All of the new Star Trek series experienced production delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard were scheduled to start filming this summer. However, filming for both got pushed back to keep the actors and crew safe.
Star Trek: Discovery was the first show to head back to Toronto for production. The cast and crew have been on set since early November. According to the Director’s Guild of Canada, filming on Discovery was scheduled to end in June. However, it’s looking like filming won’t be completed by then.
Has Filming Been Extended to September?
On Wednesday, Toronto Filming — a Twitter account focused on providing updates about film and television projects in Toronto, Canada — tweeted an article by blogTO giving updates on popular shows currently filming in Toronto, including Discovery. The outlet reported that filming for Discovery had been extended to “at least” mid-September.
However, according to IATSE, a union for entertainment technicians in Toronto, production on Discovery has only been pushed back to mid-August. Though Discovery is not explicitly listed on the “Current Productions” page on its site, there is a project called Mill Street listed. The industry site What’s Filming confirms that Mill Street is the codename for Star Trek: Discovery season four. The Treksphere Twitter account, which focuses on news and updates about Star Trek, also confirmed that Mill Street is Discovery’s codename when they provided a production update.
So, while it’s not clear how much longer filming will continue for the show, it’s clear that it will no longer wrap in June.
Will Season 4 Still Release in 2021?
During a live stream event at the end of February, Paramount Plus confirmed that season four of Discovery and season two of Star Trek: Lower Decks would be released by the end of 2021. Even with the delays caused by the pandemic, the messaging about releasing Discovery season four this year has remained consistent.
However, could a filming extension impact the season’s release date, especially if filming really lasts until September?
According to the IPR College of Creative Arts, post-production is a bit of a misnomer, because it “happens in conjunction with filming.” So while there’s a lot to be done during post-production, it is no doubt already in progress, meaning the first episodes could be ready this year despite the extended filming time.
During the post-production process, film editors go through the footage frame by frame and decide what to cut or reshot, according to StudioBinder. Sound editors add sound effects and background music. Color editors adjust the colors and filters on the film to achieve the look that the showrunners and producers want. The visual effects team adds all the special effects, which in the case of Discovery is a lot. Credits are designed and added, trailers are made and advertising begins.
While this work can take months to complete, it should be well underway once filming on Discovery season four wraps. That means it’s possible that Discovery season four will still release in 2021. Fans will just have to wait and see.