Just shy of four days from the release of “Star Trek Beyond,” Paramount, Skydance and Bad Robot have confirmed a fourth entry in the franchise will be made, and a familiar face from the first film will return.
Over the weekend it was first announced that Chris Hemsworth would be returning to the Star Trek universe to play Captain Kirk’s father, George Kirk. The elder Kirk famously died in the first few minutes of the first film.
The announcement confirms the rumors, describing the character as “a man [Captain Kirk, played by Chris Pine] never had a chance to meet, but whose legacy has haunted him since the day he was born.” The two will cross paths somehow, possibly in the same way that Zachary Quinto’s Spock was able to mingle with Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in the first film, which set up the new franchise as a parallel universe to the original.
J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will handle writing duties. J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot Productions. David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance are executive producing. No word yet on who will direct.
Abrams directed the first two films in the franchise, but passed on the third entry due to scheduling conflicts with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Justin Lin took the reins instead.
The role of George Kirk was Hemsworth’s first feature film role. He would go on to play Thor in Marvel’s “Thor” and “Avengers” franchises. It is expected, although not confirmed, that the other members of the cast, including Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, John Cho and Simon Pegg are set to return as well.
“Star Trek Beyond” opens in theaters this Friday.