If you're looking forward to more traditional Star Trek in Strange New Worlds, you may have to wait a bit longer as filming will begin in 2021 according to Alex Kurtzman in an interview with Gold Derby. The executive producer talked about the Emmy nominations Picard and Short Treks received for the beloved franchise. The sticking point is how the COVID 19 pandemic affected the production of every Star Trek series but allowed to keep writers ahead of schedule noting how Discovery writers are already planning into season four. Kurtzman provided an update on every active live-action Trek series. "We've been running all of our writers' rooms on Zoom, and the silver lining is that we've been actually been able to get quite ahead on the scripts for upcoming seasons of Discovery, and Picard, and Strange New Worlds, which is going to be shooting next year, and Section 31," Kurtzman said.
The EP described how he felt fortunate how Discovery season three wrapped just before productions were ordered to shut down to quarantine. "The thing that we're very lucky about is that we wrapped Discovery 10 days before the lockdown happened," he said. "The challenge that it posed is that is slowed post down quite a bit. It slowed visual effects. It slowed editing. I'm now editing with our editors, and we're both on our laptops." Kurtzman noted there are still several aspects to complete in order to wrap up the latest season. "Obviously, the visual effects companies took a very hard hit," he said. "It took them a minute for them to get back on their feet after everything that happened, and when it comes to recording music, you can't have musicians in an orchestra in one room anymore, so each musician is individually recording their instruments, sending it to Jeff Russo, our composer, and Jeff has to mix them together as if they were all sitting together in a room. So all of that takes a lot longer."
Kurtzman credit's the crew's diligence. "That being said, everybody's been heroic about it, and I think it's given everybody a real purpose," he said. "We get to keep working. We get to keep occupying ourselves during this really difficult and challenging time, and we are planning to go back into production. A lot of time has been taken, coming up with a big plan for how the sets and the stages are going to be run that's still being iterated right now, obviously, safety being everyone's number one concern. Everybody's working on that really diligently, because everybody wants to go back to work, and nobody wants to do it in a way that's unsafe." When it comes to the future of Short Treks, Kurtman said it's pretty wide open. They're like little O. Henry stories," Kurtzman said. "There's the story that presents itself, but then there's kind of a twist at the end that reframes what you've been watching the whole time." He noted how much Short Treks allows the writers to creative expand in their Star Trek sandbox. He hopes the success leads to other hybrid and experimental work for the franchise.
"Thanks to the Emmy nomination, I'm really hoping so," Kurtzman said nothing he would still like to make a short musical and a black-and-white film, among myriad other directions in which the show could boldly go. You can currently catch the animated Star Trek: Lower Decks on CBS All Access. Season three of Discovery premieres on October 22nd, 2020, and season two of Picard is tentatively scheduled for late 2020/early 2021 on the ViacomCBS streamer. Prodigy premieres on Nickelodeon in 2021. You can check out the whole interview on Gold Derby.