Paramount and CBS are determined to stop an independent “Star Trek” movie from happening and have filed a lawsuit against the producers of “Axanar” which raised USD 1 million through crowd-funding.
In a joint statement to several media outlets, CBS and Paramount said, “Star Trek is a treasured franchise in which CBS and Paramount continue to produce new original content for its large universe of fans. The producers of Axanar are making a Star Trek picture they describe themselves as a fully professional independent Star Trek film. Their activity clearly violates our Star Trek copyrights, which, of course, we will continue to vigorously protect.”
Alec Peters of Axanar Productions leads the production team. The lawsuit was brought up against him on Wednesday, December 30 in California district court, concerning “Axanar” and its prequel “Prelude to Axanar”. The complaint read, “The ‘Axanar’ Works infringes plaintiffs’ works by using innumerable copyrighted elements of ‘Star Trek,’ including its settings, characters, species, and themes.” The companies are seeking up to $150,000 for every copyrighted “Star Trek” element present in the films.
The movie’s pitch to investors said, “While some may call it a ‘fan film’ as we are not licensed by CBS, Axanar has professionals working in front and behind the camera, with a fully-professional crew – many of whom have worked on Star Trek itself – who ensure Axanar will be the quality of Star Trek that all fans want to see.”
Peters told The Wrap in August that he had a meeting with CBS and was confident that the network would accept the fan films. “I think Axanar has become so popular that CBS realizes that we’re just making their brand that much better.” Now that a lawsuit has been filed, Peters told THR, “We’ve certainly been prepared for this and we certainly will defend this lawsuit. There are a lot of issues surrounding a fan film. These fan films have been around for 30 years, and others have raised a lot of money.”
In November, it was revealed that CBS is developing a new “Star Trek” series for January 2017 premiere. Screened just in time for the 50th anniversary, the series will introduce new characters and new world with Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin as executive producers.