The Star Trek franchise, as surely most of you reading this know, seems to be growing larger with each passing month, as new shows, print projects, and corporate expansions continue to build life for the half-century-old universe well into the next decade.
Franchise boss Alex Kurtzman, whose production company Secret Hideout now serves as the nexus for all things Trek — aside from whatever the heck is going on with Quentin Tarantino — spoke with the Los Angeles Times in a new interview this week, where he touched on some of the many ongoing Star Trek projects in the works right now.
‘Star Trek’ head honcho Alex Kurtzman.
We’ve known for quite a while that Star Trek: Discovery will be back for Season 3 next year — the show is in pre-production now for an expected return to Toronto this summer — but the still-untitled Jean-Luc Picard project kicked off active filming last month, where Patrick Stewart returned to the role after nearly two decades away from Trek.
When the show was first announced last August, Stewart made it clear that we would not be seeing “the same Jean-Luc that you recognize and know so well,” but a “very different individual… someone who has been changed by his experiences,” and Kurtzman expanded upon that to the LA Times.
The mandate was to make it a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years. There are so few shows that allow a significantly older protagonist to be the driver.
What happens when circumstances have conspired to not give him the happiest of endings? Hopefully, it’s a reinforcement of Roddenberry’s vision of optimism. He’s going to have to go through deep valleys to get back to the light.
Past Picard, Kurtzman looked even further ahead to the Michelle Yeoh-led Section 31 series, planned for a 2020 production start (after Discovery Season 3), speaking about the fallen Terran leader somewhat at odds to how some fans view the character:
People locked in on Georgiou as being a wonderful oddity. She is wicked, devious, manipulative and yet somehow radiates this incredible heart. People love her…
I think it’s fun for people to see a show with a protagonist who’s entirely unreliable. At the end of the day, she’s going to do the right thing, but in the exact wrong way.
While Georgiou may have ended up generally on the side of Starfleet and the Discovery crew — at least, in the fight against Leland and Control during Season 2 — in our opinion, the writing team still has a ways to go in shaking off the character’s savage past and positioning her as one of the “good guys.”
Moving away from live-action to the two animated Trek shows in the works: the upcoming Nickelodeon show, centered around a team of ragtag teenagers who commandeer an abandoned starship, is expected to be younger-skewing than the rest of the development slate.
While that untitled series didn’t get much attention from Kurtzman in the LA Times interview, he did call it “something that has never been done before” in the franchise — presumably, referring to its expected focus on a group of civilians, rather than a Starfleet crew.
Regarding Star Trek: Lower Decks, the more adult animated show which will end up on CBS All Access no earlier than 2021 or so — due to the long lead time needed for animation projects — Kurtzman didn’t reveal anything new, but series showrunner Mike McMahan revealed on Twitter this week that the first table read for the show was occurring — meaning that the not-yet-revealed voice cast were going through an episodic script ahead of full recording.
We don’t expect to hear any more concrete information about the casting for Lower Decks for some time — at least not until we get closer to the anticipated premiere date which is likely more than a year away… but of course we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop as things develop on that front.
Finally, one tantalizing sentence comes out of the LA Times interview, hinting that we’re still in Star Trek‘s “big bang” era:
Kurtzman says there are still other [series] in development that have not yet been announced.
Keep your sensors locked to TrekCore for all the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery, the Picard Star Trek series, the upcoming Section 31 show, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and the animated Nickelodeon series — and whatever’s happening in the movie world — which we’ll be sure to bring you as soon as it breaks.