After four long years of waiting, wondering and speculating, “Star Trek Into Darkness” is finally here. But what are its stars and filmmakers up to now that they’ve followed through on the promise of the 2009 franchise reboot? Suffice it to say that they’ve already enjoyed lots of great opportunities, but with another virtually guaranteed blockbuster film under their belts, their respective futures look brighter than ever.
Check out a roundup of the projects that director J.J. Abrams and his ensemble cast have lined up immediately after “Star Trek Into Darkness.”
With the success of “Star Trek,” Abrams became one of Hollywood’s biggest creative powerhouses, and he’s leveraging that clout with a remarkable slate of work as a producer, including sequels to “Cloverfield,” “Mission: Impossible” and, yes, “Trek,” as well as a variety of original projects such as “Wunderkind,” “Portal” and “Half-Life.” If all that weren’t enough, Abrams is crossing sci-fi picket lines and taking on no less than the next “Star Wars” film, which he will not only produce but direct. Given that he’s admitted he wasn’t a huge fan of “Trek” before he took it on, it should be interesting to see how he tackles material that he truly loves.
Chris Pine took perhaps the most iconic captain in science-fiction history and made him his own — no easy feat. Next, he’s trying to do the same thing with a character who’s already been played not by one terrific actor, but three: Jack Ryan. Following in the footsteps of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, Pine hopes to start another franchise for himself as director Kenneth Branagh (“Thor”) helms a reboot of the mythology for Tom Clancy’s famous CIA analyst.
Quinto’s Spock is a revelation — not just updating the character made famous by Leonard Nimoy, but revealing the essential qualities needed to play a convincing Vulcan: sincerity, febrile intelligence and angular curiosity. In addition to being a regular on Eli Roth’s horror-themed television series “Hemlock Grove,” Quinto is set to co-star with Luke Wilson and Topher Grace in a thriller called “The Invitation” for “Jennifer’s Body” director Karyn Kusama.
In the same year Saldana appeared in “Star Trek,” she also co-starred in one of the most successful films of all time, “Avatar.” Thankfully, audiences will have an opportunity to reprise the character of Neytiri in “Avatar 2″ and “3,” but if they still haven’t had their fill of her in sci-fi settings, she’s also set to play Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” perhaps the oddest Marvel Comics adaptation yet to be brought to the screen. Meanwhile, she’s also appearing in “Blood Ties” opposite Clive Owen and playing iconic singer Nina Simone in the biopic “Nina.”
Cumberbatch was already on the cusp of stardom after small roles in “War Horse” and his turn as the villainous John Harrison should make him a bona fide star. His upcoming slate of films suggests he’s not wasting any opportunities. He’s working with Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt in director Steve McQueen’s “Twelve Years A Slave,” Ewan McGregor, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County,” “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2″ director Bill Condon on “The Fifth Estate,” and then not one but two “Hobbit” films, “The Desolation Of Smaug” and “There And Back Again.”
Simon Pegg has been developing quite a healthy career for himself, thanks to a number of projects with filmmaker Edgar Wright, and the pair is set to complete what they call the “Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy” (after “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”) with “The World’s End,” which is scheduled for release later this year. Meanwhile, he stars as a psychiatrist in “Hector and the Search For Happiness,” and provides the voice for an animated character in the upcoming adaptation of the children’s book “Here Be Monsters,” entitled “The Boxtrolls.”
From the first moment he stepped onscreen as “Bones” McCoy in 2009′s “Trek,” Karl Urban owned that character just as much as his predecessor, DeForest Kelley. Since then he’s taken on other famous characters, including the title character in “Dredd,” but he’s set to reprise one character that he created when “Riddick,” the highly anticipated sequel to “The Chronicles Of Riddick” is released later this year. After that, he’s set to appear in the murder mystery “The Loft,” and the fantasy film “The Wonder.”
John Cho has always flourished in character-driven roles, distinguishing himself even with just a few brief minutes of screen time, and his work in “Star Trek” only underscores his crucial contributions to the overall effectiveness of an ensemble. Appropriately, his upcoming work finds him in casts with a deep bench, such as starring with Alison Brie, Anna Kendrick and Bryan Cranston in “Get A Job,” while projects like “That Burning Feeling” will test his mettle as both a comedic and dramatic actor.
It seems as if Eve’s role in “Star Trek Into Darkness” was intended to telegraph the actress’ expanded role in “Star Trek 3,” in particular, her burgeoning romance with Captain Kirk. But before she returns — that is, if she returns — she’s set to star in “Cold Comes The Night” opposite Bryan Cranston and Logan Marshall-Green. She’s also been attached to the film “Dolly Dimples,” about a young woman who publishes a seemingly abandoned collection of stories by a little girl only to find herself being pursued by a man who claims to be the girl’s father.
Anton Yelchin was given comparatively little to do as Chekov in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” but the young actor has plenty of other work to look forward to. Not only is he providing the voice of Clumsy Smurf in this summer’s “The Smurfs 2,” he is starring in Jim Jarmusch’s vampire tome “Only Lovers Left Alive” opposite Tilda Swinton, and he’s appearing in William H. Macy’s upcoming directorial project “Rudderless,” about a grieving father who forms a band in order to exorcise the pain of losing his son. After that, he’s also got “5 To 7,” with Olivia Thirlby, and “Pretenders” with his “Fright Night” co-star Imogen Poots.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Star Trek Into Darkness.”