Since rebooting the Star Trek series, J.J. Abrams’ faster paced, less cerebral brand of Trek has faced some criticism. However, with the 50th Anniversary of the series coming up this year and celebrations already getting underway, hopes are riding high on Star Trek Beyond to renew faith in the alternative timeline series. Director Justin Lin has already stated that, despite the “Fast and Furious Trek” Trailer, he plans on returning the series to its roots, while keeping the film exciting enough for casual moviegoers.
The production already had its troubles after Roberto Orci’s concept was drastically altered, forcing breakneck rewrites and a major reshuffling of resources. As its July release date rounds the corner, though, things are still cooking down for the Christopher Pine (Captain Kirk), Zoe Saldana (Lieutenant Uhura), and Zachary Quinto (Commander Spock) fronted series.
According to Deadline, Star Trek Beyond is in the process of reshooting a few scenes. The film has also added another cast member at the last minute: Emmy-winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (Rosewater). The actress has apparently been cast as a member of the Federation High Command. Fortunately, though, it looks like the Enterprise’s third mission in the altered timeline is still on course for a late July release.
The first Iranian woman to be awarded an Emmy, Aghdashloo should bring an austere presence to Star Trek Beyond. Her recent work in The Expanse – which begins production on its second season this coming April in Toronto – also saw her playing an authority figure (U.N. Assistant Undersecretary of Executive Administration Chrisjen Avasarala. to be exact). The reason for the reshoots is unclear, but her addition as a higher up may indicate some slight tweaks to the script by Orci, Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, John D. Payne, and Patrick McKay.
Although a surplus of scribes may bode poorly for Star Trek Beyond, neither extra writing help nor reshooting scenes necessarily sounds the death knell for a production. Adding or rearranging aspects of the film is a routine practice in Hollywood. Classic films like Wrath of Khan, Star Wars: A New Hope, and The Wizard of Oz all underwent major or minor alterations before becoming the cinematic staples they are today. And since the third installment of Abrams’ Star Trek reimagined series will either take the franchise to new heights or potentially finish it off, Lin and company are likely taking their test screening audiences very seriously.
Adding a renowned actor like Aghdashloo as a Federation bigwig may indicate a slight change in direction for the script. Or it could mean the producers wanted to add some heft to a decision in the film – likely related to Idris Elba’s alien villain and the potential alien invasion of Earth seen in the trailer. How it will affect the finished film, as well as the future of the Federation and the planet, remains to be seen.
Star Trek Beyond opens in U.S. theaters on July 22, 2016. The new Star Trek TV show will debut on CBS in January 2017.