“Star Trek: Discovery” Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman Elated Over New Castings

(Photo by Annie I. Bang /Invision/AP)

Star Trek: Discovery Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman expressed his excitement at the casting of Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Rapp, and Doug Jones in a recent interview with IGN.

Reflecting on his enthusiasm, and the role played by Michelle Yeoh of Captain Georgiou of the U.S.S. Shenzhou, Kurtzman said “I think that Michelle gets to play a part that has so many dimensions to it and is so perfect for where we want to go over the course of the season and maybe even beyond.”

On Doug Jones’ casting of new alien officer Lieutenant Saru, Kurtzman stated:

“Doug Jones, you know, [is] one of the greatest. What he did in Pan’s Labyrinth has embedded itself in my mind forever. So when you think about the opportunity, what you want to do when you’re creating a creature of some kind is cast an actor who has the ability to pull off the bulk of it in a practical way and that requires a real understanding of movement. And again, Sofia [Boutella]’s ability, because she’s a dancer, she had an innate understanding. It’s just in her DNA to understand how to move in that way. Doug obviously carries the same thing.”

Kurtzman drew parallels between Jones and Star Trek Beyond‘s Sofia Boutella, who will play Ahmanet in 2017’s The Mummy, which Kurtzman is directing.

Commenting on Anthony Rapp’s casting as Lieutenant Stamets, a science officer aboard the Discovery, Kurtzman had this to say:

“I’ve been a fan of Anthony’s for a long time. He’s just a brilliant actor. It’s always just about how do you find actors who are, it’s always who’s right for the part, but it’s also there’s a lovely diversity that Star Trek has always been about. As we build the cast, because there are still a lot of parts to cast, we were excited that people seemed to be so excited about our first three choices.”

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Watch, this show will likely get pushed back again to a September 2017 launch date!

2018 in my opinion.

I am excited about a new Star Trek series and am hoping for the best. But Kurtzman made the JJ movies, which showed disregard for the philosophy of Star Trek and turned Star Trek into another sci fi action movie series(Yes, I know it made money).
Brian Fuller is known as a proponent of Star Trek’s emphasis on social justice. He “got it.”
I’m worried now.

Who Gives a Flying Fuck about the Philosophy of Star Trek maybe people like you but the Majority of people out there want Action Adventure Sci fi series, and trekies wonder why Star Wars is more popular then Star Trek.

DS9 is King,

Re: DS9 is King

The Majority of this planet’s 7 billion people population don’t attend motion picture shows. So they don’t give a Flying Fig one way or the other.

And Trekkies know why STAR WARS with its registerd Jedi religion is more popular than philosophy. They don’t wonder.

You’re the cause of the problem.

Just so everyone knows, this is not me with a fake account because I hated DS9

Harry Plinkett,

Hmmmm…, now what made you assume everyone would think that he was thee?

Oh just a precautionary measure ;)

I would argue that Star Wars is more than just action but I love and follow both franchises.

Why does it make you so angry that someone else might like something different from what you do? And why can’t a new TREK show be about philosophy AND have action adventure? TOS did!

(I always worry about people who randomly use capitals in postings.)

It iS disConcErting to Be sUre.

What disregard? Prove it. Make an argument. I’m tired of these claims without evidence.

Isnt Kurtzman limited as far as his contributions creatively? So lets worry too much.

I agree that Kurtzman’s involvement is worrisome given his participation in the Kelvin Timeline. However, I’m hoping that he is in it for only the money and that the actual creative choices will go to others.

Oh, and they always say the actors and staff are “brilliant” and they are excited, before the show comes out. What are they supposed to say? That they’re mediocre and they are pessimistic?
I hope this series is great. But I don’t work for the show. I can say that there are still some great people on this show that I’m excited about (Nicholas Meyer!) but some mediocre, conventional people as well that don’t get Star Trek.
Fingers crossed.

It’s likely that he really IS excited about seeing some of his creative ideas come to fruition. As a writer, myself, I get very excited the more my stories come together, and the characters I create become more than just ideas.
Mr. Kurtzman is excited about these actors because they truly ARE brilliant performers who can bring these characters to life.
Regardless of how many things he’s written, or movies he’s made, creating multi-dimensional characters for a new series never gets old.
I am thrilled just by the notion of a new Star Trek series in production, and I’m comfortably certain that those who hold the reins to the franchise know how valuable it is, and how sentimental it’s fan base is.
Star Trek is more than a franchise- it’s a thought-concept that encourages us to persevere as a species, and reminds us to nurture our imaginations. It is a force unto itself that will live on in the hearts and minds of people for many generations to come. No one person can define Star Trek because Star Trek defines us as a species.
JJ, Orci, Kurtxman, these gentlemen will be defined by how they contributed to the whole. Long after they are gone from this earth, Star Trek will continue to live. These guys will be remembered for their contributions to it, more than they will be remembered for anything else. That’s how big Star Trek truly is. So I doubt it’s ‘just another job’ to these guys. When they get excited, I believe it to be real. They wouldn’t be in the position they’re in if they didn’t know Star Trek’s depth, and relevance to history.

Elated? Wow. Just… wow.

Is there a reason why you wouldn’t expect Kurtzman to be elated by the casting choices?
They all seem like good casting choices to me .

Yeah, imagine the headline, “Star Trek Discover Producer Alex Kurtzman says recent cast announcements are a disappointment.”

