Avengers: Endgame and upcoming Men in Black International star Chris Hemsworth recently revealed why he turned down Star Trek 4.
Hemsworth was in negotiations to reprise his role as George Kirk in the fourth film. He had previously played George Kirk in the first J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek film.
Hemsworth spoke with Variety detailing that he chose to turn down Star Trek 4 because of the script. “I didn’t feel like we landed on a reason to revisit that yet.” He added, “I didn’t want to be underwhelmed by what I was going to bring to the table.”
Previously, Hemsworth and Wonder Woman actor Chris Pine reportedly exited contract negotiations with Paramount for Star Trek 4 over budgetary concerns. Pine even indicated that he was open to returning, but the ball was in Paramount’s court.
The third Star Trek film in the J.J. Abrams universe, Star Trek Beyond, reportedly lost money after it only brought in $343 million in worldwide gross.
While Hemsworth indicates he turned the film down due to the script, it’s quite possible it could be due to monetary concerns with his contract. Hemsworth’s star has definitely risen since the first Star Trek film. He’s a bonafide action star thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his portrayal as Thor. He also stood out in Ron Howard’s Rush where he played Formula One champion James Hunt opposite Daniel Brühl’s Niki Lauda.
It’s more than likely Hemsworth would want a much bigger paycheck for Star Trek 4 than the one he commanded for the original Star Trek.
It’s unclear if Hemsworth is still negotiating with Paramount for Star Trek 4, but his comments to Variety indicate he might have moved on. It’s possible Hemsworth worked a deal with Marvel Studios to continue portraying Thor in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
In the same interview with Variety, Hemsworth noted he’s still interested in portraying Thor on the big screen, “I’d still love to do more, to be honest.” He continued, “And I don’t know what the plan is. I feel like we’ve opened up such a different character. I feel more energized for the possibility of where it could go. But I’ll use that in other places and other characters if it’s the end here.”
If Hemsworth is negotiating with Marvel Studios it’s more than likely he has a big bargaining chip on his side for Star Trek 4. As the original Captain Kirk William Shatner noted about Pine’s negotiating position for Star Trek 4:
“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.”
The same could apply to Hemsworth as well.
What do you think of Chris Hemsworth’s reasoning? Was it really the script? Or were their other motivating factors keeping him from reprising the role of George Kirk?