Saturday, October 12, 2013

Orci Talking Star Trek TV Series with CBS?

A tweet from Sky News Entertainment's Joe Michalczuk reports "Bob Orci just told me they've had a meeting with CBS to revive @StarTrek on TV...This made me v excited." Do not get excited yet. There are many reasons why.

To start, talking just means that. Its just a meeting to talk ideas. Actually moving forward is a long and complicated process that involves more then just talking ideas. At the very least a lot of different high level big wigs to sign off on the idea. CBS Entertainment is a start because they handle the TV side of the Star Trek franchise but it would still require a sign off from Paramount Pictures, JJ Abrams, the execs at his Bad Robot production company, more. Even then I just don't see it happening until after Star Trek 3 is released which currently isn't dated but likely will not get to theaters until 2016. Until then its unlikely they would move forward on serious live action TV series discussions. So add another year to that and you are looking at a maybe release for the 2017 TV season.

All this assumes that a fourth Star Trek film isn't somehow greenlighted with the current cast whose contracts expire after the third movie. Which is iffy at best as I suspect that most of the cast would love to opt out of the third movie, especially Chris Pine (because ego and scared of being typecast) and Zoe Saldana (because of Avatar franchise). The result is it will become more expensive to bring the entire cast back. If Chris Pine remains on the A-list, Paramount probably will not be able to get him back for a 4th film. If he has dropped to B-list by then (as I suspect he will) then they might find the right price. The other cast members will probably sign back up (for raises) if the other two do. I would be shocked if Saldana returns for a 4th but Uhura would be effortless to write out (say a transfer off ship after breaking up with Spock). Even then there is no way they will get the entire cast to up for a live action TV series.

The only thing that might shorten that very long process is the animated route. Something along the lines of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and just announced Star Wars: Rebels that could be CGI and explore either other areas and time of the Trek universe or periods in-between the movies (with Orci and Abrams involved "Prime" Trek is out). The cast might even be inclined to do voice work as they could knock out the voice work for an entire season in just a few days. Even then you are looking at least six months of pre-production followed by a year of production so still looking at 2015 at the earliest for an animated bow. Which would be ideal if Orci is thinking of using a cartoon series as a prequel of sorts for Star Trek 3. End result is while this sounds exciting, until you actually hear an official "coming soon" type announcement, there is no point in getting excited as there are a ton of variables that could derail a TV series at any point along its multi-year path.

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