Friday, November 10, 2023

Actors Strike Ended, Hollywood Filming Can Resume

The Actors strike has officially ended as of yesterday. What this means is actors can get back to work filming their projects and promoting whatever it is they have to promote. Since the writers' strike ended two months ago, likely multiple shows have four or more scripts ready to film. However, there are still a whole lot of logistics to get through to get the production machinery turned back on such as finding out when actors may become available to film.

Ideally the answer to availability is immediately but show leads especially tend get to enjoy a life few of us do and that life often includes a whole lot of travel be it for personal or professional (appearances, cons, speaking engagements, etc.). Once know their availability they can work on a start date and start getting the crew together to make sure sets and other equipment is ready to go. Then have to film an episode, do the post production work, etc. So even if things started filming Monday, realistically no new episodes of TV would be available until mid-January at the earliest. Sounds good, but Star Trek, due to its post-production needs, may film at the pace of a TV show but produces final results at a movie pace.

So what impact will this have on Star Trek? Short answer: Nothing. Just means filming can start. That nothing was announced as cancelled during the strikes is actually a good sign of overall plans being unchanged, just production and release schedules.

Discovery final season - Had already completed all filming. Strike period was just post-production work. At most they can do some voice dialogue replacement if needed where before the actors would not be allowed to.

Strange New Worlds Season 3 - scripts and pre-production done, can start filming as soon as can get the cast together. Update: Fimling on S3 now scheduled from December 11 to July 2024.

Section 31 movie - script is completed, likely biggest issue is nailing down Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh down for the two to four weeks may take to film it as she is likely highly in demand.

Starfleet Academy season 1 - Writers room assembled and working on scripts so production likely to start up sometime in 2024.

Lower Decks season 5 - Not really impacted by the strikes from a production standpoint as animation is under a separate contract. However the voice work was put on pause since all were also under SAG contracts. Chances are a whole lot of the work around the incomplete voice acting has been completed and now just a matter of getting the recordings which is the easiest part of the whole animation process.

Star Trek 4 - Paramount has scripts, lots of scripts for this. Still no movement. The strikes had no impact on this as film budget, actor pay, and schedules continue to be the primary hurdles.

Star Trek Legacy - Something fans have indicated they want after a very strong Picard season 3 but Paramount has never announced this or any other additional series during the strike and no change on that front so far. If anything new is announced, probably be sometime next year.

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Hits Netflix on December 25

Netflix, as part of the GeekedWeek, tweeted that Star Trek: Prodigy season 1 will hit Netflix on Christmas Day. All 20 episodes will hit at once. The series, while aimed for the Nickelodeon set, it really is an all ages series. The second season does not yet have a release date. As for other Star Trek news, nothing new to report.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Star Trek: Prodigy Heading to Netflix

Star Trek: Prodigy has a new home with Netflix. The series was inexplicably cancelled and removed from streaming by Paramount+ earlier this year in some bizarre cost saving measure that never really made sense to anyone except Wall Street. The deal allows Netflix to stream both seasons of the series. 

Starting later this year, the first 20 episode season of the series will premiere on the streamer both in the US and most places internationally depending on if the series didn't already have a home (, and SkyShowtime). 

Despite its cancellation, contractual obligations required the completion of the 20 episode second season which is expected to be finished by end of the year. Netflix is planning to premiere season 2 at some point in 2024. There is no indication one way or the other if the streaming rights include ability to produce further seasons of the series.

"Thank you to our incredible Star Trek: Prodigy fans, who championed not just a show, but a community that’s always been connected by the belief that we build a better future together,” Kurtzman, Dan and Kevin Hageman said in a joint statement. “We set out to inspire you, but you inspired us. The team is still hard at work on the second season, and we can’t wait to share it with the amazing fans around the world.”

Kate Mulgrew, voice of Admiral Janeway, wrote "A heartfelt thank you to our fans for their unwavering support (the plane!!) and to @netflix for giving #StarTrekProdigy a new home. We have, truly, only just begun". It included an image that said "I've always held that the Star Trek fan base is among the strongest and most intelligent in the world. They have shown collective passion, and we're happy to be able to celebrate Prodigy once again."

