Though the future of the franchise is currently in a state of pre-production limbo, Star Trek 4 may begin filming as soon as January 2019. The sequel will directly follow 2016's Star Trek: Beyond, though plot details are currently under wraps.
Created by Gene Roddenberry as a television series in 1966, Star Trek follows a crew of space explorers who embark on dangerous missions in their pursuit to "boldly go where no man has gone before." Over the years, the franchise has continued through various mediums - including television, film, comic books, novels, and video games - and was theatrically rebooted in 2009 by J.J. Abrams, with a cast that included Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho, Simon Pegg, and the late Anton Yelchin (existing in a parallel universe of Roddenberry's original series referred to as the "Kelvin Timeline," on account of George Kirk's doomed starship - the USS Kelvin). Now, the current film series is trekking toward its third sequel.
Despite some confusion regarding which screenplay the fourth Star Trek will follow, Omega Underground reports that Star Trek 4 will begin production at the start of the new year. They also say that the movie may film in either the UK or Atlanta, Georgia. That said, it has yet to be confirmed who the official screenwriters will be for the upcoming sequel, as there has been a lack of clarity behind the scenes in terms of who will pen the movie. Though Patrick McKay and John D. Payne are listed on IMDb as screenwriters, there are currently three different scripts in development; one from McKay and Payne (who were both uncredited writers on Star Trek: Beyond), one from Simon Pegg and Doug Jung (who co-wrote Star Trek: Beyond), and one from Academy Award winner Quentin Tarantino - whose sequel will reportedly include the current "Kelvin Timeline" cast.
Script confusion aside, there are some aspects of Star Trek 4 that show signs of momentum. For one, the upcoming sequel is considering S.J. Clarkson as its director (she's directed episodes of Orange is the New Black, Jessica Joness, and The Defenders). And secondly, it's lined up a possible villain or ally with Black Panther's Danai Gurira (who is also rumored to star in the upcoming sequel/crossover Godzilla vs. Kong).
Though behind-the-scenes drama often paves the way for concern among fans, this sequel is in good hands. With Abrams as producer, Clarkson potentially becoming the franchise's first-ever female director, and the likes of Tarantino interested in offering his own unique spin, there's no denying that Star Trek 4 is (to paraphrase its own credo) boldly going where no franchise has gone before.
Source: Omega Underground