The Real Reason Star Trek 4 Was Canceled
The Star Trek franchise returned to the silver screen with its highly successful 2009 reboot of the same name, but a decade later, the whole series seems to be stuck in limbo. But just how did it all go so wrong, so fast? Part of the beauty of the Star Trek universe is how many different takes, visions, and ideas fans are able to see applied to the classic Wagon-Train-in-space formula. Over the decades, many different people have taken the helm, each with their own style of cinematography, concept of characterization, and visual flair. Some love J.J. Abrams’ slick take on the Enterprise and her inhabitants, while some prefer Gene Roddenberry’s original work, and others are Deep Space Nine diehards. And the wonderful thing is that they can actually coexist. Everyone has their favorite director, just like everyone has their favorite captain.
But there is a downside to this directorial shuffling, and it’s part of the reason the films have run aground in the way that they have. Star Trek 4 has changed hands more than once: Quentin Tarantino and S.J. Clarkson were both rumored as directors at various times, then a confusing pseudo-clarification was made stating that Clarkson’s movie would be separate and released before Tarantino’s. Multiple writers and producers were named, changed, and named again. No vision was ever truly able to coalesce between any of these creators, and the fans had nothing to center their excitement around.
Now the project has fallen apart entirely, and no one is even really certain what might have been, since the film was never able to settle around any one team or vision. It just proves the old adage right: you don’t want too many captains on the bridge.
Watch the video for more about the real reason Star Trek 4 was canceled!
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Director troubles | 0:14
Box office drop-off | 1:35
Casting turmoil | 2:27
Outnumbered | 3:22
Discovery | 4:31