Orci & Kurtzman Exploring Possibilities For New Animated Star Trek + Say Sequel Delay Time Not Wasted

In a new interview Star Trek co-writer/producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have given an update on a possible new animated Star Trek series, saying they would love to do it if they could. They also talked about how all the time waiting for JJ Abrams to finish Super 8 wasn’t wasted. Details below.


Orci & Kurtzman looking in to doing Animated Star Trek

Back in May TrekMovie asked Bob Orci about the possibility of producing a new animated Star Trek series, like he and Alex Kurtzman had done with Transformers: Prime (which recently picked up two Daytime Emmy Awards). At the time Orci responded by saying they had "talked about it." Now in a SDCC radio interview with the My Geek Time radio show the pair gave an animated update:

Orci: We have asked about [an animated Star Trek series]. We have asked what the rights are and who owns it and what are the possibilities. It is a very early – kind of "is this a possibility?" and we are waiting to hear back. But we would love to do it.

Kurtzman: We just had the experience of doing Transformers: Prime on The Hub. We learned a lot from that experience and it would be cool to do something like that from Trek.

So while it is extremely early, it is encouraging news. With the myriad of Star Trek rights between CBS and Paramount, it will likely be complicated to get such a show off the ground. Hopefully Orci and Kurtzman’s experiences on Star Trek and developing new series such as Hawaii Five-O and Transformers: Prime can be leveraged into a new Star Trek animated series, something TrekMovie.com has been advocating for years. A new live-action Star Trek series could possibly conflict with ongoing Star Trek sequels being product by JJ Abrams over the next few years, however an animated series could compliment what the team are doing and help build a new (younger) like LucasFilm has done with Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Tongue-in-cheek behind the scenes video for "Transformers: Prime" featuring Kurtzman and Orci

Sequel delay time not wasted + been thinking sequels since 2006/7

In the same SDCC interview Orci and Kurtzman also talked about the delay of the Star Trek movie and how all the time they were waiting for JJ Abrams to finish Super 8 wasn’t wasted:

Kurtzman: One thing that was really good is that even though there was this pressure of a deadline, I think we all felt so strongly that we had to protect Trek. And so we had the luxury while JJ was making [Super 8] and while we were doing other things to take real time to break the story. And for us story is 90% of it. It was great and we felt the confidence that now to move forward. 

Orci: And some of the ideas for the second one came from when we were talking about the first movie. We never do this because we think it is bad luck to think of the next movie and counting your chips…Every movie needs to stand on its own. Part of the reason we went the Nimoy way and made it an alternate universe is because we knew it would free us and free the franchise from what came before so we couldn’t help ourselves from thinking about sequels.

Of course this new universe also creates possibilities for a new animated series as well. Star Trek hasn’t gone animated since the 1970s, even though many other modern film franchises have animated series.

Clip from Star Trek: The Animated Series "The Time Trap" (1973)



POLL: Want Animated Star Trek from Orci and Kurtzman?

What do you think? Orci and Kurtzman are already working on a new comic book series and assisting with the upcoming Star Trek video game, all expanding their new Star Trek universe. Are you ready to see an animated TV show added to that mix?




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Not to pushed about the idea to be honest.

Daycent…I love the animated series, but i hope its not the same animation style as their tranformers show….

Hope it’s not gonna be CG. I really am starting to hate CG. I’d rather it look anime than be CG.

An Orci/Kurtzman animated series…. It might work? They can’t promise anything? I say: Do it! Do it! Do it! (One too many references, there, perhaps!)

Seriously, this is a relatively cheap way to make Trek episodes that could attract a whole new audience AND help the film series, as a tie-in. It would also be an innovative series: most have been live action; and this could utilise special computer graphics, not just the paper animation from Trek in the 70s or whenever…

Admitting I’ll be in the minority here, but animated Trek just doesn’t do squat for me. I’d rather see real, live actors on a real, live set. I always was annoyed at the animated Star Trek because I thought, “geez, if they can get everyone to do a cartoon, why can’t they just get everyone to do the real thing?”

And I always thought the animation looked really, really bad, too.


as a cartoonist/artist, I wouldn’t mind going along for the ride to help get a star trek animated series off the ground.

A Star Trek animated series would be great. First, don’t make it for kids. Second, make it one hour long. Hard to explore strange new worlds in twenty two minutes. :-) Third, make it in the prime universe. Yeah, call it Star Trek Prime. Why? William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig and George Takei are still alive. Deage them ala Tron: Legacy. They could do the voices.

