This was supposed to be a year of celebration for Star Trek, 50 years since the original series first premiered on NBC in the fall of 2016. There’s a new Star Trek movie coming this summer, production on a new Star Trek TV series will begin later this fall, and the con schedule this year is full of special Star Trek guests. The last thing Paramount would want to do is tarnish those good vibes with something like a lawsuit aimed at fans making a highly-anticipated fan film based on Star Trek. So turning a frown upside down, Star Trek producer J.J. Abrams announced on the weekend that the lawsuit against the producers of Star Trek: Axanar is over. Peace in our time.
“We talked about this and we realized this is not the appropriate way to deal with the fans,” Abrams said at fan event for Star Trek Beyond Friday. “We should be celebrating this thing. We, the fans of ‘Star Trek,’ are all a part of this world. We went to the studio and pushed them to stop this lawsuit and now, within the next few weeks, it will be announced that this thing is going away and the fan will be able to work on the project.”
If that seemed like a bombshell, that’s because it was. Buzzfeed’s Adam B. Vary conferred with Axanar co-writer and producer Alec Peters, who was caught unawares of Abrams’ announcement, and after learning of it, Peters was on the phone with his lawyer trying to confirm. Then, Vary got confirmation from Paramount that indicated that while a settlement of the lawsuit had not yet been etched in stone, it obviously looks good enough to make a high-profile announcement.
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) May 21, 2016
Axanar is a crowd-funded Star Trek film that chronicles a four-year long war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire about 20 years before the start of the original series. Prelude to Axanar, a short film meant to tease a wider Axanar movie as a proof of concept, was released at San Diego Comic Con in 2014. The film starred a lot of Star Trek talent in front of and behind the camera including actors Tony Todd, Gary Graham, and J.G. Hertzler. Paramount filed the lawsuit in December saying that the film, with an initial budget of more than $600,000 raised through Kickstarter, violated “innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.”
While the lawsuit isn’t quite settled yet, the language of the statement does seem suggestive that Paramount’s real problem with Axanar wasn’t that they were making a fan-film, its that they were making a Star Trek fan film with quality production values to rival any “brand name” Star Trek film or series. Obviously, details are still under wraps in regards to what the settlement will look like, but we will update the story when we learn more.
Source: Bleeding Cool