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

WGA Strike Ends, What Does This Mean For Star Trek?

The Writes Guild of America (WGA) has reached a tentative deal and officially ended the strike. You can read the detailed summary here or the overview summary here. Still some Ts to be crossed but as of now, writers can get back to work which includes TV showrunners who also tend to be WGA member writers. Great news for the writers but for fans don't get excited just yet.

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike continues on. Without the actors, filming cannot begin. What this agreement really means is pre-production can begin on movies and TV shows. Ideally, with a bit of luck in timing and good planning, the day the SAG strike ends is the day actors can go before cameras as a host of TV shows and movies go into full production mode. Others can finish what filming was interrupted and any post production work that is waiting on the actors can be completed.

Which brings us to Star Trek. Here is a quick summary for each show and movies:

Star Trek: Discovery season 5 - All filming, including reshoots, had already completed for the final season. What post-production work that remains can be completed due to return of the showrunners.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 3 - Writers can now complete scripts, pre-production work can be completed, post-production work can move ahead. Filming can start as soon as actors are avialable.

Star Trek: Lower Decks season 5 - Falls under The Animation Guild (TAG) so writing and animation work not impacted. Voice over work could start but unlikly until after actors strike ends.

Starfleet Academy season 1 - Writing and pre-production can restart, post-production work can move ahead. Casting will have to wait until after strike ends.

Section 31 movie - Script was already completed, pre-production can resume, post-production work can resume. Casting, filming on hold until actors strike ends. With Academy Award winning actress Michelle Yeoh in high demand and her filming schedule blow up by the strike, no telling when production can start.

Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 - Despite Paramount+ inexplicable cancellation, contractual production on the series continued with all 20 episodes to be completed by end of year. Issue is finding a home for the series at whatever fee Paramount is hoping to get for the episodes. The whole situation with this show is just bizarre and seems poorly thought out by Paramount executives who are now unwilling to admit they made have made a mistake.

Star Trek 4 - Somehow its still in the cards? At least that is what script writer Lindsey Anderson Beer is claiming, "It is, it’s still on the tracks. I love that project, and it was another one that I had to hop off of to direct this movie, and that was a hard thing to do. But I love everybody involved with that project.” I wouldn't hold your breath. No pre-production work has been done, no negotioations with the cast can begin until the strike ends (and like Yeoh, their schedules are a huge issue) and for Paramount the cost of making the movie remains their primary sticking point. They want it cheap (relatively speaking), I estimate in the $100 to $120 million range and cast salaries could eat up half that budget.

Release schedule wise, there cannot be one since no idea when actors will return to work. Even if timing and all that works out and all the actors could show up the day the strike ends, there is a whole lot of work to be done, especially since the shows are VFX heavy so that creates a significant post-production period. Since Star Trek: Discovery season 5 was minimally impacted by the strikes, it likely remains on schedule to return in early 2024. After that, its up in the air. Lower Decks season 5 can return this time next year but will be highly dependent on how production is going on the other shows. Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 would have been a great gap filler but that plan was trashed for inexplicable reasons. End result is there is a good chance that only Discovery and Lower Decks will come out in 2024.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season Two Blu-Ray, DVD Set for December

Paramount Home Video has set the release date for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 4K, and Limited Edition Steelbook for December 5, 2023. The set will come with all 10 episodes of the season along with "more than 2 hours of special features, including behind-the-scenes featurettes and never-before-seen deleted, extended, and alternate scenes."

The Limited Edition Steelbooks come in two flavors - regular Blu-ray with collectible poster and season on four discs while 4K UHD set comes with same collectable poster, four character magnets and season on three discs.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Special Features:
- Producing Props
- The Costumes Closet
- The Gorn
- Singing in Space
- Exploring New Worlds
- Deleted, Extended, and Alternate Scenes (Exclusive)

Amazon has most of the different variations up for pre-order: DVD, BR, BR Steelbook | 4K UHD Steelbook