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The Unsurprising Reason Paramount Is Bringing Chris Pine And His Crew Back For Star Trek 4

In 2009, J.J. Abrams helped bring one of the biggest science fiction franchises in history back to the big screen with "Star Trek." The film, which received largely positive reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes) and performed well financially (via BoxOfficeMojo), also rebooted the sci-fi franchise by creating an alternate timeline separate from the one explored in the original "Star Trek" TV show and movies. To date, the 2009 blockbuster has spawned just two sequels: 2013's "Star Trek Into Darkness" and 2016's "Star Trek Beyond."

It's been six years since the latter film was released in theaters, but fans are still waiting for Paramount to release the series' long-awaited fourth installment. To the studio's credit, it has developed a number of film projects for the franchise in recent years, and everyone from Quentin Tarantino (via Variety) to Noah Hawley (via Deadline) has been in talks to helm a "Star Trek" movie at one point or another. However, none of those projects have been made. 

Fortunately, it looks like development may finally be progressing on the long-awaited sequel to "Star Trek Beyond." In a recent interview, the head of Paramount Pictures even revealed why the studio has chosen to bring Chris Pine and his fellow "Star Trek Beyond" actors back for the new film.

Paramount believes Star Trek fans want another adventure with Chris Pine and co.

In February, J.J. Abrams and Paramount Pictures head Brian Robbins revealed that "Star Trek 4" will likely star several returning franchise cast members, including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, and others (via The Hollywood Reporter). The film is set to be helmed by "WandaVision" director Matt Shakman, whose previous directing credits also include episodes of "Game of Thrones" and several other notable TV shows (via IMDb).

However, it's not Shakman's involvement in "Star Trek 4" that has caught the attention of fans of the franchise. Instead, it's Paramount's decision to bring back Pine and the rest of his "Star Trek" co-stars that seems to have the most fans talking right now. That said, according to Robbins, the choice was made for purely practical reasons.

During a recent conversation with Variety, Robbins briefly discussed Paramount's decision to bring Pine and co. back for "Star Trek 4," saying, "I'm a research nerd, and what the data tells me is that the audience wants that cast in this movie." Robbins also offered a small update on the project, teasing, "We're deep into it with J.J. Abrams, and it feels like we're getting close to the starting line and excited about where we're going creatively."

Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not the project will actually make it beyond its initial development phase. If it does, the film will be Shakman's first feature directorial effort since 2014's "Cut Bank." Fortunately, Shakman's experience working within massive fictional worlds makes him someone who is still uniquely suited to take on a project like "Star Trek 4."

If there's one thing Pine and his "Star Trek" co-stars have proven as well, it's that they're capable of giving it their all when the opportunity to do so is actually presented to them.