Chris Pine is already the new flavor of James Tiberius Kirk in the Star Trek universe, and remains set to become the next incarnation of CIA analyst Jack Ryan in a reboot movie tentatively titled Moscow. The latter might not happen for a while now, since Paramount has understandably decided that Star Trek 2 is more of a priority for the time being.
Continuing issues with the Moscow script have encouraged studio officials to scrap their plans of releasing the reboot next year. They will instead focus on getting the next voyage of the USS Enterprise underway in time to make its scheduled Summer 2012 release date.
Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian was recruited to rework the Moscow screenplay almost two months ago, but Deadline says he withdrew from the project sometime over the last two weeks. Zaillian also penned Clear and Present Danger, and also did uncredited work on Patriot Games; however, Moscow is the first Jack Ryan flick not based on material previously written by Tom Clancy. The lack of a narrative template to follow (or be inspired by) may in part account for the reboot's script issues.
The indefinite delaying of Moscow frees up Chris Pine to work next on Star Trek 2, which we know does not yet have a complete screenplay. J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot of the franchise was popular enough for Paramount to justify a commitment to finance the sequel script unseen.
J.J. Abrams has not yet committed to directing the Star Trek followup, and still has post-production duties to complete on this summer's Super 8. The next Trek flick is already on a tight schedule to reach its June 2012 release date, seeing as it may not begin filming this summer as originally expected - but Abrams assured CS last night at CinemaCon that completion of the Star Trek 2 script remains the biggest priority right now:
"We're working on the story. That's probably more important than the release date at this point, but at the moment, we're not going to change anything."
Fans surely recall that Abrams' Star Trek reboot was originally scheduled for release in December 2008 before it ended up being delayed another six months - which allowed additional time for the completion of shooting, visual effects work, and other post-production issues on the project. The results were both critically and financially prosperous for Paramount then; right now, though, the studio is determined to make a summer release date.
As it stands, Star Trek 2 remains set for release on June 29th, 2012.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of Moscow as more information is released.