The future of the Star Trek franchise is in question as Chris Pine has reportedly walked away from the negotiating table for the next movie in the series. While many Star Trek fans might not be too happy with this news, as it puts the popular film series in jeopardy, Chris Pine does have one notable supporter. The other Captain Kirk, William Shatner, thinks Pine is making the right call. According to Shatner...
Well, we negotiated. I don't recall, although there is something vaguely reminiscent about saying, 'I can't do that.' But, Chris is in a wonderful position in that he is so good and such a leading man, that he has many opportunities to explore without being Captain Kirk. So he is in a really good negotiating position. I think he's doing the right thing in terms of getting more money, as the movies seem to be making a lot of money.
While the new Star Trek movies have certainly been making a lot of money, they're also fairly expensive to make and the issue, at least according to the studio, is that the last one didn't make enough money. For that reason, Paramount was reportedly looking for both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth to take a pay cut. Neither appeared to be willing to do so, which has stalled talks on the next Star Trek movie.
While the franchise is clearly something that's important to William Shatner, he tells Trekmovie.com he believes that Chris Pine is making the right call. Shatner clearly sees all of this as negotiation, and he sees Pine in the best position. The young actor doesn't need Star Trek to be successful, so he's in a position where he can walk away. It's likely that the studio, however, needs Captain Kirk for the movie to be successful, so they may be more willing to give in.
And it's certainly true. Chris Pine has had no problem getting work that isn't related to Star Trek. He's got another blockbuster franchise with Wonder Woman and he's been involved in high profile films like Disney's A Wrinkle in Time as well as more subtle dramas like Hell or High Water and the upcoming Outlaw King. He clearly doesn't need Star Trek, the only real question is does Star Trek need him? If it does, then we'll likely see a deal get made here, though if the studio thinks Star Trek can move forward without him, we could be in for a very different future to the franchise.
Since it seems the studio was willing to kill Captain Kirk off-screen once, there's every reason to believe it would be willing to do it again. We'll just have to wait and see how this one comes out.