Multiple reports detail that Star Trek: Picard showrunner Michael Chabon will be not returning for an as of yet announced season two of the show.
Deadline reports Chabon will remain as executive producer, but he will transition to showrunning the adaptation of his Kavalier & Clay novel on Showtime through CBS Television Studios.
He will also executive produce alongside his wife Ayelet Waldman. Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman will also reportedly executive produce the show.
Kavalier & Clay is reportedly part of a multi-year deal Chabon and Waldman signed with CBS TV Studios.
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Here’s how the novel, The Amazing Adventurers of Kavalier & Clay, is described on Amazon:
“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a triumph of originality, imagination, and storytelling, an exuberant, irresistible novel that begins in New York City in 1939. A young escape artist and budding magician named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep into the heart of Manhattan, and the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From the shared fears, dreams, and desires of two teenage boys, they spin comic book tales of the heroic, fascist-fighting Escapist and the beautiful, mysterious Luna Moth, otherworldly mistress of the night. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink. Spanning continents and eras, this superb book by one of America’s finest writers remains one of the defining novels of our modern American age.”
Along with Kavalier & Clay they are expected to create and develop multiple projects for CBS TV Studios. Variety notes “CBS will have the exclusive rights to produce TV content created and developed by the husband-and-wife team across all platforms.”
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Deadline indicates they already have multiple shows in development including A Really Good Day based on Waldman’s book. Another project in development is Behind You at Hulu that is inspired by the novel Ghost Ship by Jacqueline Woodson.
CBS Television Studios President David Stapf praised Waldman and Chabon, “Ayelet and Michael are two of America’s pre-eminent writers. From award-winning novels and non-fiction to their television and film collaborations, they have a remarkable body of work. We’re thrilled to have them on our incredibly roster.”
The move is quite shocking given less than 6 months ago Chabon was announced as the showrunner for Picard.
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At the time he stated, “Star Trek’ has been an important part of my way of thinking about the world, the future, human nature, storytelling and myself since I was ten years old.”
He added, “I come to work every day in a state of joy and awe at having been entrusted with the character and the world of Jean-Luc Picard, with this vibrant strand of the rich, intricate and complex tapestry that is ‘Trek.’”
With Chabon stepping down this continues a troubling trend for Alex Kurtzman produced Star Trek shows. Star Trek: Discovery has gone through multiple showrunners in just three seasons.
Showrunners Aaron Harbets and Gretchen Berg were reportedly fired before Season 2 began with The Hollywood Reporter describing that they had become “increasingly abusive to the Discovery writing staff.”
Before Harberts and Berg were reportedly fired, the original showrunner Bryan Fuller departed the show before the first season. CBS Television Studios explained:
“Due to Bryan’s other projects, he is no longer able to oversee the day-to-day of Star Trek, but he remains an executive producer, and will continue to map out the story arc for the entire season.”
Along with the constant showrunner turnovers for the Star Trek shows, the upcoming Picard is also plagued with rumors that the show is simply not that good.
YouTuber Doomcock described a rumored Star Trek: Picard as a “disaster.”
There are also fears that Star Trek: Picard will treat Picard much like Star Wars treated Luke Skywalker. SceenRant published an article titled, “Picard Risks Being Star Trek’s Version Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
In fact, author Dusty Stowe questions “Does Star Trek: Picard risk alienating its rabid audience in the same ways?”
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Along with the rumored disaster test screenings, there are rumors that Netflix rejected Star Trek: Picard. The show will ultimately stream on Amazon Prime internationally. Netflix distributed Discovery internationally.
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Star Trek: Picard premieres January 23, 2020, on CBS All Access.