Star Trek Fan Film Creator Discusses Interaction with CBS, Scraps Sequel Plans

Last week, we reported that director/producer Tommy Kraft decided not to move forward with a planned sequel to Star Trek: Horizon after being contacted by CBS. Kraft joined the hosts of the Trek Geeks podcast, Bill Smith and Dan Davidson, last week to discuss his recent interactions with CBS, his decision not to move forward with a sequel, and what it could mean for other Star Trek fan productions.

Speaking to the Trek Geeks podcast, Kraft said he was contacted by Bill Burke, Senior VP of Marketing at CBS Consumer Products, and told that the legal department at CBS asked him to reach out to Kraft and “strongly suggest” that he not move forward with plans for another Star Trek fan film. He noted that CBS Or Burke did not discourage him from disclosing any information from the call.

“You can be sure that other conversations are being had with other productions as well.” Kraft recalled Burke telling him.

Kraft said he was regretful in not asking more questions during the initial telephone conversation and when he called back, his call wasn’t taken.

“I don’t think it was — strictly speaking — a cease and desist.” Kraft said. “It felt more like a heads up or a warning.”

“He (Burke) did say that this was a direct result of the legal troubles with the Axanar case.” he recalled.

Kraft said that after the call he decided to focus his attention on different projects, as he didn’t want to risk any further trouble with CBS. “That was the end of the short-lived sequel, Federation Rising.” he said.

As we previously reported, Kraft, along with his co-producer Ryan Webber, will now focus their attention on the non-Star Trek sci-fi project Project Discovery.

CBS Television Studios is producing its own Star Trek series, which is set to launch in early 2017 with a broadcast TV special on CBS. The first episode and all subsequent episodes will be exclusively shown in the US on the video streaming service CBS All Access.

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We’ve embedded the entire interview with Tommy Kraft below.

RELATED: [REVIEW] ‘Star Trek: Horizon’ True To The Trek Universe

For more, check out the Trek Geeks podcast.

11 Comments Join the Conversation →


  • Marc

    This is ridiculous. Without Star Trek Fan Films, Trek would have died out years ago. Both ST:2009 was so-so and ST:ID was a complete bomb. CBS should embrace the work that the Fan Film groups are doing. I for one will forever Boycott CBS All Access and since I “Cut the cord” I have little or no access to any CBS Programming and that means I am not seeing any of the CBS paid advertising as well. To all the sponsors of CBS, I and many others never see your product advertisements and you should think about that before you pay CBS to show them..

    • James

      A complete bomb that made a lot of money and received great critical acclaim (87% on RottenTomatoes). It appealed to the masses, just not to a segment of Trek fandom.

      • Marc

        James, you need to check your facts before you post.

        “Last year’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness” actually had one of the smallest profit margins both in North American and domestically. It earned $228.8 million in North America, but the film cost $190 million to make, leaving a profit margin of just 20 percent.Jan 4, 2014″ The bottom line is that ST:ID was as bad as ST:V

        • Nytegaunt

          Yeah you do know they count that non-domestic money when they count their beans? Worldwide gross was $467,381,584.

          • Marc

            You are right about the overseas income but the bottom line the USA income was way too low and the movie sucked beyond belief. If you take the words Star Trek off the title, you would have no idea it was Star Trek. Maybe I am purist but this new timeline bullshit is complete garbage.

          • Marc Henson

            Bottom line? Bottom line is that is your opinion.

          • Brian Lambert

            Didn’t make anywhere near the net profit The Wrath of Khan (you know the movie it tried to rip off) did.

        • James

          I’ve got some facts for you Marc.

          Sure, it cost a lot to make but it turned a profit at the cinema (estimated at a lowish 20%). But it aint all about the theatrical run. Add to that the $50million that F/X paid for the TV rights and then there’s it’s DVD and blu-ray sales to take into account. According to Rentrak, STID came third in a list of the top ten purchased and rented movies for the year, per data collected from week ending Jan. 6 through Dec. 29, 2013. Star Trek was #3 in 2013 for Rentals and Digital Purchases. According to iTunes, it was the #4 best selling film of 2013.

          Into darkness got sparkling reviews… 72 meta… 87 rotten with a 7.6 avg and 7.8 imdb plus highest worldwide gross ever for a Trek movie. You cant take the stellar reviews and success away no matter how much some (emphasis on some) trek fans disliked the reboot movies. It’s possible to simultaneously hate the re-booted Trek’s and simultaneously admit that people liked them and that they are successful.

      • Brian Lambert

        So let the masses do what the fans have done for the last 50 years. That is if they don’t wander off to something else that catches their relatively short attention span.

    • Agreed- Will never purchase CBS All Access until they allow fan films again.

  • JB

    So CBS is mad at Alec, so they punch Tommy in the face. In the comments section we will see people say that CBS is right to punch Tommy in the face because of that thing that Alec did.