The Star Trek franchise has a storied history when it comes to animation. The original series had its own cartoon spinoff back in 1973 and this current generation has both Lower Decks and Prodigy to continue on the tradition. It seems like the world of animation is one that the series is starting to see the advantages of. And now, thanks to one of our trusted and proven inside sources, we have learned that Paramount wants to go where no Star Trek movie has gone before.
We have learned that Paramount is in early development on an animated feature film that would take place in the Star Trek universe. We were unable to learn the specifics of the project, but have been told that it is currently on the table for the franchise. We immediately have to wonder if this has to do with either Lower Decks or Prodigy and if a feature film spinoff is planned for either of those shows. Or is this a completely original movie that has no connection to any of the current shows?
There is another possibility here. It could be that a Star Trek animated feature is the only way to bring back certain cast members for a new project. We have heard in the past that Avery Brooks was being approached for a return as Captain Benjamin Sisko, but that there were some strong issues preventing him from coming back. Perhaps those issues are starting to be resolved. Not to mention that an animated feature would be less of a commitment than a live-action shoot. That would mean the salary for Brooks could potentially be lower than what he would expect for an entire live-action show that he had to act in. With Deep Space Nine continuing to be popular for streaming audiences, this sounds like a viable option.
And again, there is yet another facet to this that we have to consider: is this Star Trek animated movie going to be exclusively available on Paramount+? It is highly unlikely that Paramount would release an animated film for adults in theaters, so it seems apparent that it would be a targeted release for their streaming platform. The hope would be to make a movie that would entice new subscribers to the service. As much as we like Lower Decks and Prodigy looks very promising, we can’t see them being big enough draws for newcomers.
Could it be that Paramount will try and continue the J.J. Abrams version of the Star Trek universe by bringing back that cast for an animated feature to wrap up their tenure as these iconic characters? That iteration of the franchise seems to have met its end, so this would be a decent way to give those actors and that take on the franchise a nice sendoff. Right now, anything is possible. It does look like Paramount wants to continue branching out the franchise and catering to long-term fans with returning characters, so this is not outside the realm of possibility.
Here’s hoping we can learn some more concrete information on just what direction this animated Star Trek movie is going to take. There are lots of exciting possibilities, but we are going to simply have to wait until more is revealed.