While the past few years have been rather rough for Star Trek fans, things are on the up and up for Gene Roddenberry’s visionary franchise. After the fourth film was unceremoniously canceled – due to Beyond‘s poor box office performance – attention slowly shifted to the series’ future on the small screen.
Earlier this year, news began circulating that Michelle Yeoh might be getting her own spinoff– where she would reprise her role as Captain Georgiou – and just the other month, production officially began on a Picard series, led by legendary actor Patrick Stewart. Having originally made its debut over 50 years ago, it’s safe to say that Star Trek is one of the longest-running (and most successful) franchises of all time, and it looks like it has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
As recently reported by ComicBook.com, series EP Alex Kurtzman revealed that he has plenty in store for Trekkies. While he might best be known for his work alongside J.J. Abrams, Kurtzman took on the role of series executive producer back in 2017, starting with Star Trek: Discovery (which he co-created) and moving on to the newly-announced Picard show.
Speaking on an episode of Deadline’s Crew Call podcast, he revealed that he recently presented CBS with a 5 to 10-year plan for the franchise, in an attempt to bring aboard an entirely new generation of fans, similar to what Star Wars did in its Sequel Trilogy.
“When I went to CBS and I said, ‘I think you have a universe here that is very under-utilized, and a fan base that I think is hungry for a lot more,’ and I walked them through the plan of what I saw for the next five to ten years of Trek, part of it was kind of premised on the idea that it was gonna take time,” Kurtzman said. “What I said was, ‘Don’t expect us to put the first thing out, and suddenly, you have 100 million new fans. That’s not gonna happen. Trek’s been around for too long for that to happen.’
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Alex even explained his plans to target a younger audience; something that Star Trek has largely avoided doing over the past 50 or so years.
“But what we do have is new generations, and what I can tell you is that Trek, in general, finds people when they’re about between nine and twelve. It’s never reached younger than that. It’s never tried to. And to me, that’s a hugely missed opportunity, especially because what you’re really trying to do is influence hearts and minds with really positive messages about who we can be as a species and as people and what our future is. So why not start young, you know? And not for a cynical reason. Not because you know, hey, let some more toys. Because if you really want Star Trek to reach people, then you’ve got to start young…But we are definitely seeing just metric proof that the fan base is growing, and it’s growing younger, and yet, we’re keeping our current fans, and that’s great.”
With the recent announcement of an animated Star Trek show coming to Nickelodeon, we’re curious to find out how the franchise will try to bring in a younger crowd. However, given that this newfound direction is seemingly at odds with Quentin Tarantino’s vision for an R-rated film, it’ll be interesting to see if his passion project ever gets off the ground.