Star Trek: Alex Kurtzman Offers Update on 'Lower Decks,' Talks Second Animated Series

Star Trek is headed back into animation. Star Trek: Lower Decks, the first animated Star Trek series since Star Trek: The Animated Series in the 1970s, is in development at CBS All Access.

During the TCA Winter 2019 Press Tour, Star Trek TV producer Alex Kurtzman offered an update on Lower Decks.

“Yeah, we are in development on that now too, and that's happening for sure,” Kurtzman tells ComicBook.com. “Animation, it takes a year. It's actually very much like what we're doing on our shows because of the visual effects component. It takes a year from writing the script, doing the animation, getting it back, refining it. So, we don't ever want to rush anything out until it's perfectly ready. And the beautiful thing about streaming is we don't have to. We get to keep doing it until we all love it, and then you get to watch. And hopefully, you'll love it too.”

In addition to Lower Decks, there’s also a second Star Trek animated series in development. Kurtzman confirms that the second series is aimed at a younger demographic.

“It is, but it's also...I think you'll find that it is utterly reverent of everything we love about Trek,” Kurtzman says. “And so, our intention is that actually, it will also appeal to older kids too, even though, yes, it will traditionally look younger. But no, I think hopefully the age range is somewhere between 8 and 45.”

In addition to these two series, there are also plans for two animated episodes of Star Trek: Short Treks. One will be directed by Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino, who scored all three of the Kelvin timeline Star Trek movies. The other animated Short Trek will be directed by Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Olatunde Osunsanmi. Each short will feature a distinct animation style, which will also be different from what’s being used in Lower Decks.

Star Trek: Lower Decks is being developed by Mike McMahan, the head writer of Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty who also wrote the script from the Star Trek: Short Treks episode “The Escape Artist.”

"Mike won our hearts with his first sentence: 'I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end,'” Kurtzman said when Lower Decks was announced. “His cat's name is Riker. His son's name is Sagan. The man is committed.”

Are you excited about Star Trek’s upcoming animated projects? Let us know in the comments!

Additional reporting by Scott Huver.

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