As you know salary negotiations between Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have broken down putting Star Trek 14 in jeopardy.
Skipping ahead ignoring the he said/she said bullshit, one of the reasons why the Star Trek 14 producers wanted those two to have a reduced salary is because of Star Trek Beyond under performing at the box office. It grossed $343.5 million on a $185 million budget equating a loss of $50.5 million.
We can debate the reasons why till hell freezes over, but needless to say after the loss they don't exactly want to spend too much on the next film -- kinda reminiscent of Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan only having a budget of $11.2 million after Star Trek: The Motion Picture's $46 million. By today's standards TWOK's budget would be $40 million vs. TMP's budget of $167.5 million.
I'm hoping that they will go back to the table, but in the mean time for me there is a crazy solution that might help reduce their budget or add flexibility to their budget.
-They have the Enterprise-A for Star Trek 14 because the last Enterprise met its demise on Altamid, right?
-It's more advanced than its predecessor, right?
-We never saw the interior to the Enterprise-A outside of construction, right?
Solution, use the Star Trek: Discovery sets. Use the Shenzhou bridge for the Enterprise-A's bridge, and all other sets are from the Discovery only with different lighting and graphics. This includes the corridors, the transporter, engineering minus the spore drive chamber -- possibly dilithium reactor room where Spock died the first time? Give the Shenzhou bridge a new forward port to match the Enterprise-A, but leave everything else alone. Give them more light so it doesn't feel so dark or gloomy, or even a similar colour to the original series.
And if they use them the next time Star Trek Discovery goes into hiatus, then there's time to do the principle photography as well as time to put the sets back when it's time for there to be another season of Discovery -- being optimistic. Plus use many of the already existing props like the phasers -- and I prefer these reimagined phasers on Discovery as they are more faithful to the original series phasers while upgrading them to today's standard and not hurting their authenticity, communicators, tricorders, and so forth. But maintain the red, yellow and blue uniforms -- possibly have those shipped to Toronto as they might be easier to transport with the main cast. Who knows, we might see Demter, Owosekon or the random communication's guy.
Don't forget that much of the Enterprise-D sets were actually reused and redressed from TMP which also brought down the budget for something a bit more realistic for a TV show of the time. And many of those sets were still being reused until the end of Voyager. I think they were demolished before Nemesis was made, hence the different sickbay on that movie. Back on topic the Enterprise-D's warp core believe it or not were actually 2 tops of turbolift cars, that's how far their redressing went to make the show work.
I understand that Discovery is produced by CBS and the Kelvin timeline is produced by Bad Robot and Paramount, but it is still one way to bring down the movie's budget reducing the risk.
Also the producers of Saw 3 asked the producers of Scary Movie 4 -- don't knock it, it's the only time I actually liked Dr. Phil -- asked if they could use the bathroom set for Saw 3 because it was an exact replica of the one from Saw and Saw 2 -- and needless to say it helped with their budget.
Another is to use as many practical effects as possible even with starships that don't use as many high octane performances or unneeded amounts of CGI where the planet, stars and nebula are still computer generated, but they're CG matte paintings with a practical USS Enterprise-A in front of a purple screen -- due to the fact almost every other colour is used on the ship. Now mind you I don't know how many interactions there are with the foreground and background elements there are on the Star Trek Kelvin timelines and Discovery, but when I make ships like those I post, they are of a ship with a digital mask and an already existing background.
With Christopher Nolan making incredible epics like Interstellar and Inception with as many practical effects as possible, needless to say it probably help keep the budgets down to $165 million for Interstellar and $160 million for Inception, and add authenticity.
Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier grossed $63 million on a $33 million budget -- which means it might have broken even. But needless to say it's still trashed even today, and probably what gave Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country its green light was because of the popularity of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Star Trek 6 had a budget of $27 million -- which helped with them recycling and redressing so many preexisting sets like from The Next Generation, and it grossed $96.9 million.
Now there is no telling what's going to happen with Star Trek 14, whether they rethink their strategy or Chris and Chris are finally convinced to take a pay cut, but right now it's too soon to declare the project dead.