Exclusive: Star Trek Lower Decks Movie In Development

By Michileen Martin | Updated

Apparently the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos is on their way to the big screen. Our trusted and proven sources tell us that a Star Trek: Lower Decks movie is being developed by Paramount. We don’t know much about the plot of the film–or if there even is one in mind yet–but regardless if a Lower Decks film is realized it would mean a number of historic firsts for the sci-fi franchise.

The most obvious Trek landmark–assuming the Lower Decks movie is animated like the series–is that it would mean the first film in the franchise that wasn’t live-action. While Trek has now been home to 3 animated series–including the early ’70s Star Trek: The Animated Series and more current Star Trek: Prodigy–all 13 films have been live-action.

A Star Trek: Lower Decks film would also represent the first movie in the franchise that followed a crew for a ship other than the Enterprise. The first 6 films focused on the crew of Star Trek: The Original Series, the Next Generation crew starred in the following 4, and the final 3 were the revamped and recast versions of the TOS crew in the Kelvin Timeline. A couple of characters–most notably Kate Mugew’s Kathryn Janeway in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis–have enjoyed cameos in the films, but so far none of the non-Enterprise spinoffs (Deep Space Nine, Discovery, Picard, Prodigy, and Voyager) have been brought to the big screen.

Looking at this development while considering the news that the previously announced Star Trek 4 had been taken off Paramount’s schedule could signal a shift in terms of the studio’s target audience. While Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, and the rest of the Kelvin Timeline crew are comparatively new to the roles; the characters they’re playing are part of the old guard. Paramount may see a Lower Decks movie as a better way to net new fans from the Gen Z and younger crowd.

Ensign Beckett Mariner, Ensign Rutherford, Ensign Brad Boimler, and Ensign Tendi playing a Klingon tabletop RPG in “The Least Dangerous Game,” a Season 3 episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks

Like Discovery and Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks premiered back before CBS All Access rebranded to Paramount+. Set one year after the events of Nemesis and considered canonical to the franchise, the animated series is nevertheless a lot more adult in terms of content and mostly a comedy series that loves to poke fun at most of the overused tropes in Trek. If the Lower Decks movie does emerge from development, new viewers will likely find it similar to the popular Rick & Morty; not quite as mature in terms of violence and sexual content, but certainly with more blood and naughty words than your average Trek project.

There’s no word on the creatives involved in the Lower Decks movie, but considering he created the show and according to Deadline signed a broad contract with CBS Studios in 2020, we’d expect Mike McMahan to be closely involved. Should it ultimately see the light of day, we’d also expect most if not all of the regular Lower Decks voice talent–e.g. Tammy Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, Eugene Cordero–to be on board as well.

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