Star Trek’s Alex Kurtzman Speaks To The Strength Of The Franchise Following Speculation Of Mergers: ‘There's A Couple Of Surprises Coming Up’

 The Star Trek: Discovery cast.
The Star Trek: Discovery cast.

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere its final season soon, and with the flagship modern Trek show ending, it only seems natural fans are taking stock of where things stand. After all, we know the series ended prematurely, and the past year also brought cancellations of Star Trek: Prodigy and the official convention Mission: Seattle. Amidst the many questions about the future of the franchise, especially with rumors of Paramount going into a merger or selling off the franchise, Alex Kurtzman was able to share his thoughts with CinemaBlend.

Kurtzman and Discovery showrunner Michelle Paradise were kind enough to speak to me during the junket for the series' final season which premieres for those Paramount+ subscriptions on April 4th. I mentioned Discovery's cancellation has led to worry Star Trek is in a downturn, and he assured me it's more just the common trend in streaming:

Well, listen, a couple of things you have to keep in mind that, again, five seasons of any television show is a really good run for a show, and part of what also happens, given the way that the streaming cycles work, is that shows are quicker to be changed over. The good news is that the health of the franchise is vibrant now. We're shooting Section 31, we're about to start Starfleet Academy, and there's a couple of surprises coming up after that. So there's definitely no shortage of Star Trek incoming.

The future of Star Trek is bright, and as Alex Kurtzman said, there are a couple of surprises coming up after Starfleet Academy. We know that Patrick Stewart has openly talked about a Picard movie being written and that many fans are hoping it's a tie-in that follows up on the crew's adventures following Season 3. We also know Star Trek 4 took a major leap forward bringing in a new screenwriter, and there's even chatter of a new movie that will tackle the origins of the franchise.

We also know that Kurtzman teased some conversations happening tied to a Deep Space Nine project a while back, as well as Kate Mulgrew has pushed for a chance to appear as Janeway again in live-action. In short, there's no shortage of ideas or actors for Alex Kurtzman and the company to work with, so we'll just have to wait and see what these surprises end up being.

It all sounds very promising, but with rumors of Paramount entering a merger, plans can always change. There's even speculation about another company purchasing Star Trek, which could always put all current plans in flux while they meet with their new bosses and figure out which direction to proceed. Alex Kurtzman doesn't seem worried about that, however, as he assured me that the franchise will remain strong regardless of where it ends up when the dust settles:

I would also say that to the first part of your question about Paramount, Star Trek is bigger than any one moment or any one company. Star Trek is an institution; no matter where, no matter what changes, there will always be Star Trek somewhere. Maybe it's at Paramount, maybe it's not. That is so beyond my control, and that is so beyond anybody's control at the end of the day. But I don't think Star Trek is going anywhere ever.

If Kurtzman isn't worried about Star Trek going away, I would say it's safe for any readers to take a sigh of relief. As we recently learned, one out of every five people with Paramount+ is watching a Star Trek series.

Of that group, over 50% are watching two or more other new Trek shows (via Variety). Considering that the shows and other upcoming Trek projects are available to stream in the states and 200 international markets, the bottom line suggests there are plenty of people who prove this isn't a dying franchise. Personally, I'm thrilled to hear that because it means I can re-launch my campaign to get Voyager a feature film.

Star Trek is here to stay, though Discovery is going to say goodbye soon. Stream the two-episode premiere starting on Thursday, April 4th, and get ready for the final ride of this wonderful crew.