Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is planning to start filming in 2021. Alex Kurtzman, the head of CBS All Access's expanding Star Trek Universe franchise, spoke to Gold Derby about the Emmy nominations earned by Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Short Treks. During the conversation, he discussed the pandemic's ramifications on future Star Trek projects. Looking at the upside, he mentioned that the writing teams have been able to get ahead schedule, with writers already working on Star Trek: Discovery Season Four. He also notes that the Star Trek: Discovery spinoff Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will begin production in 2021. "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 went on to discuss how the broader affects of the pandemic on the process of creating television. Notably, he's changed how post-production is done.
"The thing that we're very lucky about is that we wrapped Discovery 10 days before the lockdown happened," he says. "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. Obviously, the visual effects companies took a very hard hit, and 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.
"That being said, everybody's been heroic about it, and I think it's given everybody a real purpose. 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."
Star Trek: Discovery Season Three premiers on CBS All Access on October 15th.