Home Entertainment Noah Hawley wants Star Trek 4 to return to “exploration… creative problem solving”, move away from “action”

Noah Hawley wants Star Trek 4 to return to “exploration… creative problem solving”, move away from “action”

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Since JJ Abrams rebooted the world of Trek with 2009’s timeline-rewriting Star Trek, turning it into a sci-fi action blockbuster franchise, the two sequels and eventual TV series prequel in the form of Netflix’s Star Trek: Discovery have divided fans. While polished and thrilling, many felt the modern entries just didn’t feel like Star Trek. At least not the Star Trek that creator Gene Roddenberry first gave to the world back over 50 years ago. Well, it would appear that Noah Hawley feels the same and he’s going to do something about it.

It was revealed a few months back that Hawley, the brilliant creator behind Legion and Fargo, would write and direct the still-untitled Star Trek 4 movie. And speaking at a Television Critics Association panel (via /Film), Hawley revealed that his upcoming film will be harking back to the earlier sensibilities of the franchise while ditching its new action-centric focus.

Star Trek is such a special story about exploration and empathy and diversity and humanity at its best and creative problem solving. It was never designed in its origins as an action series. It was always about humanity having to fit into the universe and solve problems through diplomacy and outsmarting their opponents. So I’m excited to get back to that.

Those words should definitely pique the interest of fans who yearn for classic Trek. Personally, even though I’m most definitely not a hardcore fan, I miss it as well. It’s this itch that The Orville (at least once it got past its horrible toilet humour) scratched so well.

It’s still early days yet for the production though, as Hawley has yet to actually start writing a script. He just has a general idea that he wants to develop. An idea that may just develop to the point where the film may not actually feature the cast of the previous movies led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

I just went in and chatted with my friends at Paramount about what they were looking for and then some ideas that I had and then just sort of developed a more specific idea that they seemed to like. I still have to write a script and everything. I’m writing it and I have my own take on it so we’ll see where I end up.

One thing Hawley became very well known for with the mindbending Legion and also with his directorial debut, the astronaut drama Lucy, was to push boundaries in terms of genre norms. You can technically say that this is exactly what Abrams did when he rebooted this franchise to begin with, so there may be some alarm bells going off. However, Hawley wants to keep things much simpler with Star Trek 4, just sticking to what has already been proven to work well.

I’m excited to make a big movie that appeals to everyone in that way. I feel like I went through an experimental phase with Legion and then with Lucy. I’m excited, with Fargo and with Star Trek, to just tell a great story well. I’m sure once I get into the filmmaking of it, I’m always trying to innovate and find ways to create emotions in an audience that they don’t expect and os we’ll just have to see.

The initial announcement of Hawley developing Star Trek 4 had come as a surprise as Paramount had previously scrapped plans for a fourth feature film set in the Abrams-created Kelvin timeline after production fell apart. With 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness and 2016’s Star Trek Beyond both posting diminishing box office returns (the latter actually couldn’t break even when marketing costs were incorporated despite strong reviews) it wouldn’t have been a shock for Paramount to park the franchise for a while. Maybe the studio realized that if want to get things back on the winning track, they need to give the older fans what they want?

Last Updated: January 14, 2020

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