Brian Robbins is the new head of Paramount Pictures, and is talking extensively about Star Trek for the first time since taking over the studio in September.
In a combined interview, Brian Robbins and Trek brand captain Alex Kurtzman discussed the future of Star Trek. Especially Star Trek animated projects. Brian Robbins is the new head of Paramount Pictures. He’s talking about Star Trek for the first time since becoming CEO of the studio this September. The two talked about the development of multiple Trek feature films, including an animated feature.
“I go back to my childhood and Luke Skywalker, the [Star Wars] farm boy who looks out at the twin suns of Tatooine and imagines his future. Trek never gave me that,” Kurtzman said in early 2019, when he first revealed plans for what would become Star Trek: Prodigy. The animated series was originally developed for Nickelodeon and targets kids ages 6 to 11. It features impressive CG animation that Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins — who acquired Prodigy when he was president of Nickelodeon — wishes were launching in theaters.
Robbins recalled watching the Prodigy debut during his secret trip to New York Comic-Con earlier this month. “I can’t lie, when I sat there at Comic-Con, I wished it was [a film], I just can’t help be excited about how this franchise will now be introduced in such a great way. As a parent, that gets me excited. I really wanted to see it play in a room and it was super cool — and it does really play like a movie.”
Prodigy is actually bowing first on Paramount+ with an hourlong episode that debuted Oct. 28, followed by weekly installments of the first 10 episodes. It has already been renewed for season 2. Further, a run on Nickelodeon is also likely at a later date as Robbins continues the industry trend of prioritizing streaming over linear shows. Robbins also continues to serve as president of Nickelodeon and oversees kids and family content at Paramount+. He apparently believes Prodigy is a perfect fit with the Kids platform.
“We’re working on several fronts and obviously Alex is the key for the franchise [on Paramount+]. J.J. Abrams has been the keeper of the franchise on the film side. We hope that as a company that we do what’s right for the franchise altogether,” Robbins says.
“We knew it [Prodigy] was going to be for our core 6 to 11 audience and parents. We were going into it as a co-viewing show and we had to get everybody to make it work. We definitely spent on the show, for sure. We’ve done some things in the past that are co-viewing and have done more of that since I’ve been there because there’s more co-viewing going on now than any other time.
Wen speaking about the live-action Star Trek feature films, Robbins told The Hollywood Reporter:
“Where we go with the franchise next theatrically is crucial to the health of the overall franchise. There’s no doubt that big theatrical movies are the beacon that ignite franchises. We’re in it and I don’t really have anything to say because I’m waiting for the development to be delivered. I can’t wait to get going on it, but we’re not there yet but we need to get there soon.”
The studio has not released a Star Trek film in over five years, but in July, Paramount did announce June 9, 2023 for the next theatrical release.
Kurtzman said: “It’s not just about the one thing that comes next. It’s about laying out a strategy for the next decade.”
Both Robbins and Kurtzman speak enthusiastically about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse as a model of the kind of “four-quadrant family movie” they envision for a Star Trek animated feature film.
The J.J. Abrams project is already tapping WandaVisions’s Matt Shakman to direct based on a script co-written by Captain Marvel screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The working title is simply Star Trek 4. It will be the 14th live action Trek feature.
It’s interesting that leaders at Paramount are referencing Disney films like Star Wars and Spider-Man instead of Star Trek projects. This raises a question: Does Paramount have a vision for Star Trek? And if they do, is it based on Star Trek, or are they re-imagining it based on other shows? When asked about the future of Star Trek, CEO Robbins said: “I don’t really have anything to say because I’m waiting for the development to be delivered.”
It’s a good sign that they are apparently committed to theatrical releases, and Kurtzman also said he was hoping for 5 Trek shows online simultaneously! We’ll keep you up to date as it happens!
David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.