again, such events would have happened the same way in both realities, would this make for a compelling enough cinematic event? With talent like Haynes and Grahame-Smith behind it, I hope so.

My second concern with this Star Trek origins movie is what this means for Star Trek 4, i.e. the Star Trek Beyond follow-up. We’re coming up on 10 years of this project trying to get off the ground, with various behind-the-scenes creative talent boarding and exiting it, including director Matt Shakman, who left to helm The Fantastic Four. It seems like Star Trek 4 can’t catch a break, and I’m worried that this origins movie will result in it being shelved for good.

Now to be fair, when this origin story’s existence was revealed, it was mentioned that Star Trek 4 was still in “active development’ and is intended to be “the final chapter of the series.” So on face value, Paramount reportedly intends to give this version of the USS Enterprise crew a proper farewell, but given how many attempts to move Star Trek 4 forward have failed, will prioritizing the Star Trek origins movie will once again result in the other movie falling by the wayside? At this point, if Star Trek 4 does get made, it’s not coming out until well over a decade after Beyond. Is it even worth being remotely optimistic about its chances anymore?

As a longtime Star Trek fan, I’ll end up seeing this origins movie regardless, but these concerns will keep weighing on my mind until more information comes to light. Naturally we’ll pass along any major updates that come in, but for now, you can look through our 2024 movies schedule to stay on top of the cinematic entertaining coming out later this year.