According to Karl Urban, he wasn’t contractually obligated to appear in Star Trek Beyond. If it wasn’t for a meeting with director Justin Lin, he might not have returned for the sequel.

During an interview with IGN, Urban called Lin’s involvement “a breath of fresh air,” adding, “I really appreciated Justin’s intimate knowledge and understanding of the character dynamics. In fact, I was on the fence about doing the movie until I spoke with Justin.”

He explained, “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.”

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Lin, who’s been a fan of the franchise since he was a kid, took over the helm of Star Trek Beyond after J.J. Abrams went on to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “There’s always that lag of three seconds of me bouncing back to my living room as a 10-year-old and back to on set,” he said during a fan event.

Star Trek Beyond sees Urban alongside Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin, in addition to newcomers Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella. The film will hit theaters on July 22.

Star Trek Beyond
  • Movie
  • 120 minutes