Noah Hawley laments Paramount stopping ‘really fun’ Star Trek movie right before production – TrekMovie.com
Last summer, news broke that Paramount Pictures’ new management had suspended the Star Trek film project developed by Noah Hawley. Now the writer / director talks about shutting down the project and reveals how close he was to production.
Hawley Trek was already launching when it closed
In a conversation with Deadline focused on the final season of his TV series Fargo, the subject of Hawley’s cinematic work was brought up, sparked by his complaint that a change in management at Sony Pictures put an end to a plan to adapt one of his own novels. This led to the following exchange with Deadline Pete Hammond.
Deadline: It always happens with a change of scenery in a studio, whatever you think you’ve put in place. You know what I mean here; Star Trek to Paramount and a brilliant kind of new reinvention of such a big franchise. And then someone comes in and it all stops, or things happen.
Noah Hawley: That sums it up pretty well. We were on the trail. There was a major cast that we were in the middle of. We had a production schedule and I was getting ready to go to Australia. And then, like you said, new management. I guess in retrospect what surprised me wasn’t that Emma Watts walked in and said, “Are you crazy? It’s an untested crew. It is an original idea. We don’t know if this will work or not. Is that I went as far as I did under [former head of Paramount Motion Picture Group] Wyck [Godfrey] and [Paramount President] Jim [Gianopulos]. It was a really fun movie and I think it would have been a great movie, but you can’t control those things. So we move forward.
Hawley was originally asked to develop his Star Trek movie in 2019, following the direct sequel to Star Trek Beyond was suspended before production began, due to a breakdown in salary renegotiations with Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth earlier that year. Previously, Hawley had revealed he was developing something new, with a new cast. It appears that in the spring of 2020 he was already in the process of releasing the film and preparing to go into production in Australia. The writer / producer also indicated that his Star Trek movie will not be action-oriented like the three Kelvin Universe movies. Composer (and longtime Hawley collaborator) Jeff Russo recently told TrekMovie that Hawley took a different approach, predicting that fans would “lose their minds” because of the film (in a good way).
Emma Watts joined Fox’s Paramount last summer to replace Wyck Godfrey at the helm of the Motion Picture Group. Soon after, news broke that she had put Hawley’s project on hold. His comment on his thinking he was “crazy” to do something with “an untested team” might not speak as much of a Starfleet team as it does to use the more traditional Hollywood lingo of trusting the Trek film franchise to Hawley’s team and its production. business. While Hawley has multiple Emmy nominations (and one win) for his television work, his film debut in late 2019 as a writer / producer / director on Lucie in the sky was a critical and box office disappointment for Fox Searchlight – and remember, Watts had just arrived from Fox.
To move on
When Deadline Hammond complimented Hawley’s relaxed attitude about his project’s failure, Noah revealed more about the impact of the experience with Trek:
Noah Hawley: It is not easy. You have to allow yourself to have this process of – I won’t say grieving because you know it’s not life or death – but you have to pour your 40s on the floor for the movie that would have been. To really celebrate the fact that you were artistically excited about something and now just as you were preparing to ramp up, you have to cauterize that wound and move on.
And Hawley moved on. In addition to working on ideas for a final season of Fargo, he is also developing a television show based on the Extraterrestrial franchise for FX.
As for Emma Watts and Paramount, they also moved on to new projects. In March, Paramount and producer JJ Abrams picked writer Kalinda Vazquez to write a new Star Trek movie, and in April Paramount set a June 2023 release date for a seemingly different “secret” Star Trek movie, also produced. by JJ Abrams.
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