News Roundup: PICARD & S31, Disco Looking Abroad?

News Roundup: PICARD & S31, Disco Looking Abroad?

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As we close out the first week of February, there’s bit a flutter of small news nuggets materializing out of the Star Trek continuum and we’ve got ’em all here for your consideration!

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First up, Patrick Stewart made some waves as the still-developing Picard series moves closer to production — speaking to Red Carpet News during his The Kid Who Would Be King press tour, the veteran Trek actor made note that the Picard series is “set up for possibly three years,” further deepening the stance that CBS is looking at the show for longer than just a one-and-done production.

When the show was initially announced last August, fans assumed the 78-year-old Stewart would only be returning to the Trek franchise for a single outing as Jean-Luc Picard, but as time as passed both producers and Stewart himself have clarified they look at the project as a potential multi-year venture.

Speaking of multi-year ventures, Trek franchise boss Alex Kurtzman continues to look to the future as he gave a small update on the status of the Michelle Yeoh-led Section 31 series, first announced in January.

Alex Kurtzman and ‘Trek’ producer Heather Kadin at the 2019 TCA press tour. (CBS)

“Erika [Lippoldt] and Boey [Kim Kim] are writing it now,” Kurtzman told the press audience, which included IndieWire and ComicBook.com, “So we’re breaking story now. And they’re amazing, and they’re a big part of Discovery, so they’re on our staff too. So they’re doing double duty this year, and our hope is that we will have a script in the next couple months.”

While Discovery hasn’t yet been renewed for a third year — at least, not officially — that hasn’t stopped Kurzman and co-lead producer Heather Kadin from talking about it. 

“As soon as Discovery Season 3 is over,” said Kurtzman, “We’re rolling right into [Section 31]. That’s my hope.”

The producer also addressed once more the growing Trek franchise, laying out what care is being used to make sure audiences aren’t overwhelmed by new shows.

“We’ve worked very closely with All Access to set up a [scheduling] grid, so you’re not overwhelmed,” Kurtzman said. “It may sound like you’re getting all of them at once, because they’re all in development right now, but you have to keep in mind it takes two years to build each one.

So you have to look at the calendar in advance, knowing that it takes eight months to do visual effects for just one episode alone.”

The Discovery Season 2 discussion show The Ready Room, which streams live on Facebook every Friday after the weekly episode debut, now has a home on the CBS All Access service for those of you not inclined to watch on the social media platform.

Most All Access distribution points have been updated to include a “The Ready Room” tab for the recorded interviews as of this week, and are updated to include yesterday’s conversation with Discovery actor Anthony Rapp about Stamets’ role in Season 2.

If you’re not an All Access subscriber — or if you’re located outside of the United States — you can of course also stream it on CBS’s Facebook page.

Finally, in a new interview with Canada’s Motion Picture Association column The Credits, series production designer Tamara Deverell spoke about some location shoots for Discovery Season 2, and that the show — which headed overseas to Jordan for filming on “The Vulcan Hello” — may not stay confined to Toronto in the future.

We are also going to some new worlds in Season 2. I looked a lot at the Original Series for inspiration for those interplanetary travels. Of course, we had the luxury of actual locations with real rocks instead of the paper mache ones you see in the Original Series.

When we were going to other rocky, barren planets, we wondered how we were going to do this on stage, because it’s so hard to move the whole company. We thought about how hard it was going to be to make rocks look real, to create a big, expansive quarry. We decided to use a real quarry [for a new planet] in the Star Trek canon.

We used a quarry near Uxbridge, near Toronto. It’s a big Lafarge Quarry, and it was an area where they were no longer excavating or doing any work so we were able to control it. Quarries are actually quite dangerous; you have to have safety equipment and be escorted in. They were really good about it. People hear Star Trek and think, oh, so exciting. You’ll [also] see a quarry coming in Season 2 for a different planet—and this planet is canon.

Also, we looked into going to places like Iceland and Scotland for other planets—that might be in the future for Star Trek.

Deverell’s comments towards looking abroad for future shoots certainly lend even further credence to the series’ continued voyages — and that the budget for international endeavors isn’t going away anytime soon.

Keep checking back to TrekCore for all the latest in Star Trek news!


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