And one request. I’m curious how good the story D.C. Fontana wrote for the abandoned videogame, Star Trek: Secret of Vulcan Fury. Any chance of producing that? It had the original actors doing the voices. Again check out the trailer for the game with CGI cutscenes below.

Here’s another idea. What about a short live action TV series (I know CBS) or direct to DVD movie featuring Captain Pike? This would be Pike right before he meets Kirk in the bar. You could use Bruce Greenwood as Pike. It would be Pike’s last missions before he’s supposed to retire.

Videogame trailer with cool CGI circa 1998 for Star Trek :Secret of Vulcan Fury.

Trailer 1
Trailer 2 with different recorded prologue by William Shatner

If it’s mostly about effects and action, it would work. Think Star Wars.
But if it’s supposed to be about characters, facial expressions, the subtle reactions of a crew… then there is no alternative to real actors.

#5 “geez, if they can get everyone to do a cartoon, why can’t they just get everyone to do the real thing” because cartoons are a lot cheaper. And yeah, it was 70’s animation, but the stories weren’t bad.


Although that idea would bomb like nothing has ever bombed before, I think an animated series tied in to the current Star Trek might find enough viewers to avoid cancellation. It’s still a risky propositon, though. And, obviously, it would have to have some kid appeal.

Anthony,you should update the above with a link to the greatest Star Trek animation ever: that Klingon Propaganda short from a few years back. So great.


Yes, this is definitely what they should be focusing their time and attention on right now .

I still REALLY don’t understand why someone hasn’t moved forward with “Star Trek: Reanimated”, which I suggest be a simple CGI re-animation of the original TAS dialogue tracks.

They could probably find lots of unused takes and edits, and they should definitely have someone re-record the cheesy alien voices that they had Nichols and Doohan do to save money. And get Koenig in there with new dialogue to replace that alien guy.

By FAR the worst fault of TAS was the unwatchable poor quality Filmation animation. The character designs were OK, but the animation was like watching a PowerPoint slide show.

What if they used this type of animation?


If they go ahead with the new animated Star Trek series, I would like to see the series is based on USS Kelvin. :)

Something in the style of Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) would be interesting for Trek. Although, Timm’s at Warner Bros…. so I doubt they would be willing to share him with another studio.

Or… maybe something like the upcoming Tron animated series would probably work for Trek, with a combination of CGI and traditional animation.

Tron: Uprising trailer:

With DECENT animation (namely, NOT anime, CGI or whatever that intentionally (I hope) horribly drawn stuff) and good story lines, made for adults, and good voice work, I’d enjoy this. If they can’t get the actors, they can do like Clone Wars, feature a different Federation starship, with interactions with the Enterprise, but doing their own missions would be interesting to watch.

Because I’m really sick of cartoons and animated series that look like they were drawn by tipsy 5 year olds on an Etch-a-Sketch. At first, sure, could be its own source of humor, or try to distance themselves from the fact that they were making a CARTOON while, well, making a cartoon by looking like they didn’t take it seriously. Now, with every other one done that way, just looks like they’re too lazy or cheap to hire people who can draw.

At best we will get a new Trek movie every 2 to 3 years. Each will only be about 2 hours long and will need to focus on big stories. Hardly enough time to really get to know this version of the universe. An animated series is a way to have many more stories with more personal interplay. Bring it!

Make it so Orci and Kurtzman, and institute an open submission policy like Michael Piller did and the folks at Strange New Worlds :)

I would like an animated series based on the second five year mission after Kirk is demoted to captain and given back the Enterprise at the end of Star Trek 4.

@ 10

Animation is not just for kids. See the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. And certainly The Family Guy, Futurama, and The Simpsons are not just for kids. There’s plenty of adult humor there. Check out the recent direct to DVD, “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.” (2011) Again not just for kids, and in fact if some of the violence in the film happened to humans, it would have been rated “R.”

The technology in animation has advanced quite a bit since 1997. If you check out the cutscenes for Star Trek: Secret of Vuclan Fury, the visuals are pretty good. Spock looks like Spock. And check out McCoy’s expression. And that’s 1997. If you deage the prime characters, they will look young. See Tron: Legacy. Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner were deaged. And it looked amazing. Just because it features the prime characters, doesn’t mean it would bomb. Unless, the argument becomes Trekkers hate the prime characters. And I still believe that science fiction fans still love the prime characters. Regardless, we’re deaging them so the argument that they’re too old doesn’t work here. .

