The next Star Trek movie is due to begin shooting very soon, with Justin Lin (Furious 6) calling the shots from a script co-written by Simon Pegg – who’s also reprising his role as engineer Scotty from the last two Star Trek installments. Story details remain firmly under-wraps for this new installment, though a potential title for the film has now been revealed.
The title in question is Star Trek Beyond, a title that (somewhat unlike Star Trek Into Darkness) could be a proper reflection of the film’s storyline – seeing as Pegg has said many times over, this movie is aiming to recapture the joy of discovery and exploring uncharted areas of “the final frontier” that defined the original Star Trek TV show. That would be all he more fitting, seeing as Lin’s Star Trek feature will arrive in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Trek TV series (and the property in general).
TrekMovie claims to have it on “good authority” that Star Trek 3 will end up being titled Star Trek Beyond. The only given for now is that the name has been registered with the Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) – fairly (suspiciously?) close to the start of production on the movie.
This rumored title would keep the “trend” that began with Star Trek Into Darkness (read: no numbers or subtitles) with the rebooted Star Trek film continuity; reflecting the themes of this new installment, at the same time. Again, that could end up being more true here than it was for Into Darkness – depending on how well you feel that title fit a story about the Federation’s dirty secrets and the return of Khan (now played by Benedict Cumberbatch).
Speaking of Khan – the recent news that Idris Elba is closing in on a deal to play the villain in Lin’s Star Trek movie encouraged speculation about who he might be playing (be they a familiar character and/or an established alien, like a Klingon). Pegg, for his part, reassured MTV that the antagonist role being circled by Elba is a “kick-ass” new addition to the franchise (as imagined by Pegg and co-writer Doug Jung):
“It will be [an original character], yes. This is the five-year mission now, we’re out there. We don’t always have to keep bumping into the same people… So we’re gonna try and reflect that in the movie.”
That should come as welcome news to many Trekkies since 1) Many have been calling for something new after the heavy-handed referencing to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that transpired in Star Trek Into Darkness, and 2) The Star Trek universe is such a vast place that it begs further exploration, beyond what any of the previous movies have offered so far (in terms of different planets and their inhabitants). Elba would be a great catch for the Star Trek franchise, so fingers crossed he’ll sign on and give us the series’ next great baddie.
Both Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness performed well at the global box office, yet the general feeling amongst movie buffs right now seems to be that this new Star Trek really needs to hit its target – in order to keep up with the competition (like the revived Star Wars franchise). The combination of old (see: subtext/spirit) and new (see: different villain and a tweaked modern blockbuster aesthetic) – from the fresher perspectives offered by people like Lin and Pegg – might just do that trick, too.
And speaking of old and new: returning cast members for the next Star Trek movie will include Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Karl Urban, and Anton Yelchin (in addition to Pegg). Meanwhile, Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is reportedly joining the movie’s cast in a lead role, in addition to Elba (most likely) portraying the villain.
Star Trek 3/Star Trek Beyond (?) opens in U.S. theaters on July 8th, 2016.