Five years ago, Paramount successfully rebooted its “Star Trek” franchise with J.J. Abrams film becoming both a commercial and critical hit. Boasting a considerable $150 million budget, “Star Trek” scored an impressive $257 million domestic box-office haul – more than 2.5 times that of the previous record holder “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”.
Yet not everything went smoothly. Overseas audiences dramatically improved for the film series, but the $127 million international haul was not enough to justify such high price tag. Thus along came 2013’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” an even more costly venture at $190 million.
Reviews for this entry were solid but not as good, especially amongst the original fanbase who kept the franchise running for so long. Whilst Abrams first film had a feel similar to the previous shows and films, ‘Into Darkness’ pushed into more “Star Wars”-style territory whilst at the same time serving as something of a strange remake of the iconic and far superior 1982 film “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”.
Paramount though wanted that international coin and had listened to market research overseas which indicated international audiences wanted less ‘Star Trek’ in their “Star Trek,” opting for a much more action fantasty-oriented flavour rather than a more cerebral and straight-up science-fiction work. It worked – ‘Into Darkness’ did similar domestic numbers to its predecessor, but internationally its grosses doubled.
Now, Badass Digest reports that the studio is aiming in a new direction with the next film, albeit one still “Star Wars” in style. Specifically, the reports suggests that a big potential reason that director Roberto Orci left the project earlier this month was because the studio wanted to go with a different tone and style – something very akin to this year’s biggest domestic box-office hit “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
Several directors are said to be on the shortlist to replace Orci including the likes of Rupert Wyatt, Justin Lin, Morten Tydlum and Daniel Espinosa. Whomever takes the job could be in charge of a new film that will up the joke quotient, potentially include a comedic character from the original series like Harry Mudd, and give decidedly more screen time to alien critters such as Scotty’s alien sidekick Keenser.