As far as kid appeal, remember this is Star Trek. As Leonard Nimoy likes to say, it works on multiple levels. Adventrue. Uplifting and Provocative. When I was a kid, I liked the adventure parts, and got some of the provocative stuff. Later on when I became a teenager, I got the provocative stuff. Regardless, the adventure elements of Star Trek will always appeal to kids. Remember all the fist fights and space battles in the original series?

I would love to see this, just so long as it isn’t too geared towards kids. It needs to be something that the entire fan base can enjoy. It also needs to have an interesting plot, memorable characters, and quality animation.

I voted yes …

…and about “Sequel delay time not wasted” … a big “HMMMMM” …

:-) :-)

How about just finishing the next bloody movie FIRST before we start talking about off-shoots, OK?

I don’t see myself racing home from work to watch a cartoon – Star Trek or not.

As opposed to when DS9 was on, back in the day, where I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

With all due respect, this kind of smells of ‘The Clone Wars’. I’m sure that Star Wars fans would have much preferred another movie rather than a cartoon series. As a Trek fan, I would much prefer a new and really good TV series, a cartoon series just doesn’t cut it.

Hmmm…Trek done by the anime folks who did GITS or the Patlabor movies, directed by Oshii. That would be amazing. Any CG would have to be at least as good as Appleseed or Vexille or the Mass Effect games, or better. The Clone Wars style is a bit too cartoony for me.


Hey, if a new animated series were to happen perhaps they’d hire you to design ships and technology for it?

A suggestion for a new animated series:

I suggest something different, the USS Kelvin. I think if they did it right, we could get to know the crew of the Kelvin. I thought it would be interesting. Everyone here has a suggestion though.

bring me live action tv series or bring me death!

Question what Era would this take place in? I would like to see Star Trek Titan!
If the animation was tailored for young adults and up then yes! Clone Wars lost my interest after only a few episodes. It would be nice also if Trek would except “Fan” contribution!

Star Trek in Beowulf fashion would be very interesting!

I am all for an animated series. I would most certainly watch it. Maybe it can even help my two great nephews to get into Star Trek which they have never done before and that includes the 2009 movie.

Here’s some of my suggestions.Take them as you will, but I’ve grown up in the modern cartoon era (80’s-now), and I’ve picked up on a few of the smart trends.

1. Don’t aim it exclusively at kids. Star Trek’s fanbase is huge, you don’t want to alienate them just to sell toys. The Clone Wars has recently gotten darker and more adult because they discovered this. Shows like Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League were immensely popular because it didn’t treat it’s audience like kids. Kid’s aren’t stupid, and if anything they WANT more adult stories. Even kids’ shows can still be dark and interesting, like Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM version). If your story is good, toys will sell themselves.

2. Have story arcs, or at least an overall main story arc. One of the things that bugged me until recently in The Clone Wars is that the episodes were too random, and didn’t seem to be developing anything in any direction. We already knew what happened to most of the characters, but it doesn’t mean they can’t have interesting developments. At the same time, make sure not to have too many story arcs going unsolved for long. One of the problems with Spider-Man The Animated Series was that almost no story arcs were completed when it was cancelled, after 5 years.

3. I’d hope that any animated Trek would be traditional 2D animation, but if it is CG, then I’d like to see an interesting style that doesn’t scream kids cartoon. Again, the style of Batman: The Animated Series is part of what made it stand out over other shows at the time. The animated series should look distinctive amongst other shows past and present.

4. Don’t settle for all “cartoon voice actors”. Not that there’s anything wrong with the usual cartoon voices, it’s just that traditional actors and cartoon actors have a different way of approaching voice work. Cartoon voice actors tend to create an exaggerated voice for their role, while it would be much better to hire traditional actors based on their existing voice and range. Imagine if all Romulans had to talk in fake exaggerated Irish accents or something. Voice work is something DC animated series and movies has excelled at. Cast the person first, then develop the voice, like with Worf and Odo.

5. Don’t try to be “hip” or “cool”. This will immediately date the series. Make it about the characters, the journey/adventure, and let the characters’ own personalities develop to make them appealing.

6. Probably one of my biggest hopes and suggestions – please, please, please, please use an orchestra for the music. Even if it’s just for the opening and closing credits, this really helps the quality immensely. Again, Batman: The Animated Series is a fantastic example. Synthesized music is okay for background ambiance, but when it’s used for themes it often sounds cheap and forgettable.

