While the fourth film in the rebooted “Star Trek” film franchise has seemingly disappeared into a black hole, the franchise is going very well on TV with CBS All Access and Netflix’s “Star Trek: Discovery” which launches its second season next week.
Conducting an extensive interview with The Live Feed, showrunner and the franchise’s current overseer Alex Kurtzman has confirmed that not one but two animated series set in the “Star Trek” universe in the works.
One will be the already announced comedic “Lower Decks” series from “Rick and Morty” writer Mike McMahan, that one dealing with the hapless support staff aboard a low-key Starfleet vessel. Kurtzman tells the trade the other will be kids-focused with an entirely different perspective and an entirely different tone. Kurtzman also confirmed that two more “Star Trek: Short Treks” minisodes are in the works, and both of these will be animated rather than live-action like the others.
Talk then turned towards the new Jean-Luc Picard series with Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role fifteen years later. Events will be set after both the failed coup of Romulus by Shinzon (Tom Hardy) in “Star Trek: Nemesis” and that planet’s destruction as mentioned in 2009’s “Star Trek”. In the time since, Kurtzman says: “Picard’s life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire”.
He goes on to say Picard is leading a whole new life in the new episodes, and Patrick Stewart only agreed to return to the role if they were going to do something drastically different:
“He threw down an amazing gauntlet and said, ‘If we do this, I want it to be so different, I want it to be both what people remember but also not what they’re expecting at all, otherwise why do it?'”
Kurtzman was asked to put together a three-page document outlining his ideas for the potential series, but the treatment ultimately went for 34 pages and Stewart liked what he read:
“He walked into the room and he had a huge smile on his face and said, ‘This is wonderful.’ What he understood at that point … was that he was with people who desperately wanted to collaborate with him; that we weren’t trying to exploit him. He knew if he was going to go back to Picard, it needed to be for the greatest reason ever.”
No official date has yet been set for the Picard-centric series which is expected to debut in late 2019. “Star Trek: Discovery” season two kicks off in the U.S. on January 17th before debuting on Netflix internationally January 18th.