J.J. Abrams has earned the reputation of a franchise savior during his career directing films. Dating back to his work on Mission: Impossible III in 2006, many of Abrams’ movies have reinvigorated well-established properties, giving them another lease on life. This is why he was such a good pick to helm Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned $2 billion worldwide, earned widespread critical acclaim, and launched a new era of the galaxy far, far away on the big screen.

But before Abrams took the Millennium Falcon for a spin, he sat in the captain’s chair of the U.S.S. Enterprise, delivering the first two installments of the rebooted Star Trek movie franchise, now dubbed the Kelvin Timeline. Though his obligations to Force Awakens prevented him from directing this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, Abrams still served as producer on the film, which is so far generating positive word-of-mouth. It looks like the seminal sci-fi brand will live long and prosper on the big screen, and Abrams couldn’t be more excited to see what the future has in store with Star Trek 4.

During a press conference to promote the upcoming release of Beyond (hat tip Den of Geek), Abrams was asked if there would be a fourth movie in the series. Though it’s been reported that it’s something Paramount wants to do, it hasn’t officially been confirmed to be in the works yet. However, according to Abrams it is:

“Yes, and there’s something that hopefully we’re figurative minutes away from talking about. But the answer is 100 percent yes, and it’s incredibly exciting.”

J.J. Abrams on the Star Trek Into Darkness set J.J. Abrams Confirms Star Trek 4 Will Happen

Stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto have long been said to be on board for another entry, so it isn’t surprising that the studio is moving forth on a followup to Beyond. A week away from the threequel’s premiere (as of this writing), it’s encouraging to hear that Paramount is bullish on the idea of a Star Trek 4, as that speaks well to its potential quality. Beyond‘s troubled path to theaters has been well-documented by now, and there were some fans who believed the movie was doomed – particularly after the divisive Star Trek Into Darkness left a cold taste in Trekkies’ mouths. But Beyond director Justin Lin seems to have gotten the franchise back on the right track, which theoretically will increase the demand for more adventures.

As Star Trek 4 moves through development, it will be interesting to see what changes (if any) are made behind and in front of the camera. There’s a very strong possibility that the Enterprise crew sees some new members in the next film, for completely different reasons. Zoe Saldana is going to be pre-occupied with James Cameron’s trio of Avatar sequels soon, so depending on the production schedule for Trek 4 she may be unavailable. In addition, the Trek community is still reeling from the tragic death of Anton YelchinBeyond could be the emotional swan song for this particular group of characters, and fans will keep a close eye on the cast and choice of director for Star Trek 4.

At this point, the only thing that could stop Star Trek 4 is Beyond being an unexpected bomb, but that isn’t going to happen. The film is projected to post a solid and respectable opening weekend gross, continuing the Kelvin Timeline’s commercial success. Even with big projects like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy satisfying the craving for space operas, there’s still room for Star Trek at the multiplex. And with a new TV series coming soon, now’s a better time than ever to be a fan of the Final Frontier.

NEXT: Early Star Trek Beyond Reactions

Star Trek 4 is currently without a release date. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters July 22, 2016.

Source: Den of Geek

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