Disney appears to have once again screwed up Paramount’s hapless efforts to get another one of these damn Star Trek movies made, as THR reports that director Matt Shakman—who’s reportedly in talks to take on the Fantastic Four movie for Disney’s Marvel Studios—has just dropped out of directing one of those Trek movies that the studio is constantly promising it’ll make but never, ever does.
Shakman, who picked up Emmy nominations in 2020 and 2021 for his work on The Great and WandaVision, respectively, has been in the news lately, due to reports that he’s being courted to take over the also-pretty-endless efforts to make a Fantastic Four movie that isn’t baseline embarrassing for all involved. Prior to that, though, he’d signed on to direct the Star Trek movie that wasn’t the one Quentin Tarantino was gonna make (dead), or the one Noah Hawley was gonna make (also dead). Details about Shakman’s film were also very wobbly, though, to the point that nobody can even say whether Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldaña—who, you’d be forgiven for forgetting, used to make Star Trek movies together several years ago—were going to be in the cast.
The mildly hilarious thing about this bit of cross-studio apparent poaching, though, is that it’s not the first time it’s happened between these two companies: It’s hard not to see parallels here to the tug-of-war that surrounded Star Wars/Trek rebooter J.J. Abrams a few years back, after Paramount signed him to a first-look deal—and then had to watch as he ran off to make a Disney film every time the studio opted to blow up his phone. (To be clear, Shakman isn’t under the same kind of agreement Abrams was, but the shared willingness to dump Star Trek to work for The Mouse is still amusing, at least to us.)
Shakman’s Fantastic Four plans are still in the “in talks” phase (although it’s hard not to note that clearing off this calendar like this seems like a promising sign). Meanwhile, Paramount hasn’t managed to get a Star Trek movie into theaters since Beyond in 2016, even as the franchise has had a renaissance of sorts on the studio’s streaming service, Paramount+. The studio issued a statement this weekend to THR, praising Shakman’s talents:
Matt Shakman is an incredibly talented filmmaker, and we regret the timing didn’t align for him to direct our upcoming Star Trek film. We are grateful for his many contributions, are excited about the creative vision of this next chapter and look forward to bringing it to audiences all around world.