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Star Trek 4 back on track with Legion creator Noah Hawley writing and directing

By Matthew Jackson
Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto as Kirk and Spock in Star Trek (2009)

The current Star Trek film series that's been in a holding pattern since the release of Star Trek Beyond in 2016 is back on track. Deadline reports that Legion and Fargo creator Noah Hawley is in "final talks" to write and direct the next installment for Paramount Pictures, setting the stage for a fourth film featuring the "Kelvin Timeline" cast first introduced 10 years ago in Star Trek

J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company, which launched the current film franchise with Abrams directing in 2009, will return to produce this installment alongside Hawley's own company, 26 Keys. The Kelvin Timeline crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise — including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, and Simon Pegg — are expected to return for the film. 

Deadline's report also notes that this project is separate from the long-discussed Star Trek project from director Quentin Tarantino, which is also still in development with Abrams. That film, a proposed R-rated project with a script from The Revenant writer Mark L. Smith, has been the most exciting thing in Trek movie news over the last couple of years, though we still know very little about it. Now, we know that it exists separately from the next film in the Kelvin series, though exactly how separate remains to be seen. 

In the three years since Star Trek Beyond arrived to somewhat lackluster box office returns, much of the excitement in the Star Trek franchise has been centered on the small screen, thanks to the ever-expanding universe of shows on CBS All Access, which already includes Discovery, and will soon include the Next Generation sequel series, Picard. That shift, coupled with the underperformance of Beyond, meant that it wasn't clear if or when we'd seen Pine, Quinto, and company back on the bridge of the Enterprise. Now, while we don't have a release date for the new film, we at least have a little more hope. 

Hawley has a knack for taking beloved properties and putting his own distinct spin on them. He broke through in the TV world when he did just that with Fargo, then proved he could do it again with comics on Legion. Earlier this year he made his feature directorial debut with the Natalie Portman-led drama Lucy in the Sky, and now he'll reportedly get a shot at one of the biggest movie sandboxes available. 

What do you think of Paramount's choice to lead the next phase of Star Trek on the big screen?