Since this is the internet, not everyone will agree with what I’ve posted, but I hope that Orci & Kurtzman and whatever powers may determine this possibility read my suggestions, from someone who has grown up with Star Trek and cartoons his whole life. I would hope the goal of a new Animated Trek would be that it could hold its own with the other series.

Kelvin- yes. But NOT animated!

I just started to watch the old ST Animated series and just saw the episode “Yesteryear”. In this episode spock has to return through the guardian time portal to save himslf as a child from an animal during some Vulcan coming of age ritual. I had to say bingo since it is clear that some of the words that Ben Cross delivered in ST2009 are almost identical to the advice old Spock said to the younger Spock in this episode. In that episode young Spock also got into a fight and was teased by his fellow young vulcans mates. His father Sarek also spoke of the two paths to choose and so on. Clearly Orci and K looked at the animated series and were inspired by it. Nice job of avoiding too close a copying of the text of this episode. A nice strategy to learn from.

Any new Trek animated series would have to take place in the new timeline. With Alex and Bob on board, nobody would have to worry about the series contradicting the movies. It would also be a great way to expand the mainstream audience for the movies.

A prime timeline series would just be taking Trek back into the past. It would be a nostalgia trip. We don’t need anymore of those!

I think it’s time we get a new Star Trek animated series based on the original series/ movie reboot characters that could compliment the sequels. Interesting point that a live-action Star Trek sequels may conflict with the sequels as they don’t want any mythology clashes.

Yes-good idea–also have many scifi authors write the stories,part of what made tos so good–animation style is important—i think part traditional part cgi like tron uprising would work the best-like tron the cartoon would be more technical than most other animated shows–whatever timeline used could still do episodes with stories from tos could use original voices in etc–also think its important orci/kurts are involved as stories would need to be modern paced,peppy n cool not dry scifi—

The Kelvin was interesting, but why set an entire series (animated or not) around a ship, a captain, and first officer with an expiration date? We already know what happens to them! Talk about anticlimactic.

New series. New ship. New crew.
And so many possibilities…

Now this would really really rock. And its exactly whats needed right now.
Something Trek related on TV that can hold people over in between movies. I have my fingers crossed on this! :]

And Bob keep that live action series in the back of your mind to ;]

My loss of interest in the Clone Wars was due in part to the animation style used. Obi Wan’s wooden beard is still kinda funny though! XD

As a fan of the original “STAR TREK”,i find the idea of trying to do another
animated version of this classic series,to be a very BAD idea! Filmation
Associates,although not exactly perfect in 1973,achived a major milestone
for the TREK franchise,,as this wonderful,but defunct studio had also moved
further-on years later,with their “FLASH GORDON”pilot film-written by Sam
A Peeples,synonomous with TREK history. Filmation cartoons were not
perfect,,until their FLASH GORDON movie got made,,and it is an ironic
tragedy that Paramount could not have given Filmation the type of money,
to have made a superior STAR TREK cartoon,with that outstanding type of
animation that the studio used on FLASH GORDON years later, today,if an
animated version of STAR TREK is done,it will likely be CGI made-which is
a total cheat! as for the new producers who are currently doing the rebooted
HAWAII FIVE-O,their version seriously stinks!-and the thought of these
“producers” doing STAR TREK material,stinks beyond the farthest star!!

I’ve longed for a new animated series all my life.

Do it.

And a question, did you direct the above clip Bob lol?

Why not. Unless it creates yet further delays to the movie of course. Oh, sorry, I meant to say further ‘time not wasted’.

an animated series is a great idea. today it is possible to produce those even in 3D, although the appearance of the “clone wars” characters seems somehow too strange.

the series should be, in my opinion, in the late tng-era. in “countdown” i have seen, bob orci had a few good ideas about what happens e.g. to data /b4. certainly they could create a story around the first timeline : what happened to the next generation after nemesis and after the “nero”-event. so it would be possible to put a version of “countdown” (how it would fit to the movie) into the series!
in my opinion it should be NO series about the new timeline!!! financially thinking: with a tng – series possibly a lot of antagonists of the new movies would come back onboard. fan-view-thinking: it would feel much better if the producers of the new movies would officially “embrace” the TNG – era and would help that era to … i am missing the right words…” rise like the phoenix out of the ashes”. You know what i mean?

#48 Further TNG timeline stories are just not going to happen. The new fans they have so courted just wouldn’t be interested. And speaking for myself, as an old time fan, neither would I.

with “3d” i mean “not 2D” ;)