If a report from the generally reliable sources of Latino Review is to be believed, CBS is actively gearing up plans for a potential new series of Star Trek. Of course, production of Star Trek 3 is gearing up to head into production, with the godfather of the Fast & Furious saga, Justin Lin, tapped to direct a script co-written by Simon Pegg. As much as I liked J.J. Abrams 2009 reboot, I loathed 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness. The 2009 film was a clever way to reinvent the characters and creating a new timeline that didn’t affect the classic series. But Into Darkness was a lazy retread of Wrath of Khan, of course, with a heavy-handed 9/11 was an inside job subtext. It was resolutely anti-Trek.
Now, the report by Da7e Gonzales informed me of failed Trek projects that I was unaware existed. The first, unfortunately titled Star Trek: Reboot the Universe, pitched by Bryce Zabel and J. Michael Straczynski, of Dark Skies and Babylon 5, respectively, failed to garner any traction in 2006. The other, Star Trek: Federation, was backed by producers Robert Burnett, Bryan Singer, and Christopher McQuarrie.
Gonzales tells us why those failed projects are relevant right now:
We don’t have too many details about the new Star Trek series CBS is going to get working on, but I spent some time filling you in on Federation, because it seems like the same people who made that pitch could be involved. Bryan Singer’s name has been mentioned for the new CBS Trek as a possible Executive Producer through his Bad Hat Harry productions. While “Star Trek: Reboot the Universe” was invalidated by 2008’s movie Trek, Star Trek: Federation still has a trio of enthusiastic producers, a script and a writer ready to go should CBS decide to give Singer the ahead to develop this new series.
Robert Burnett is rumored to be working on a non-Trek project with Skydance Productions (Skydance worked with Paramount, McQuarrie and Bad Robot on M:I 5) and simultaneously keeping one foot in the Trek world. He’s currently producing (one of the producers) a project independent of all previously mentioned parties, Star Trek: Axanar, a 90-minute fan-made feature film about “The Four Years War,” as mentioned in the TOS episode “Whom Gods Destroy.” The film has scraped up and impressive cast and released “Prelude to Axanar” last year to show how this great venture can be pulled off on a fan-donated budget:
Star Trek Into Darkness proved that this new incarnation likely wouldn’t be able to exist across six films like the original crew. Like the other Star Trek series, the best way to expand this universe is to slowly build characters and worlds through the medium of television and from there expand into the realm of cinema. But the idea of Star Trek returning to television certainly gives me A New Hope.