History often repeats itself, especially in Hollywood. Back in the late seventies, Star Trek: The Motion Picture actually became the most expensive movie of its time, costing a whopping $46 million. The film did well, but with Star Trek II, Paramount cut a lot of corners and delivered the cheapest film in the franchise. Not only did it come in at the rock bottom price of $11.2 million, it also made a ton of dough at the box office, and is still the best movie in the series
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount wants to slash the Star Trek budget down by at least $20 million. Perhaps if Darkness was a bigger hit, Paramount would get behind a bigger sequel, but this time they apparently want to scale down. In addition, Paramount wants to shoot the film outside of California to get better tax credits, which means the third Trek will probably shoot in Canada.
There’s currently no director in place for a third Trek movie, but scaling down won’t be such a bad thing. Remember, Wrath of Khan was the cheapest of the series, but it’s also still the best, and it proved you didn’t need a monster budget to deliver a great picture. Granted, cutting a movie down to $170 million isn’t that huge of a drop, even with today’s insane movie budgets, but if cutting costs can make the next Trek better, so let it be done.