Star Trek reboot star Jennifer Morrison has hinted that her onscreen husband George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) will be back. J.J. Abrams' 2009 relaunch of the Star Trek movie franchise starts off with an action-packed prologue in which the USS Kelvin has a deadly encounter with time-traveling Romulan ship Narada and its vengeful commander Nero. George, the Kelvin's first officer, ultimately sacrifices himself so the rest of the Kelvin crew can escape, including his wife Winona (Morrison) as she gives birth to their son, James. This turn of events creates what is known as the Star Trek Kelvin timeline, named after the USS Kelvin.
Back when Star Trek 4 was officially announced in 2016, it was revealed that Hemsworth's George Kirk would be appearing opposite his now grown son and USS Enterprise captain, James Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine). Earlier this year, however, Hemsworth said that his return in Star Trek 4 isn't a sure thing and that he hasn't heard anything about the project in some time. Now Morrison is weighing in, hinting that George Kirk might not be as dead as everyone presumed.
Morrison appeared at a Calgary Expo panel this past weekend to discuss her role as Emma Swan in Once Upon a Time, ahead of the series' finale airing later this month. The panel was moderated by Star Trek: Voyager alum Garrett Wang, so naturally the conversation eventually turned to Morrison's small role as Winona Kirk in Star Trek. This led to the following intriguing exchange between Wang and Morrison, concerning George Kirk's fate in the film (per TrekMovie):
Wang: As an actor, I think it is incredibly difficult to play the role of a mother who just gave birth to James Tiberius Kirk, knowing that your husband is 36 seconds away from death, basically...
Morrison: [interjecting] Supposed death.
Wang: Supposed death, right.
Morrison: [smiling] Just saying.
It's possible Morrison was just having fun and doesn't know if George Kirk will actually return in Star Trek 4. The original Star Trek 4 announcement was made before Star Trek Beyond opened in theaters and under-performed at the box office, so there's a chance that plans for the film have changed since then. However, if Hemsworth is coming back as George Kirk, it would be reasonable for Morrison to return as Winona alongside him and make the next Star Trek movie a proper reunion for the Kirk family. Morrison could even be in talks to reprise her role already, which would explain how she has insider knowledge of Star Trek 4.
Either way, the fourth movie set in the Star Trek Kelvin timeline appears to be actively moving forward again. Jessica Jones helmsman S.J. Clarkson entered talks to direct Star Trek 4 last month, suggesting that production could begin as soon as the second half of this year or the first quarter of 2019. Paramount's CEO similarly confirmed the studio has two Star Trek movies in active development at CinemaCon last month, one of which is believed to be Quentin Tarantino's mystery Star Trek film. Assuming the other movie is Star Trek 4, then official confirmation of Hemsworth and/or Morrison's return to the franchise could be just around the corner.
UPDATE: Morrison has now clarified (via her Instagram) that she knows "absolutely nothing" about Star Trek 4 and hasn't been contacted about the project. Nevertheless, she is "excited to watch and see how it turns out," like other fans.
More on Star Trek 4 as the story develops.
Update Source: Jennifer Morrison