The Star Trek franchise has been pretty busy lately. Just last night there was a Star Trek Fan Event with executive producer J.J. Abrams, with Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin in attendance, as well as some of the cast. A new and improved trailer for the third film in the rebooted franchise was premiered, which hit the internet soon afterward. A lot of positive energy was floating around the room, so Abrams took the time to address a darker note: Paramount’s lawsuit against one Star Trek fan film. Thankfully, Abrams had good news to share, and the lawsuit will be called off in the upcoming weeks.
A few months back it was announced that Paramount and CBS were filing a lawsuit against Axanar, a Star Trek fan film that raised over $1 million on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Paramount lawyers claimed that the unofficial film was copyright infringement and sued the production team for damages. At the Star Trek Fan Event, Abrams was able to clear the air and credited director Justin Lin for helping to put an end to it all.
Justin was sort of outraged by this as a longtime fan. We started talking about it and realized this wasn’t an appropriate way to deal with the fans. The fans of Star Trek are part of this world. [Justin] went to the studio and pushed them to stop this lawsuit, and now, within the next few weeks, it will be announced that this is going away and that fans would be able to continue working on their project.
So, it seems that everything is going to work out in the end. It’s really cool of J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin to put their combined foot down and recognize that these fan films barely impact the larger franchises. Imagine all the Star Wars fan films we wouldn’t have if every studio clamped down like this. And we probably wouldn’t have that massive Raiders of the Lost Ark fan film a group of friends spent their whole childhoods making.
Anaxar has since released a statement thanking Abrams and Lin for their efforts and that all the "public support helps immensely."
You can watch the official announcement of J.J. Abrams claiming the lawsuit was dropped from this probably illegal video filmed by a fan at the event.
Star Trek seems to be entering a new creative boom. Star Trek Beyond looks to be a return to form that fans of the franchise were missing from the prior two films, and there’s an all-new TV series on the way. Star Trek Beyond is directed by Justin Lin from a screenplay written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. The third installment in the rebooted film series hits theaters this summer on July 22.