Chris Pine as James T. Kirk in Star Trek (2009).

Since Star Trek Beyond came out, Paramount has had a hard time getting a fourth movie in the series off the ground. Creative teams for Star Trek 4 were attached to the film before and after it was announced to the public. The most recent departure was director Matt Shakman, who was brought in to direct Fantastic Four for the company.

The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power was written by Patrick McKay, who is currently running the Amazon show, and was directed by SJ Clarkson. McKay talked about what the film would have looked like had it been shown. McKay said that the movie would have seen the return of George Kirk, the father of James Kirk, who died in the opening minutes of the movie.

They were the same age thanks to a quirk in the Star Trek world. McKay said it would be like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in space. We were very happy with it. He and Payne were working on a script with Lindsay Weber, but things just fell through.

The Star Trek: Next Generation episode 'Relics' is their in-world justification. Payne explained that the TNG crew were able to have a cool adventure with a man who had been trapped in a transporter for a long time. George Kirk tried to beam himself over to his wife's shuttle where his son, Jim Kirk, had just been born before the big mining ship hit. The transporter had absorbed his pattern up into the buffer but hadn't spit him out on the other side. There was a saved copy of him in the computer.

The film would show the crew pulling George out of the wreck, and he wouldn't have known how long it had taken. The film's villain, who was not from the original series, would have been the reason to look for George's ship.

Payne and McKay decided to switch to television after Paramount junked their film. It seems like an interesting idea, but in some ways it feels like a step back. One of the reasons that Beyond was so good was that it felt like an ensemble film rather than one that focused on Kirk, which had been an issue with the previous two films. Daddy issues and unresolved family issues are popular in fiction, but they don't need to fuel a story every time.

Variety has a story on it.

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