Paramount+ is officially moving forward on a “Star Trek: Section 31” project starring Michelle Yeoh, but it will now be an event film instead of a series, Variety has learned.
It was first reported that a Section 31 series with Yeoh was in development back in 2019. In the film, Yeoh will reprise the role of Emperor Philippa Georgiou, whom she began playing during Season 1 of “Star Trek: Discovery.”
Per the official logline, “Emperor Philippa Georgiou joins a secret division of Starfleet tasked with protecting the United Federation of Planets and faces the sins of her past.” Rumors of a Yeoh-led Section 31 project began upon the conclusion of Season 1 of “Discovery,” after a deleted scene revealed Georgiou being approached by a member of the shadowy intelligence organization on the Klingon homeworld.
“I’m beyond thrilled to return to my ‘Star Trek’ family and to the role I’ve loved for so long,” said Yeoh. “Section 31 has been near and dear to my heart since I began the journey of playing Philippa all the way back when this new golden age of ‘Star Trek’ launched. To see her finally get her moment is a dream come true in a year that’s shown me the incredible power of never giving up on your dreams. We can’t wait to share what’s in store for you, and until then: live long and prosper (unless Emperor Georgiou decrees otherwise)!”
Production will begin on the film later this year.
The news comes about a month after Yeoh won the Academy Award for best actress for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” making her the first Asian person to win the award. She also picked up wins at the SAG Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, and the Golden Globes for her work in the film. She is also known for her roles in films like “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 1 & 2,” “Memoirs Of A Geisha,” the James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and “Sunshine.”
She is repped by Artist International Group and Cohen & Gardner.
“All the way back in 2017, before the first season of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ had even aired, Michelle had the idea to do a spin-off for her character, Philippa Georgiou,” said executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “She broke new ground as one of the first two women on screen in the pilot to usher in a new age of ‘Trek,’ and now, six years later, ‘Star Trek: Section 31’ finally arrives on the heels of her latest groundbreaking win. Everyone on Team ‘Trek’ couldn’t be more thrilled to have our legendary friend return home to us as we expand our storytelling into new and uncharted corners of the Trekverse. Long live Emperor Georgiou; long live Michelle Yeoh!”
Craig Sweeny (“Limitless,” “Medium”) serves as writer and executive producer on “Star Trek: Section 31.” Olatunde Osunsanmi (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “The Man Who Fell to Earth”) will direct and executive produce. Yeoh will executive produce in addition to starring. Alex Kurtzman and Aaron Baiers executive produce via Secret Hideout. Rod Rodenberry and Trevor Roth of Rodenberry Entertainment also executive produce along with Frank Siracusa and John Weber. CBS Studios will produce. Sweeny, Osunsanmi, and Kurtzman are all currently under overall deals at CBS Studios.
“For years, we’ve been looking forward to Michelle Yeoh one day returning to ‘Star Trek,’” said David Stapf, president of CBS Studios. “Her powerful performance as Captain and Emperor Georgiou was a pivotal moment for the return of the franchise, and her portrayal resonated with fans around the world in a multitude of ways. We couldn’t be prouder to join forces with Michelle once again as we continue to explore the ‘Star Trek’ universe, celebrate its legacy and chart a course for the future of the franchise.”
Section 31 was first introduced in the “Star Trek” series “Deep Space Nine.” The organization has since been featured in the “Star Trek” shows “Enterprise,” “Discovery,” “Lower Decks,” and “Picard,” as well as the film “Into Darkness.”
“We’re thrilled that ‘Star Trek: Section 31’ will be the next title in our ‘Star Trek’ universe,” said Domenic DiMeglio, chief marketing officer and head of data at Paramount Streaming. “Michelle Yeoh is an incomparable talent — she brought Emperor Georgiou to life in such an incredibly fun and nuanced way that the character immediately became a fan favorite. We’re so thrilled to welcome Michelle back to the ‘Star Trek’ and Paramount+ family and can’t wait for fans to see what this special movie event has in store.”
The film is the latest development of the next generation of the revamped “Star Trek” era at Paramount+. The series finale of “Star Trek: Picard” is set to debut on the streamer this week, with the main cast of “Next Generation” reuniting for the show’s third and final season. It was announced in March that a Starfleet Academy show has been ordered to series.
Beyond that, it was announced that both “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” and “Star Trek: Lower Decks” had been renewed ahead of their new season premieres and that “Star Trek: Discovery” will end with its fifth season in 2024.