Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Star Trek Series Taps Bryan Fuller As Showrunner

It looks like the new Star Trek series is going to be in good hands as executive producer Alex Kurtzman, Paramount and CBS Entertainment have tapped Bryan Fuller to be the showrunner of next years new Star Trek series that is aimed for CBS' All Access streaming service in January 2017. For TV shows the showrunner is effectively a combination of what writer, lead producer and director are on a film as in all decisions go through them including story arcs, scripts, casting, set designs, ship designs and a bunch more. In short, his decisions will influence every single aspect of what the new series becomes.

Fortunately I honestly can't think of better hands for such a role. Bryan Fuller's writing career began with scripts for Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. From there he created a series of critically acclaimed shows (that sadly never found their audiences) including Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, Pushing Daises, and Hannibal. Hopefully his streak of great shows (and I recommend all those just listed) but struggle for renewals will end with the new Trek series.
“My very first experience of Star Trek is my oldest brother turning off all the lights in the house and flying his model of a D7 Class Klingon Battle Cruiser through the darkened halls. Before seeing a frame of the television series, the Star Trek universe lit my imagination on fire,” said Fuller. “It is without exaggeration a dream come true to be crafting a brand new iteration of Star Trek with fellow franchise alum Alex Kurtzman and boldly going where no Star Trek series has gone before.”

“Bringing ‘Star Trek’ back to television means returning it to its roots, and for years those roots flourished under Bryan’s devoted care,” said Kurtzman. “His encyclopedic knowledge of ‘Trek’ canon is surpassed only by his love for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic future, a vision that continues to guide us as we explore strange new worlds.”
Of note, Fuller considers Deep Space Nine to be the best Star Trek series. Which is simply true. Not to belittle the other series but they simply were not allowed to explore characters and have long term story arcs quite like DS9 was able to for its final four seasons either due to showrunner interference (Roddenberry for TOS, TNG) or network demands (VOY, ENT). Of course CBS loves its procedurals (a self contained episode investigating A-story that might have a thread of season long C-story that gets referenced for a few minutes each episode) so it will be interesting to see what emerges in the give and take between showrunner desire and network mandate in regards to Star Trek. As for which universe the series will be set in, that remains unknown.

Variety says "The creative plan is for the series to introduce new characters and civilizations, existing outside of the mythology charted by previous series and the current movie franchises." Some have interpreted that to mean a third Star Trek universe is in the works but all that really means is Klingons, Romulans, Borg, and other famous alien faces from the last 50 years are off the table (for now anyway). By extension that also means the crews of the Enterprise, Voyager, and DS9 are out too which was a given anyway (unfortunately). So while a third universe could happen, the Prime and Abrams-verse are also still on the table. I still think it will be set in the Abrams universe because of the three films and least the amount of "continuity" which studio and network executives tend to hate (because they don't care about it but are forced to fake it for fans). Hopefully I am wrong about that assumption.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cast Comments On Costumes, Sulu's Daughter to ET (Updated)

In an piece from Entertainment Tonight, Karl Urban commented on the cast costumes for Star Trek Beyond while John Cho touched on Sulu's arc involving his baby daughter (whose on screen picture has an amusing origin).Update: Added video from ET
“It's a little retro which I really like,” [Karl] Urban told ET. “The designers have done a wonderful job of giving a lovely nod to Star Treks of the past.”

“At the beginning of the movie, we're all homesick, we're all getting into our ruts and I think we've been around each other too long,” he said, revealing that for Sulu, that homesickness includes missing a heretofore unknown baby daughter.

“Sulu has a heartache for his little baby,” Cho divulged. “[He] had brought his picture to his console, which technically, we've been saying, it's unprofessional. It's in the way of the buttons.”

“She's a cutie,” the actor added of his on-screen daughter. “I got it out of a picture frame from Walgreens.”

Friday, January 8, 2016

Star Trek 50th Anniversary Concert Tour Announced

If you are a fan of Star Trek and its music, you want want to check out Star Trek Ultimate Voyage Tour that will visit 100 North American cities. The tour starts January 17 in West Palm Beach. As the trailer shows, and is normal for programs like these, a live symphony orchestra plays the greatest musicals scores as film and TV footage is shown on a screen. Below is the official description and trailer. To learn more, get tour dates and buy tickets head over toe StarTrekUltimateVoyage.com.
Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage brings 50 years of Star Trek to concert halls for the first time ever. The live concert tour launches in Florida in January 2016 and plays in more than 100 North American cities through April 2016.

This lavish production includes an impressive live symphony orchestra and international special solo instruments. Experience the franchise’s groundbreaking and wildly popular musical achievements while the most iconic Star Trek film and TV footage is simultaneously beamed in high definition to a 40-foot wide screen.

The concert will feature some of the greatest music written for the franchise including favorites from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and much more. This live event is perfect for music lovers, filmgoers, fans and those looking for a unique concert experience.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Shatner Once Again Denied Being In Star Trek Beyond

For some reason this rumor will just not die. No idea why it keeps coming back but for the umpteenth time the rumor emerges that William Shatner will be in a Star Trek film and Shatner has to deny it. I think this is the third or fourth time for Star Trek Beyond. As The Shat tells SFX Magazine that "There was never a conversation. It would have been interesting to see what their fertile imaginations could have done with somebody who is 20 years older than when Captain Kirk died [in 1994's Star Trek: Generations] and how they would have explained the difference in appearance. But that never came up. I’m sure they must have thought of it one time or another, but I never had a substantial conversation about replaying the role." A scene was written for Shatner for the 2007 Star Trek film but he turned it down saying he "doesn't do cameos". Since then he has not been considered to return in the films.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

CBS, Paramount Files Star Trek Copyright Lawsuit to End Fan Films

It looks like an end of an era as Star Trek fan films are probably going to come to an end. CBS Entertainment and Paramount Pictures have sued a production company for copyright infringement for their crowd funded film Axanar. The lawsuit is seeking millions against the production company and producer Alec Peters due to their plans for the $1 million film that raised its funds via Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Star Trek films have been around for a while now but over the last five years have grown in ambition due to dropping costs in special effects (at least to achieve an Original Series look), Hollywood crew's willingness to bring their expertise at lower rates for chance to work on the projects and previous Star Trek actors embracing the films by either promoting them, directing them or acting in them. Pretty much everyone knows that the films and related projects exist by the grace of CBS and Paramount and in an effort to not step in their territory they have gone to pains to avoid profit from their efforts. In effect some fans paid to make something so that all fans could enjoy it for free. CBS and Paramount tolerated the practice because happy Star Trek fans meant happy merchandise and ticket buyers which means profits which makes for happy CBS and Paramount executives.