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That Star Trek: Discovery spinoff centered around the mysterious Section 31 could be leaving the mirror universe sooner than expected. Appearing on the most recent episode of Deadline's Hero Nation podcast, Trek mastermind and executive producer Alex Kurtzman revealed that the project, which would see the return of Michelle Yeoh's Philippa Georgiou, is still on the table.
“We’re in a very exciting place," he said. "I can’t tell you anything yet, but it’s still very much alive.”
That's all he was willing to give up at the moment, but did touch on the ever-expanding nature of the Star Trek television universe on Paramount+ (formerly branded as CBS All Access). “Now we have so many shows and they’re moving around so much, that I can’t keep track [of them] anymore myself," Kurtzman admitted.
We can thank the COVID-19 pandemic for the slowdown in new content coming down the pipeline. “It certainly threw all of our plans into a blender, but I think everybody pivoted beautifully and everybody kept going as soon as we could," Kurtzman continued. "I think we’re very much on track now."
The Section 31 show (rumors of which started to circulate back in 2018) actually made a good bit of progress, with Kurtzman convening a writers' room. "It's really different," the producer told Vanity Fair in 2019. "It occupies an area of the Trek universe that's never really been explored geographically. It has a new mythology to it, which is very interesting. And it puts Michelle's character to the test in a lot of ways that Discovery can't. In some ways it will be her Unforgiven, I would say."
Then things just sort of stalled out. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter this past spring, Akiva Goldsman (co-showrunner on Picard and Strange New Worlds) voiced his doubts over whether Section 31 was still moving forward.
"I don’t know. I believe so. Alex has a plan," he said. "You know, Picard wasn’t supposed to be a series. It was just a one-off scene in a Short Trek. He wasn’t even going to be played by Patrick Stewart. They were going to have a young Picard at the end of a short we were making up. Then Alex was like, 'What if it was Patrick Stewart? … What if it wasn’t one scene?' Alex has a plan, and it’s pretty cool."
Over the summer, however, Kurtzman confirmed that several spinoff scripts had been written, but their "very specific schedule" was thrown off-tilt by the global health crisis. So yeah, nothing is set in the stone just yet, though viewers should keep an eye out for potential crossovers between all the different Trek titles available on Paramount+.
"Here's the thing about crossovers: I think crossovers can be really, really exciting. But they have to exist for a reason. There has to be a great story reason to do it. And it has to move both the shows forward in a way," Kurtzman said on Hero Nation. "Both of you are right, that inevitably it's coming somewhere somehow. But I think we want to be as intentional about doing something like that as we've been about our selection of shows and the way in which we've curated each show to have its own distinct identity. Because the flip side to doing a crossover wrong is that people are really disappointed and it impacts both shows. So, it's just not a gamble that I would want to take randomly. That being said, it's certainly exciting to think about certain pairings that you're like 'Wow, what would it be like if those two characters were together or those two crews were together?' But I want to be careful about it. So I guess the most direct answer I can give you is it's on my mind, but I haven't thought about a specific yet."