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JJ Abrams’ Star Trek TV Plans Thwarted by Rights Dispute

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It seems that one of the reasons for J.J. Abrams’ jump from the USS Enterprise to the Millennium Falcon has a lot to do with the fact that the rights to the Star Trek franchise are more fractured than a sick Tholian.

According to a post on the Wrap, it seems that Abrams had planned on expanding his vision for the Star Trek universe (multiverse?) onto television, but was thwarted due to Paramount’s ownership of the movie rights, but CBS’s possession of the TV rights. In short, the process to bring an Abrams-imagined Trek back to television was too big of a hassle for the director to continue pursuing.

One of the biggest problems between the two competing rights-holders, it seems, came from CBS making and marketing classic Star Trek merchandise featuring Shatner-Kirk, Nimoy-Spock, and the rest. Apparently some market research revealed that consumers were confused about the differences between the original cast and that of Abrams’ reboot—somehow. It’s not clear how anyone ever could be confused about that, but hey, some people are just dumb, man.

Anyway, Abrams’ production company, Bad Robot, petitioned CBS to stop making the competing merchandise, but the no one could come to an agreement. An insider quoted for the post said, “J.J. just threw up his hands. The message was, ‘Why set up all this when we’ll just be competing against ourselves?’ The studio [Paramount] wanted to please Bad Robot, but it was allowing CBS to say yay or nay when it came to what was happening with the ‘Star Trek’ products.”

The post says that Abrams had intended on the creation of tie-in TV series, spin-off movies, and more…and that is a damn shame. An Abrams-helmed TV series in the new Trekverse? That would’ve been amazing.

Hopefully Paramount and CBS will figure out a way to work this out soon. Meanwhile, Abrams is off to Disney’s greener pastures to make a new Star Wars trilogy, some TV shows, and whatever else he can dream up to make tons of cash for the House of Mouse. And between the forthcoming Star Wars media blitz and Disney’s other TV/movie tie-in with Avengers and Agents of SHIELD, there’s no more proof needed to show that it’s time for a Trek TV spin-off.

Source: The Wrap

Image: Paramount

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