Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman recently offered brief updates on the latest installments in three of Paramount Pictures’ cinematic cash cows – namely, the renovated Star Trek saga, the Transformers franchise, and the Paranormal Activity series.

Star Trek 2 is finally starting to make significant progress down the production pipeline, following a year’s worth of slow developments. Substantial work on both Transformers 4 and Paranormal Activity 4 has (reportedly) barely begun, but both are all-but-guaranteed to come to fruition eventually.

Dauman informed THR that previously-released reports about director/producer J.J. Abrams (at last) being committed to Star Trek 2 were indeed correct – and that the filmmaker is currently “focused on developing the next installment” in the 45-year-old science fiction franchise. However, those who were still holding out hopes that the Star Trek sequel – which may feature Benicio Del Toro as its mystery villain – could still make it to theaters by late 2012… well, that option is officially no longer on the table.

Paramount now has a “potential release in 2013″ in mind for Star Trek 2. While Summer 2013 seems the obvious route to take, there are already several significant sci-fi or “geek franchise” flicks scheduled to arrive throughout that season (ex. Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, etc.).

It’s therefore possible that studio executives will decide to delay the U.S.S. Enterprise’s next voyage until winter of that year – possibly, just before The Hobbit: There and Back Again storms into U.S. theaters.

The crew of the Enterprise will return in 'Star Trek 2'

Transformers 4

While the news that Transformers 4 & 5 will be shot back-to-back and star Jason Statham ultimately proved to be nothing more than early rumor-mongering, Dauman provided further confirmation that ideas for the project(s) are actively being proposed and fleshed out. The prospect of another Transformers movie being made is easily a given, regardless of whether or not Michael Bay returns as director; for now, it’s simply a waiting game to find out what shape the next installment in the giant (alien) robot series takes on.

Paranormal Activity 4

Paranormal Activity 4 is very much in the same boat; now that Paranormal Activity 3 has crossed the $100 million mark at the U.S. box office, the proper question concerning the next chapter in the ultra-cheap supernatural horror series is “What will it be about, specifically?”

Numerous plot threads were left dangling in the Paranormal Activity threequel (see: our Paranormal Activity 3 Ending Explained article). Presumably, most of the multiple ideas that Dauman indicates are being bounced around for Part 4 focus on addressing said narrative ambiguities.

What will be the next step for the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise?

The Star Trek followup is arguably the most eagerly-anticipated of the aforementioned sequels, if only because of its drawn-out pre-production process. All the same, there are plenty of moviegoers who are looking forward to both new Transformers and Paranormal Activity movies; hence why more concrete details concerning all of these projects are expected to be announced before the end of 2011.

We will let you know when said additional information about Star Trek 2, Transformers 4, and Paranormal Activity 4 has been released.

Source: THR