Well, Star Trek Beyond finally launches into theaters next week and so far the early reviews are promising. That is apparently enough to get J.J. Abrams and Paramount looking forward to what comes next. While attending a press conference for the film, Abrams, who remains on board as a producer after directing the first two chapters, made it clear that a fourth film is definitely happening and they've got big ideas for it...
“Yes, and there’s something that hopefully we’re figurative minutes away from talking about. But the answer is 100 percent yes, and it’s incredibly exciting."
It's interesting only because Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness could be considered modest successes; hardly of the Star Wars or Fast & Furious level. But apparently Paramount remains pleased and want to stay in the Abrams/Bad Robot business. And clearly Abrams is stoked for the project, evidenced by his comments, which may be why he revealed the return of Chris Hemsworth to the franchise.
For those who may not recall, one of Hemsworth's early breakout roles was at Captain Kirk's father in the 2009 Star Trek. He would die in that incredible prologue, which makes one wonder how and why he'd be returning at this point. Then again with Abrams' franchise heavily featuring the idea of time travel and alternate continuities, anything is possible.
Star Trek Beyond will have a big premiere event at Comic-Con next week so don't be surprised if Hemsworth comes striding up on stage to join the crew. The film hits theaters soon after on July 22nd. Star Trek 4 was previously set for a release some time in 2019 and there's no reason to think that has changed.