DC Area Film Critics Assoc.
While most of the Star Trek talk has revolved around that Quentin Tarantino project that, let's be honest, probably won't ever happen, Paramount has slowly been moving forward on a true sequel with the regular cast. With S.J. Clarkson recently named the franchise's first female director, the next steps were to lock down the cast to return. Key to that were deals for Chris Pine and the returning Chris Hemsworth, but it looks like talks between the two are going nowhere fast.
THR reports both actors may walk away from Star Trek 4 as talks with Paramount have "fallen apart." This is crucial because the film is said to be a time travel story in which Captain Kirk somehow meets up with his father, played by Hemsworth in a return of his small role from the 2009 movie. The problem is that both actors want to get paid the amounts they originally agreed to, but Paramount is trying to back out because these movies don't really make that much money. The highest-grossing film since JJ Abrams rebooted the franchise was 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness with $467M. The lowest was 2016's Star Trek Beyond with just $343M, a number low enough that it forced Paramount to really think about whether it was worth it to do another.
It's unclear where things go from here. If Hemsworth exits the story will have to be retooled, but if Pine leaves everything falls apart. As Kirk he's the most important character and the centerpiece of a talented ensemble. I don't see things moving forward without him, even if deals with the other actors are finalized as expected. Of course, this might just be a negotiating ploy.