Though some consider it the best of the rebooted trilogy, certainly it’s the one most akin to the original 1960s series, the Justin Lin-directed “Star Trek Beyond” sadly proved a bit of a dud at the box-office.
After Abrams’ first film in 2009 managed just over $360 million worldwide, the less well-regarded “Star Trek Into Darkness” managed to surpass that easily and rake in an impressive $467 million worldwide. ‘Beyond’ however slipped backwards, taking in around $343 million – less than the 2009 reboot. As a result the future of the franchise is uncertain.
‘Beyond’ famously was also a bit of a behind-the-scenes mess with Simon Pegg coming in to rewrite the entire screenplay with Doug Jung in just a few weeks after director Roberto Orci left the project and Paramount had no plans to move the date because of the timing with the franchise’s 50th anniversary (which they also famously bungled celebrating).
When it came time to selling the film, Paramount didn’t seem to know what to do – opting to show off plenty of Beastie Boys music mixed with shots of Kirk on a motorbike and plenty of action-heavy beats. What was a series built on being the more intellectual of two big sci-fi franchises with the word ‘Star’ in it was reduced to a dumbed down “Fast and Furious in Space” style deal.
“I think it was poorly marketed, to be honest. If you look at a film like Suicide Squad, that was around for such a long time before it finally came out and people were so aware of it. Whereas with Star Trek Beyond, it was left too late before they started their marketing push. It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to Into Darkness.”
He also admits that the film’s trailer spoiled what was supposed to be a surprise – the reprise of the Beastie Boys number Sabotage:
“I was really angry about that, because it used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th Anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; they didn’t know what to do with it and it’s a real shame. But I came away from it really, really happy and very proud of it.”
Pegg says he was ultimately happy with the way the film turned out and was pleased it got the reception they hoped for even if few saw it. Now though, the franchise is turning to Quentin Tarantino to potentially craft an original “Star Trek” film and Pegg’s not sure what the future of the franchise is:
“There’s a script that’s been written, and there’s also the story of Quentin Tarantino coming and chatting with J.J. about an idea that he’s had for a long time. That idea is going into the writer’s room to be looked at. I think it might take something like him to restart it. It’s an interesting proposition, although I don’t know if that means everybody will be blowing each other’s heads off with phasers and calling Klingons motherf–kers, but, who knows, that could be fun.”
For now, the only clear future for “Star Trek” at the moment seems to be more “Star Trek Discovery” on Netflix and CBS All Access.