Star Trek Beyond began filming in Vancouver this week, but Paramount already started getting their ducks in a row for Star Trek 4 by signing Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto for the next movie in the series.
This isn't a guarantee that Trek 4 will happen, but if it does happen the USS Enterprise will still have its two main characters. This all stems from contract negotiations leading into Star Trek Beyond, and while I don't usually give a shit about this stuff, this time it's interesting. See, when Pine and Quinto signed on to the first film they also signed on to two sequels, and they signed on with an agreed-upon pay escalation. Pine got $600,000 for the first film, $1.5 million for Star Trek Into Darkness and should have gotten $3 million for Star Trek Beyond. But the pace of making these movies is fucking glacial, and Beyond got pushed back after the Robert Ocri debacle. That meant it was more than seven years since the initial contracts had been signed, and under California law no personal contract can extend more than seven years. Which means the contracts technically voided in 2014. So nobody was even under contract, legally, for Star Trek Beyond.
The entire cast renegotiated for Beyond, but one of the conditions for Pine and Quinto was that they sign up for a fourth film. No matter what happens next, there will be a Kirk and a Spock on the bridge of the Enterprise.
Up in Vancouver Star Trek Beyond is shooting in a park known for its climbing boulders, a place that reminds fans of the opening of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. I have to admit I would be really interested in seeing Kirk, Spock and Bones getting some R&R at the beginning of this movie, maybe just sort of chilling out on an unexplored planet. Of course since movies shoot out of sequence there's no telling at what point in the film the Enterprise will be visiting Planet Vancouver Forest.