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The real reason why Chris Hemsworth said no to Star Trek 4

Chris Hemsworth has no interest in boldly going back to the place no man has gone before. 

In an in-depth interview with Variety for the outlet's latest cover story, Hemsworth revealed the real reason why he ultimately turned down the opportunity to reprise his role as George Kirk in Star Trek 4

Hemsworth's Star Trek character, the father of Chris Pine's James T. Kirk, appeared during the opening sequence of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek refresh from 2009, in which he perished after the Romulans attacked the Federation starship USS Kelvin while he was scoping out a lightning storm in space. Ever since, franchise fans have wondered whether the fallen officer would pop up again in a future installment. Unfortunately, it looks like it will never happen. 

Hemsworth explained to Variety that he declined to star in Star Trek 4 because he didn't find the script all that intriguing or satisfying. More importantly, the actor didn't feel that the story truly warranted a return from his character. 

"I didn't feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet. I didn't want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table," said Hemsworth. 

The interesting thing about Hemsworth's comments here — beyond how remarkably candid they are — is that they directly oppose what studio Paramount Pictures previously announced regarding the actor's involvement in Star Trek 4. Nearly three ago, Paramount confirmed that Hemsworth would return for Star Trek 4, as would Chris Pine. The studio released the following statement accompanying news that a fourth Star Trek film was in the works: "In the next installment of the epic space adventure, Chris Pine's Captain Kirk will cross paths with a man he never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born: his father. Chris Hemsworth, who appeared in 2009's Star Trek, will return to the space saga as George Kirk to star alongside Pine."

Between then and now, Hemsworth backed out of the film — and evidently so did Pine. The Hollywood Reporter ran a piece in August of 2018 claiming that both actors parted ways with Paramount and Skydance Media after the companies reportedly backtracked on promised deals. Paramount was said to be "trying to hold the line on a budget," and apparently modified Hemsworth and Pine's deals to force them to take pay cuts following the disappointing box office performance of Star Trek Beyond. Money may have been an issue for both Chrises, but at least for Hemsworth, it wasn't the only factor that caused him to walk away from Star Trek 4

While it would have been amazing to see Hemsworth return to the franchise for Star Trek 4, we can see where he's coming from in not wanting to do so. It sounds as though he would be interested in reprising his role for a future installment in the Star Trek reboot series so long as the script was solid. Judging by what Hemsworth told Variety, the story was shaky in regards to how George Kirk could fit in. That's an issue for a few reasons — not the least of which involves the consequences that would arise by not having a crystal-clear, sturdy-as-heck angle to re-introduce George Kirk and still going through with it anyway. 

Additionally, it makes sense that Hemsworth, who has become a household name thanks to his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would only want to sign on for projects that he's truly passionate about. He's one of the hottest names in Hollywood right now and is probably lodging dozens of offers for starring roles in all sorts of features. Star Trek 4 didn't tickle the Aussie actor's fancy, and that's all right. It isn't as if he'll be out of work without it. 

Sadly, Star Trek 4 may never get off the ground — regardless of Hemsworth's absence. In April 2018, Paramount greenlit production on two Star Trek features: one from Quentin Tarantino, and one from British television director S.J. Clarkson and co-screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, which was presumably meant to be Star Trek 4. Less than a year later, though, it was reported that Paramount canceled Star Trek 4 "indefinitely." There are plenty of reasons why the studio pulled the plug on the project, but many fans are still holding out hope that Paramount will bring Star Trek 4 back to life. One thing's for sure, though: Don't expect to see Hemsworth's pretty face anywhere in the film if it ever gets revived.