By Dave McNary
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Paramount Pictures has decided to pause on making another “Star Trek” movie, nine months after hiring “Fargo” and “Legion” creator Noah Hawley to write and direct the next installment of franchise.
The decision comes five weeks after the studio named former 20th Century Fox film executive Emma Watts to be president of the Paramount Motion Picture Group. Paramount had no comment. Sources indicated that Watts has put the brakes on the Hawley project in order to get more clarity on how to handle the next “Star Trek” movie, but added that the project has not been ditched.
The studio had also been developing another “Star Trek” project with Quentin Tarantino producing and Mark L. Smith writing. Paramount also tried to launch another “Star Trek” movie in 2018 with S.J. Clarkson directing and Chris Hemsworth joining the cast.
Hawley’s project was expected to see Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and Zoe Saldana returning to crew the U.S.S. Enterprise. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot would return to produce, with Hawley also producing through his 26 Keys production banner.
Hawley, executive producer on “Fargo” and “Legion, made his feature film directorial debut on “Lucy in the Sky,” which stars Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm.
The original TV series launched in 1966 and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” opened in 1979 and became the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. Paramount rebooted the franchise in 2009 with Abrams directing “Star Trek,” followed by “Into Darkness” in 2013 and “Beyond” in 2016.
The next movie will be the 14th film in the franchise. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.