The strikes are over, so the people who make Star Trek are getting back to work. Following up on our report earlier this week that Strange New Worlds has gone back into pre-production on season 3, there is a new industry report indicating the Star Trek: Section 31 movie is prepping for production as well. The Paramount+ streaming event will star Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh reprising her Star Trek: Discovery role as former Emperor (turned Section 31 operative) Philippa Georgiou.
Michelle Yeoh is finally getting back into space
When Section 31 was announced by Paramount+ in April, the plan was to start production in the fall in Toronto, but the actors strike delayed any filming. Now that the strike over, it looks like things are getting back on track. A new production listing update from the Directors Guild of Canada includes the Section 31 movie (codenamed “Dovercourt”) under their “Rumour List,” with a prep start time of November. This is an early indication that the team is getting ready to move forward into pre-production on the project. That said, this isn’t an official confirmation and these listings often change. For example, Section 31 appeared on the same DGC list over the summer with an October production start date, which obviously didn’t happen due to the strikes. So this report isn’t as solid as Strange New Worlds season 3 going into pre-production, which has a set production start date and more production details on the DGC list as well as corroboration from members of the cast and crew on social media.
At NYCC in October, executive producer Alex Kurtzman gave an update on the project indicating that star Michelle Yeoh was making sure the double strikes didn’t derail her return to space:
“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.”
A script (by Craig Sweeny) was completed before the WGA strike began in early May. Discovery producing director Olatunde Osunsanmi is set to helm the project for Paramount+. Even though both season 3 of Strange New Worlds and the Section 31 movie will share assets and some stages, including the important AR-Wall virtual set, both projects could run in parallel. Production on SNW and Discovery have overlapped in the past. In an August interview with TrekMovie, Strange New Worlds producing director Chris Fisher said he saw no issues with both productions moving forward after the strikes concluded, saying “I don’t see why everything Star Trek can’t start up and start to get going.”
Georgiou is back, but who else?
So far there are no details about the plot of the movie or even confirmation of the time setting, although it’s a good bet it will be set in the 23rd century. It has been described by Michelle Yeoh “Mission: Impossible meets Guardians of the Galaxy.” The Paramount+ announcement did include this synopsis:
In Star Trek: Section 31, Emperor Philippa Georgiou, joins a secret division of Starfleet tasked with protecting the United Federation of Planets and faces the sins of her past.
So far the only cast member confirmed for Section 31 is Michelle Yeoh. One possibility would be Shazad Latif who played Ash Tyler, last seen taking over Starfleet’s Section 31 division in the season 2 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, however in May of this year he said he hadn’t heard anything about the project. The official Section 31 movie announcement from April did include a statement from Yeoh:
“I’m beyond thrilled to return to my ‘Star Trek’ family and to the role I’ve loved for so long. Section 31 has been near and dear to my heart since I began the journey of playing Philippa all the way back when this new golden age of ‘Star Trek’ launched. To see her finally get her moment is a dream come true in a year that’s shown me the incredible power of never giving up on your dreams. We can’t wait to share what’s in store for you, and until then: live long and prosper (unless Emperor Georgiou decrees otherwise)!”
First of a series of streaming Star Trek movies
This project actually began as a TV series, with development announced back in 2019 ahead of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. Michelle Yeoh first appeared in the series premiere of Star Trek: Discovery as Captain Philippa Georgiou of the USS Shenzhou, a mentor to the series focal character, Michael Burnham. Captain Georgiou died in episode 2; however, Yeoh returned later in the season to play her Mirror Universe counterpart, Terran Emperor Georgiou. Mirror Georgiou returned to the prime universe with the crew of the USS Discovery and became a recurring character through season 2 as an operative of Starfleet’s black ops Section 31 intelligence division. Georgiou also joined the crew as they jumped into the 32nd century in season 3, and eventually exited the show through The Guardian of Forever with an arc that was designed to set up a Section 31 show for her.
What began as the pilot episode for that Section 31 show was later reworked into the script for the Section 31 movie. It has also been reported that Paramount+ is looking to this project as being the first of a series of streaming movies, with a new Star Trek movie for Paramount+ every 2 years. There are no indications yet if Paramount+ is still sticking with this plan or what the next movie would be. At NYCC in October Alex Kurtzman, who oversees the Trek TV franchise, said he had just met with Paramount+ executives, and “there’s a bunch of new things now in the works, which is really, really exciting,” adding “there’s no shortage of support from Paramount Plus for the Star Trek Universe.”
Even before the strikes, Paramount+ didn’t set a release date for Star Trek: Section 31 so there is no telling when it might arrive on the streaming service. Currently, the only completed and confirmed Star Trek content for Paramount+ is the fifth and final season of Discovery which should arrive early in 2024. The fifth season of the animated series Lower Decks is currently in production and is likely to arrive late in 2024. Strange New Worlds will go into production next month but it is unclear when season 3 will debut, but it may not possibly be until early 2025. The second season of the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy will debut on Netflix some time in 2024.
This is a developing story so stay tuned to TrekMovie for more updates on Star Trek: Section 31 and other Trek projects in development.
Keep up with news for the Star Trek Universe at TrekMovie.com.