Urban Almost Didn’t Return For “Star Trek Beyond”

However you feel about Justin Lin’s “Star Trek Beyond,” one of the unquestionable highlights of the film was that of Karl Urban’s performance as Dr. McCoy. Shoved to the fringes in the second film ‘Into Darkness,’ McCoy has a much bigger role to play in the events of ‘Beyond’.

It turns out that a more substantial part is what was required to get Urban back for the film. Talking with StarTrek.com, the New Zealand actor says he wasn’t initially signed up for ‘Beyond’ and originally wasn’t keen to return due to ‘Into Darkness’:

“I certainly was hesitant about reprising the role of McCoy. I felt that I was in agreement with a vast number of fans and audience members and critics who, after watching ‘Into Darkness,’ felt that the character had become marginalized. And I was not keen to repeat that experience,” he explained. “I was out of contract. Because of the Olivia de Havilland law in America, I was no longer under obligation to do a third picture, and was, actually, in fact, negotiating to do another film when we were contacted and asked about reprising the role of McCoy. So I was somewhat ambivalent about it. And I really liked this other piece of material.”

It was director Justin Lin who ultimately changed his mind, his status as a long-term “Star Trek” helping assuage Urban’s doubts:

“[Justin Lin] outlined the story and the vision that he had for the character. And I was immediately intrigued and also somewhat reassured that he was a long-term fan of ‘Star Trek,’ that he understood the weight and value of the character, and how the character interacts with Spock and Kirk. So that gave me a great deal of security, which enabled me to make the decision. And I’m so glad I did. I feel that the version of McCoy in ‘Star Trek Beyond’ is the most well-defined version of the character that I’ve had the benefit to play. So it’s all turned out for the best.”

It’s expected that Urban will return for the currently in development fourth film.