A lot has been said, and written, about the behind-the-scenes turmoil in the development of Star Trek Beyond, but that drama was focused behind the camera. What about in front of the camera though? Was there ever a chance that one of the main cast members might have taken a powder on the third chapter in the rebooted Trek movie series? Possibly. In an interview released this week, the once and future Judge Dredd Karl Urban seemed to indicate that there were mitigating factors that might have prevented him from returning to the series, but director Justin Lin convinced him to come back to Bones.
While talking to IGN, Urban offered:
[Having Justin Lin direct] was a breath of fresh air, and I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics.
I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin [because] I had a conflicting schedule, and I had a decision to make about which film to do, and I was no longer under contract to do a third picture.
So I had a decision to make, and it was talking with Justin that enabled me to commit to it. I mean, he gets [‘Star Trek’].
So none of this is malicious, of course, it’s just a contractual and scheduling thing as the original three-picture contract for the cast expired in 2014, which seems kind of short-sighted on the studio’s part, but there you go.
Still, no matter what you feel about the Trek world J.J. Abrams created, most everyone agrees that Urban’s Bones is a highlight, as if he himself were channeling the animus of DeForest Kelley. To see a Star Trek movie without Urban’s Bones would have been a way bigger red flag that Roberto Orci‘s ouster as director, and similarly, Urban crediting Lin and his vision as the reason he decided to come back, is a big boost of confidence to Trekkers who’ve seen the trailers for Beyond and been unimpressed. Urban, as you maybe aware, is a hardcore fan of the original series.
All questions will be answered when Star Trek Beyond is in theaters everywhere on July 22.