Alex Kurtzman, the man currently at the helm of the “Star Trek” franchise, recently signed a massive new contract with CBS Studios. The $160 million deal ensures his control over the franchise for another five years and gives him the latitude to expand the “Star Trek” universe as he sees fit.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Kurtzman revealed that the deal included developing a brand new “Star Trek” series. Here’s what we know right now.
A Starfleet Academy Show is Happening
Rumors about a “Starfleet Academy” show have been circulating on rumor sites like We Got This Covered since early 2021. However, these rumors remained unconfirmed until Kurtzman’s New York Times interview at the beginning of August.
The confirmation was a side note in the lengthy interview, and Kurtzman didn’t give many details. He simply confirmed that a “Starfleet Academy” show was in development alongside the long-awaited “Section 31” series. Kurtzman added that the “Starfleet Academy” show would be targeted at a younger audience.
Given the fact that Starfleet Academy is analogous to a preparatory school, the show could be targeted at tweens and teenagers. It probably won’t be targeted at the same age group as “Star Trek: Prodigy” since the current Trek universe already has that demographic covered. However, anything is possible, especially since the “Star Trek” universe has expanded so quickly.
The Trekverse Will Continue to Expand
Kurtzman also told The New York Times that he sees limitless possibilities for the Trekverse.
““I think we’re just getting started. There’s just so much more to be had.”
His sentiments were echoed by CBS Studios’ president, David Stapf.
“Anything goes, as long as it can fit into the ‘Star Trek’ ethos of inspiration, optimism and the general idea that humankind is good. So comedy, adult animation, kids’ animation — you name the genre, and there’s probably a ‘Star Trek’ version of it.”
Their comments make it clear that a “Starfleet Academy” show is just the beginning of the Trekverse expansion.
When Will the Show Debut?
Though it’s exciting to hear that a new Trek show is in development, it will be a long time before fans can expect to see it on their screens. It will likely be quite a while before fans even begin to see production updates or casting announcements.
Kurtzman often talks about the lengthy process of creating a show like “Star Trek: Discovery” or “Star Trek: Picard.” In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in February 2021, Kurtzman said that a new Trek series “takes upwards of two years from inception to postproduction.”
In an appearance on the official “Star Trek” podcast, “The Pod Directive,” Kurtzman said that the current “Star Trek” shows are very different from the old ones in terms of breadth, which leads to a longer timeline.
“You have to understand, it takes eight months, let’s say, to write and prep, eight months to a year to write and prep and build the stages. Then it takes another eight months to shoot it, and then it takes another eight months to a year to post it. So, announcing like, ‘Oh yeah, it’ll be just like, you know, every six months there will be a new Trek.’ It’s not possible. It’s literally not possible. You have to plan two years out… We now live in the streaming age, where the expectation is significant in terms of scope.”
So, when Kurtzman says that a “Starfleet Academy” show is in development, that could mean that they’re just talking about it. Or it could mean that they’re starting to storyboard. Or it could mean that they’re starting scripts. No matter what point they’re at, they’re still very early in the process.
That means it could be another year and a half or even two years before the “Starfleet Academy” show becomes a reality. Still, it’s something to look forward to.
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