For years, Paramount Pictures have been trying to develop another Star Trek film. It was unknown then if they were bringing back the Kelvin timeline cast or it will feature a new set of characters. Recently, we finally learned that the upcoming film will indeed feature the return of the Kelvin timeline cast and a lot of fans were delighted by the news. Now, we know why the studio decided to bring them back.
According to Variety, the studio's decision to bring back the Kelvin timeline cast for the next Star Trek film was due to the market research that they did which determined the audience interest in the Kelvin timeline cast given the long wait period between Star Trek Beyond (which didn't do well at the box office) and the prospective fourth film. The executives learned that there was still lasting audience enthusiasm for the cast which led the studio to feel comfortable moving forward to bring them back.
It may be surprising or baffling for some that the studio decided to bring back the cast due to market research. However, it is normal for studios to conduct market research whenever they make decisions on certain projects since, for them, it is the best way to determine the general audience's interest. While it might not be ideal for some, it is the standard for most businesses whether it's in entertainment or in other industries.
Based on the responses, it looks like a lot of people are enthusiastic that the Kelvin timeline cast will be returning for the fourth film. Now, the challenge for the studio is to make it more cost-efficient given that the first three films didn't have huge box office success and were not on the same level as any other major franchise tentpole film. It's also been six years now since Beyond was released so it would be interesting to see if they can actually get a lot of audience response beyond what was said in their market research.
Either way, it is very intriguing to see how the fourth film will go and we're going to watch out for the project's development in the next several months as they are planning to start filming by the end of the year.
The untitled fourth Star Trek film is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on December 23, 2023.