Exclusive: Star Trek Sulu Show In Development

A solo series is in development with Hikaru Sulu of Star Trek in the lead role.

By Michileen Martin | Published

The most well known helmsman of the Enterprise, Hikaru Sulu, has his own solo Star Trek series in development for Paramount+. That’s the word from our trusted and proven sources, though there are still some unanswered questions. Two of the biggest questions we have are who will play Sulu, and what version of the character are we getting?

George Takei originated the role of Sulu in the first aired episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, 1966’s “The Man Trap.” He’s gone on to reprise the role in other media like the six first Trek films, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and even an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. At 85 years old, Takei is–along with William Shatner and Walter Koenig–one of the only surviving members of the original Trek show’s leading cast.

Another possibility is John Cho, who plays a younger version of the hero in the Kelvin Timeline films. He last appeared as Sulu in 2016’s Star Trek Beyond and is set to return for the upcoming Star Trek 4. This could potentially go hand-in-hand with the scoop we had last month that a Kelvin Timeline show was in development for Paramount+.

sulu star trek
John Cho in Star Trek (2009)

Then there’s the third possibility–that the Sulu series will star someone entirely new to the Star Trek franchise. This teases some interesting potentials in terms of when the series would be set.

On one hand, the Sulu show could be a prequel series like Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. In fact, while so far Strange New Worlds is set before the events of TOS, co-creator and co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman has made it clear that he hopes the show survives long enough for its timeline to bleed into that of the original Trek series.

That means Strange New Worlds will eventually, if they haven’t already, need to cast their own version of Hikaru Sulu. Perhaps this new Star Trek show will gives us some kind of untold tale of exactly how Sulu came to be aboard the Enterprise.

Another intriguing possibility is that we could finally get an extended look at Sulu’s career after he became one of Star Trek’s Captains. In the opening of 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, we learn that Sulu has been promoted to Captain and given command of the USS Excelsior–the same ship that tried and failed to chase down the Enterprise in 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Besides the aforementioned episode of Voyager, however, we’ve yet to get a longer and canonical, on-screen look at Sulu’s career in the Captain’s chair.

Of course, if it is this later timeline that will be explored, it would be a shame to not see George Takei in it, especially since he already announced it almost a decade ago. Well, he kind of announced it. As TrekMovie recalled, Takei fooled tons of fans on April Fool’s Day 2012 by posting to social media that he was returning to the role of Sulu for Star Trek: Excelsior with J.J. Abrams in the director’s chair.