However, it appears Paramount is now going back on those apparent deals in order to try to reel in the budget, as the Star Trek franchise doesn't perform almost as well as either actors' retrospective DC or Marvel projects.
Chris Pine has always been expected to reprise his role as Captain James T. Kirk, a character originated by William Shatner.
Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth may not be returning for Star Trek 4. It looks like the two film studios are trying to force the actors to take pay cuts as this next sequel follows Star Trek Beyond, which is being considered a "mediocre performer" by The Hollywood Reporter.More news: Ford unveils 2019 NASCAR Mustang
The as-yet untitled project was believed to have been gearing up for production, with "Jessica Jones" veteran S.J. Clarkson on board as the film franchise's first female director and Danai Gurira from "Black Panther" expected to have a key role.
So does this mean there will be no Star Trek 4 where Kirk meets his dead dad?
After a shaky couple of years, Star Trek appears to be in rude health right now.More news: Tottenham stands pat during a busy Premier League transfer window
Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Those execs are now saying, in light of the tepid performance of Star Trek Beyond, they need to dial back the budget on this film and would like to pay the actors less than they were initially promised or usually get. They could take the film franchise in an entirely new direction.
To further confound the situation, producers were apparently waiting to secure both Pine and Hemsworth before negotiating deals for other cast members Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and Simon Pegg (Scotty), so the project sounds problematic at best.
Whereas those series regularly cross the $500 million mark in terms of global box office, only 2013's Star Trek: Into Darkness came close, grossing $467 million. An insider for the studio claims that they "lost money on the movie". The 2009 movie made only $385 million worldwide, but it made $257 million from domestic receipts. Would they consider making it without Kirk? Star Trek 4 will make history as the first-ever installment in the longstanding franchise to be directed by a woman.More news: Frank Lampard reveals why Leeds United beat Derby in Championship demolition job
Whatever happens, though, sources say Star Trek 4 is still a priority for the studio and will not be put on hold due to this.