9:15am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Star Trek': Michelle Yeoh-Led 'Discovery' Spinoff Details Revealed
Riding the high of a Critics' Choice Award win for best comedy, Michelle Yeoh has further reason to celebrate Monday.
CBS All Access has officially tapped Yeoh to captain a Star Trek series of her own: a black ops-themed spinoff of Discovery in which the actress will reprise her role and explore the next chapter in the life of Capt. Philippa Georgiou. The untitled drama will further explore Starfleet's Section 31 division, a shadow organization within the Federation featured on Star Trek: Discovery.
The untitled live-action drama, news of which leaked in November, is currently in development, but given that CBS All Access owns Star Trek and is paying Alex Kurtzman $25 million to captain the franchise, it's considered a slam dunk to move to series. The move allows CBS All Access, writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt time to extend the Star Trek world and mythology as part of CBS All Access, and for Kurtzman also to plot animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, a Patrick Stewart-led Picard live-action drama and others, including a younger-skewing Starfleet Academy entry from The O.C. duo Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
"Michelle has shattered ceilings, broken boundaries and astonished us with her grace and gravitas for decades. As a human, I adore her. As an actor, I revere her,” Kurtzman said. “Erika and Boey are remarkable, exciting writers who bring a fresh perspective to the world of Star Trek, and we’re all thrilled to explore the next wild chapter in the life of Captain Philippa Georgiou.”
As with all Star Trek series, Kurtzman will exec produce via his CBS TV Studios-based Secret Hideout banner, which is run by Heather Kadin. Rod Roddenberry, CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment and the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, will exec produce alongside Trevor Roth. Aaron Baiers will co-exec produce alongside Kim and Lippoldt.
In a Creative Space interview that published Jan. 9, Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter that there is a limit to how many Star Trek series are part of his overall franchise. "There has to be. At a certain point people are going to say, 'It all feels so familiar.' The only thing I'd throw back is that nobody seems to have said that about Marvel. Between film and TV, no one is tired of them. That means that in a world of a global audience, there is always room for more, but the more has to be meaningful," Kurtzman said.
"I’m so excited to continue telling these rich Star Trek stories,” Yeoh said. “Being a part of this universe and this character specifically has been such a joy for me to play. I can’t wait to see where it all goes — certainly I believe it will go 'where no woman has ever gone before!'"
Yeoh is a former Bond girl, and other credits include the Crouching Tiger franchise, Memoirs of a Geisha, Sunshine, The Lady and more. She is currently enjoying the awards season circuit in support of blockbuster hit Crazy Rich Asians.
Season two of Star Trek: Discovery bows Jan. 17 on CBS All Access.