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How The Three Star Trek Reboot Options Could Change The Franchise Forever

While the Star Trek resurgence may have started with J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot, all the action has been on the TV side for the last few years. The first season of Star Trek: Picard is currently available to watch on CBS All Access. That same streaming service has also confirmed a third season of Star Trek: Discovery isn't too far behind, while Star Trek: Lower Decks recently dropped to provide a more comical (as well as animated) take on the classic franchise. If you're a CBS All Access subscriber, there is plenty of Star Trek to dive into ... which is why it's a little odd we haven't gotten a new Star Trek movie in a while. 

J.J. Abrams rejuvenated the franchise in 2009 with a hit film starring Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, and Zoë Saldana as Uhura. The film was followed by Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013 and Star Trek Beyond in 2016 — not exactly a fan favorite for franchise followers.

The tepid reception of Beyond, and Abrams leap over to Disney to work on another little space opera franchise, put the temporary brakes on the Star Trek renaissance. There have been hints and murmurs of what could potentially follow — from direct sequels to more ... eccentric ideas. In fact, a recent article from Deadline outlined how Paramount's new film chief, Emma Watts, has three different options to pursue as far as the future of the Star Trek franchise on the big screen is concerned. The face of Star Trek could look very different in the years to come depending on which route Paramount decides to take. Here are the options.

Option #1: The direct sequel to Star Trek Beyond

The most straightforward Star Trek possibility is a direct sequel to 2016's Star Trek Beyond. The plot of the sequel as previously envisioned reportedly would have followed George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) as he joins his son James T. Kirk in a time travel film (via Movieweb). S.J. Clarkson was attached to direct the sequel, but ultimately left, citing his work on Game of Thrones, which required more of his attention. 

This would be the safest path forward, but also pretty predictable. No doubt fans would be ecstatic to see the likes of Chris Pine and Simon Pegg back in the saddle again. Plus, it would be a chance to give Chris Hemsworth a larger role in the franchise, regardless of his obligations to that other massive cinematic franchise.

The downside to this path would likely be the cost attached. Pretty much all of the original cast members are now A-list celebrities with hefty price tags and challenging schedules. Even if Paramount could find a way to get the whole gang back together for a few months, would the studio be willing to foot the bill? This option might provide the most fan service, but it's logistically the most challenging — without a doubt. 

Option #2: Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Star Trek

The next option available for Paramount is definitely a little more out of left field. Apparently back in the day, Mark L. Smith (The Revenant) wrote a Star Trek movie that would've been directed by none other than Quentin Tarantino. This would be a rare move into franchise-world for the notoriously acerbic Pulp Fiction director. Tarantino has since left the project, but the script still exists for the right filmmaker to tackle. 

The screenplay is based on an older episode of the classic Star Trek series. It would take place primarily on a planet with a 1930s Earth-like setting, and would involve an altercation with a syndicate of prohibition-era gangsters. There's definitely more information we need about this project, but regardless of who's directing this film, it would definitely be different.

If Watts and the rest of the executives at Paramount go with this option, then they're basically saying all bets are off as far as Star Trek movies go. Instead of making a linear film series where one movie leads into the next, Paramount could essentially create one-off Star Trek anthology stories without a serialized thread. This option might allow Paramount to book some lower-budget Star Trek experiments, so it might appeal to the studio's bean counters.

Option #3: Noah Hawley's Electric Kool-Aid Star Trek Test

Most recently, it was announced Noah Hawley (LegionFargo) would helm the next Star Trek film. Even though the Hawley Star Trek was in the early stages of development, according to Deadline active work on the project has paused.

Not much is known about this project, and there aren't even actors attached at this point. Hawley's film would have brought on a new cast and focused on a deadly virus. Perhaps the current state of the world is the reason why Watts wanted to pause the project for the time being, though that's only speculation.

Hawley's film would be the cleanest reboot of the bunch. The studio could bring on a new cast of up-and-coming actors (preferably some that don't cost as much as the likes of Pine and Hemsworth). This last option may be the best way for the franchise to continue for the time-being. If Paramount decides to go forward with the virus angle, then Star Trek could become the franchise that tackles real-world political issues head-on. 

We'll let you know as soon as we know anything more about the next Star Trek's cast or release date