Back in late October, the highly-anticipated CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery suffered quite a blow, with showrunner Bryan Fuller leaving the project, just before principal photography was set to begin on the series. The network immediately promoted executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts to serve as the new showrunners, working from the first two scripts for the series that Bryan Fuller wrote. Bryan Fuller recently opened up about why he backed away from the show.
The initial report about Bryan Fuller leaving the show revealed that the producer's schedule was just too full, as he was still working on the upcoming Starz series American Gods, based on Neil Gaiman's beloved comic book and NBC's upcoming show Amazing Stories. During an interview with Newsweek, Bryan Fuller confirms that he wanted to focus his energy on American Gods, and he couldn't pull off what CBS needed for Star Trek: Discovery in that time frame. Here's what he had to say below.
"Ultimately, with my responsibilities [elsewhere], I could not do what CBS needed to have done in the time they needed it done for Star Trek. It felt like it was best for me to focus on landing the plane with American Gods and making sure that was delivered in as elegant and sophisticated a fashion as I could possibly do. It is bittersweet. But it was just a situation that couldn't be resolved otherwise... so I had to step away."
When Star Trek: Discovery was first announced, CBS was planning to debut a sneak preview of the show on the CBS network, before the Star Trek TV series moved to its regular home on the streaming service CBS All Access. The premiere date was pushed to May 2017 back in September, with the network revealing the shift was done so the producers can, "achieve a vision we can all be proud of," especially when it came to the show's special effects. Along with writing the first two episodes, Bryan Fuller mapped out an arc for the first 13-episode season, which CBS has stated it will follow. Even though he will retain an executive producer credit, Bryan Fuller revealed he will have no involvement in the show's production.
"I'm not involved in production, or postproduction, so I can only give them the material I've given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I'm curious to see what they do with it."
When asked if he may possibly return for the show's second season, if one is ordered, the writer-producer stated that he will "absolutely be there for them" if needed. This news comes just days after the first cast members were announced, with Michelle Yeoh playing Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Doug Jones playing Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species to the Star Trek universe and Anthony Rapp playing Lt. Stamets, an astromycologist, fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery. It remains to be seen when the next wave of cast members for Star Trek Discovery will be announced.