At the Star Trek Universe panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday, Alex Kurtzman gave a update on what’s going on with Trek at Paramount Plus, teasing future unannounced projects as well as production details for the other known projects already in the works.
Paramount Plus talking about more new Star Trek
Alex Kurtzman is the man Paramount has put in charge of the Star Trek Universe on Paramount+—but he wasn’t originally scheduled to be at the Star Trek Universe panel, as it was put together and announced before the WGA strike was settled. The SAG-AFTRA strike is still ongoing (and negotiations broke down earlier in the week), but writer/producers and others are now back at work in Hollywood—and on Star Trek. Even with all the corporate cost-cutting on content, Kurtzman had an optimistic update on the future of the franchise on Paramount Plus. He told the NYCC crowd:
“I have to say, our friends at Paramount Plus have been unbelievable, truly unbelievable. They have supported all of these shows in the most extraordinary ways. I will tease that I did meet with everybody at the top this week. And there’s a bunch of new things now in the works, which is really, really exciting. So there’s no shortage of support from Paramount Plus for the Star Trek universe.”
Kurtzman did not offer any details on what “new things now in the works” means, but fans are likely hoping Terry Matalas’ much talked-about Star Trek: Legacy concept is in that mix.
Michelle Yeoh made sure Section 31 remains on track
In April, Paramount+ announced a Star Trek: Section 31 movie event starring Michelle Yeoh in the popular role of Phillipa Georgiou from Star Trek: Discovery. The original plan was for that project to go into production this fall. The double strikes resulted in a lot of production schedule shifts in Hollywood, with some projects even getting shelved or postponed, but Kurtzman made it clear that Yeoh has used her clout as a newly minted Academy Award winner to keep her Star Trek project on track:
“So we are back on our feet after the strike with Section 31. It is happening. Michelle [Yeoh] is just the most extraordinary person on every level. She had one of one of the most unbelievable years that anybody could ever have in the history of ever, and she had a million opportunities to hit the jackpot on it and do other things. And what she did with all of the power she had accrued is make sure that Section 31 was moving forward.”
Of course, nothing can happen until the SAG-AFTRA strike is resolved, but it appears that everyone involved is ready (and raring) to go once that happens.
“Fun” Academy show is aimed at a new generation
The other big project announced earlier this year was the new YA-focused Star Trek: Starfleet Academy series. Writing for the new show shut down due to the WGA strike in May, but Kurtzman says they are back at work and still on track, and reminded the crowd that a certain Lower Decks cast member is in the writers room:
“So we are back in the writers room. We are officially going to start shooting next year. Noga Landau—the amazing Noga Landau—and I are running it. For all the Nancy Drew fans out there, she’s incredible. First of all, it’s the greatest writing staff. We had so much joy just getting each other through the strike, staying connected, and driven, and coming back into the room and working was so wonderful. We just came back this week as a matter of fact. And one of our writers is in fact, Tawny Newsome, which is really exciting. She’s a genius.”
The executive producer and co-showrunner also talked up why he is excited about this new series:
“What I’m so excited about the Starfleet Academy is that it’s really important that every show really has its own distinct identity. Otherwise, what’s the difference between one or the other? And I think fans were waiting over 60 years to go inside the chocolate factory and see what’s like in there. And when you’re in Starfleet Academy, you’re not yet on a ship proper. And so you get to make mistakes, and you get to learn who you are, and figure all that out. I think that this idea that the generation is inheriting – I look at my son and we look at kids now, they’re inheriting all these massive, massive challenges. Then the question becomes how do you hold on and rebuild all the hope? And I think that’s what our show is so much about. It’s really fun. It’s really funny. And it’s ultimately a show that speaks to the generation now. And that’s this question of how are our better angels going to emerge and what are they going to do to get us there? Because it is going to be on the next generation to do that.”
When this show was announced in March, Paramount+ had set production to start in early 2024. It appears they are doing what they can to stick to that schedule.
Strange New Worlds season 3 shoot still shifting
The recent end of the WGA strike means prep work on the third season of Strange New Worlds has restarted, but Kurtzman indicated the schedule is in flux:
“Season 3 was just about the start before the strike. So we’re we are now back on our feet and everything’s kind of getting resettled. Schedules are shifting around but it’s definitely in the works and we cannot wait.”
In an August interview with TrekMovie.com, supervising director Chris Fisher said he and his team were already planning ahead in terms of restarting work once the strikes wrap up.
Final season of Discovery still coming in 2024
There was also a brief update on the fifth (and now final) season of Star Trek: Discovery from Kurtzman:
“We have finished it. It will be airing early next year. It’s an incredibly satisfying ending to a show that is so near and dear to my heart. Sonequa Martin-Green gave the performance of her life. I think you guys are going to love it.”
Kurtzman is co-showrunner on Discovery, his first Star Trek TV series, which launched in 2017 on what was then called CBS All Access. Production on the fifth season wrapped up in November of 2022, and at NYCC last October, Paramount+ released the first trailer. Since then, Paramount+ decided to make season 5 the final season, and allowed for some reshoots on the season finale to turn it into proper finale for the series itself. Paramount+ had already announced plans to debut season 5 in early 2024; there were hopes they would use NYCC 2023 to put a firm date on it, but the (recently resolved) WGA strike and the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes likely are impacting plans for the rollout of Trek in 2024 for the streamer.
More from NYCC
We will have more coverage from the panel as well as our interview with Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan and other Star Trek points of interest from NYCC 2023, including the Kid Cudi partnership and an update from IDW on Star Trek comics.
Keep up with news about the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.