Earlier this year Bryan Fuller promised us news for Star Trek Discovery, but this was not the news we expected! Broken by Variety last night, we’ve learned that Fuller is stepping back from his role as showrunner in a decision made last week.
After last months announcement that Discovery’s launch would be delayed until May, it looks like Fuller’s production schedule with other shows, which includes Starz American Gods, is the primary reason he’s had to step aside.
“We are extremely happy with the creative direction of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and the strong foundation that Bryan Fuller has helped us create for the series,” said CBS Television Studios in a statement. “Due to Bryan’s other projects, he is no longer able to oversee the day-to-day of ‘Star Trek,’ but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season…Bryan is a brilliant creative talent and passionate ‘Star Trek’ fan, who has helped us chart an exciting course for the series. We are all committed to seeing this vision through and look forward to premiering ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ this coming May 2017.”
Sources for Variety say that while Fuller has completed overseeing the world and background of Discovery, as well as breaking the first season story arc, characters and completed the writing for the first two episodes, it became clear that there was too much on his plate, and with the show already delayed production schedules were in conflict leading to him bowing out of the showrunner role.
While Fuller will still be involved creatively, with filming scheduled to start next month and all but one of the cast in place, two of his regular collaborators, Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, will take over day to day operations on Discovery.
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) October 27, 2016
Berg and Harberts have a strong history with Fuller working alongside him on Pushing Daisies. (SFC members can read more about the duo in Comms) Over the weekend Akiva Goldsman, who’s work includes Fringe, the Dark Tower and I Robot, has also been added to the creative talent pool for the show lending his diverse experience to the new showrunners.
The Oscar winner has dabbled in Star Trek before, if in the background as a member of the Vulcan council in 2009’s film as well as sitting at the Admirals table in Into Darkness and is another writer bringing a lot of Trek knowledge to the writers room!
I am a dyed-in-the-wool, diehard, 1000-percent Trekkie, and I say Trekkie, not Trekker, and I don’t care what the nomenclature has become. I think my first Star Trek convention was at the Statler Hilton Hotel in 1977 or 1978. I grew up in Brooklyn, and what you saw (of Star Trek) was on WPIX, Channel 11, and you watched it at 7 every night. (Read the full interview at StarTrek.com)
While it’s disappointing to hear Fuller’s role will be slightly diminished going forward, it’s positive to hear that CBS is determined to make sure Discovery in on track for release next year.
It’s also positive to hear, albeit it quietly, that the casting process has almost been completed with all but one major role locked in place as they continue to carefully hunt for a lead to take centre stage as the unknown Lieutenant Commander.
Another positive was reading the budget for the show as Discovery has been given $5-7 million per episode which not only makes it the highest per-episode budget Star Trek has ever received, but one of the most expensive TV shows in production! With CBS offering so high a budget for the show, and their insistence that there are no more delays and a high calibre of work going on, this may be an unexpected stumble on the road to Discovery, but things are still looking positive for the next chapter of Star Trek.
Original Source: Variety