From the article, ‘Kurtzman was quoted, “Never been a fan of Michelle Yeoh. Would have preferred Lisa Lui if we had to go that direction. Never heard of Rapp. And Jones is best known as Guillermo Del Toro’s go-to creature actor… c’mon, this is Star Trek, we should really have a better cast. Why not Scarlett Johansson, Russell Crowe or Mads Mikkelson? I just don’t get it.”

Seriously, what do you expect the producer of the show to say?

@Torchwood… .”Seriously, what do you expect the producer of the show to say?”

Something like “we think we have picked very good actors for these roles.” Elated? Elated is finding out you won the lottery or are going to have a baby. Not picking a couple of so-so actors for a TV show.

Mads Mikkelson is in Rogue One. He’s not going to go backwards in his career by being in some inferior Star Trek show.

Hey Harry, please post your detailed reviews of the first 6 episodes…since you’ve seen them already. Also, you dont have much of a grasp of things if assume an actor wouldn’t do TV after doing film.

When did I say an actor wouldn’t do a TV show after doing a movie? When did I say that? Making things up there again chuckles. How can I review episodes of a show that haven’t been made yet? Take your meds you’re not making sense again. Jeez Louise.

@Harry – sorry the post went over your head. Ill try to dumb things down for you next time. What meds are you on, so I know what to avoid

@Tupperware – Didn’t go over my head sweetie. Just calling you on your BS.

@Harry – then yes, it clearly did go over your head. It’s sad when someone doesn’t realize it, even after being told.

Exactly. “Good casting choices”. If that makes you ‘elated’, more power to you.

@Thorny Than you’ve never worked in PR. “We we think we’ve picked good actors” is exactly what you shouldn’t say if you actually want to get people excited or want to translate that YOU are excited. It sounds like a response written by a computer program, at best it sounds like he’s hedging his bets, which never comes across positively.

Plus, i’m sure if he’d said that your reaction would be “Oh god, even the producer of the show doesn’t even sound excited! This show is doomed!”

Face it: you don’t like Alex Kurtzman and nothing he says will convince you. So the problem is not what he’s saying, it’s him. So just move along.

And before you ask, yes, I used to work in PR. About a decade ago I helped write press releases for a small comic book publisher. When announced the hiring of a new big-name artist we wouldn’t say, “we believe this artist will interpret the writer’s script into a visual story that we hope fans will enjoy.”

We’d say things like “We are so thrilled that this artist has joined us on this book. His dynamic style and incredible storytelling will make this release a truly special series.”

In PR directed at fans you speak in hyperbole and absolutes. “He *IS* AMAZING and this WILL be INCREDIBLE. I’m ECSTATIC/OVER THE MOON/ELATED”

By contrast, something like “I think these guys will do a good job” is just shrug worthy and actually has the opposite effect.

To get fans excited, any public relations directed at them have to convey that THEY are excited about it too– and yes that goes for off-the-cuff comments. It’s why Marvel pays Stan Lee just to give effusive praise of every Marvel project even though he has ZERO to do with them.

I’m sure you’ll have something to say about how i’m wrong, but trust me, this is general practice in entertainment PR, and *is* WITHOUT A DOUBT the right thing to say, coming from the producer of the series.

See what i did there?


Re: I helped write press releases

Except this wasn’t a press release but an interview. Now, if someone from PR wants to tell us how they prepared their people to promote two different hires from two competing (CBS makes motion pictures) clients and made everyone happy about the buzz generated in commingling the promotions, I’m all ears.


Re: except this wasn’t a press release.

Please read the entirety of my comment before responding. Particularly the part where I added “and this goes for off-the-cuff comments, too.”


Re: and this goes for off-the-cuff comments, too.

Non sequitur, I mentioned it not being a press release because you had indicated that was indeed your only particular area of experience and expertise and NOT writing off-the-cuff copy for use in interviews.

And while we are advising others on their reading, why didn’t you observe with your keen copy eye that Kurtzman did not use “elated” at all in that interview, i.e. you were trying to rationalize something that had, in fact, not occurred, nor did his responses appear to be off-the-cuff.

And I repeat with clarification: I wish someone from Public Relations, with knowledge of interview prep, would shed some light on how Kurtzman was prepared to promote two different clients in the same interview without teeing one, the other or both off?

Gary 8.5

Re: Is there a reason why you wouldn’t expect Kurtzman to be elated…?

Well, the fact that Kurtzman never used the word in the interview cited as the source for the headline is one reason I’m not sure that he was “elated.” “Excited”, definitely.


You’ve conflated TrekMovie’s headline with the actual interview. Kurtzman didn’t use that word; TrekMovie’s headline editor did.

Not a fan of Kurtzman after his mediocre turn as writer for two of the past three Star Trek films. He might be involed as a Producer, but I hope he stays the hell away from the writers room.

Fringe was an interesting quality show.
Kurtzman had a lot to do with that.
Leonard Nimoy thought so as well.
That’s a pretty good reference for me to look forward to Discovery.

Nimoy was a genius. The world is a smaller, sadder place without him.

More JJ stuff to make us all sick.

or elated

I’m elated over a healthy bowel movement every morning. Alex and I feel the same way but over very different things.

Harry Plinkett,

Re: Alex and I feel the same way but over very different things.

Not necessarily, you have no way of knowing whether hiring actors he pictures being on his shows gives him healthy bowel movements or not.

I like the casting so far as well. I don’t know how I feel about Fuller’s departure. I wasn’t that high on him to begin with. Coto, DC Fontana…. those folks should be brought in.