Sorry, Trekkies — one of the most ambitious fan films ever conceived could be getting the axe. Though Paramount prefers to play in the semi-rebooted film universe J.J. Abrams created, the studio still doesn’t want someone mucking around in its other sandbox.
Paramount and CBS have filed a lawsuit to essentially shut down the crowdfunded film Star Trek Axanar, claiming the project infringes on copyrighted material by featuring “innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.” As Trek fans are fully aware, fan films are not a new phenomenon for the franchise, and the studio has typically turned a blind eye to these labors of love.
But Axanar isn’t your typical fan film. The talent behind Axanar has raised more than $1 million to fund the project, and they’ve populated it with veteran filmmakers, crew members and actors. This isn’t a fun side project shot on the weekends. The Axanar team is aiming to make a tried-and-true Trek film, and we’ve finally found where Paramount will draw the line. This took things a step too far for Paramount to keep ignoring it — especially with sanctioned sequel Star Trek Beyond on the way next year.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Paramount and CBS are demanding an injunction, as well as damages for direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Basically: This project is kaput if Paramount wins. But Axanar producer Alec Peters said they do plan to contest Paramount’s suit, noting the studio has let myriad other fan films exist without issue.
For Trek fans, this will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)