We can now add star Chris Pine to the list of people confused by, or concerned about, the supposedly surefire prospect of a fourth modern Star Trek film that nevertheless seems bound and determined to never let itself get made. Pine opened up about the franchise—amidst questions about “Harry Styles Didn’t Spit On Me” Gate, of course—in a recent Esquire profile, where he expressed frustrations at being left out of the loop on future developments, and said the franchise “feels like it’s cursed.”
The last Trek movie to actually make its way into theaters was 2016's Star Trek Beyond, which “failed” at the box office by making only $343 million on its $185 million budget. And, yes, Pine has some thoughts on those metrics, too: “I’m not sure Star Trek was ever built to do that kind of business. I always thought, ‘Why aren’t we just appealing to this really rabid fan group and making the movie for a good price and going on our merry way, instead of trying to compete with the Marvels of the world?’” The Esquire piece notes that Pine would be perfectly happy to return to the role, but also sees him acknowledge that the time for it may certainly have passed (especially in light of Anton Yelchin’s death, also in 2016). “After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everybody wanted it to do, and then Anton passed away, I don’t know, it just seemed…” Pine trails off, before busting out the “cursed” line.
For what it’s worth, J.J. Abrams says they’re still looking for a director for the film. (Justin Lin helmed Beyond; meanwhile, both Noah Hawley and Quentin Tarantino have taken abortive stabs at the franchise in the years since that film was released.) Pine says he and his castmates are typically the last to know about anything, which is “frustrating.” “In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors… I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created—I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy.”