Star Trek Franchise
The Star Trek film series is the cinematic branch of the Star Trek media franchise, which began in 1966 as a weekly television series on NBC, running for three seasons until it was canceled in 1969 because of poor ratings. Reruns of the series proved to be wildly successful in syndication during the 1970s, which persuaded the series’ then-owner, Paramount Pictures, to expand the franchise.
Paramount originally began work on a Star Trek feature film in 1975 after lobbying by the creator of the franchise, Gene Roddenberry. The studio scrapped the project two years later in favor of creating a television series, Star Trek: Phase II, with the original cast. However, following the huge success of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Paramount changed its mind again, halting production on the television series and adapting its pilot episode into the 1979 Star Trek feature film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Five more films featuring the entire original cast followed. The cast of the 1987–1994 spin-off series Star Trek: The Next Generation starred in a further four films. After a 7-year hiatus, a new film was released in 2009, simply titled Star Trek, serving as a reboot to the franchise with a new cast portraying younger versions of the original series’ characters. A sequel to Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness, was released in theaters in May 2013. A second sequel, Star Trek Beyond, will be released in July 2016, which will be on the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
The Star Trek films have received 15 Academy Award nominations. Star Trek (2009) won for Best Makeup and Hairstyling in 2010, and four of the previous films were nominated mainly in the areas of makeup, music, set design and sound design.
The early Star Trek films, the first to tenth film, were originally released on VHS; competitive pricing of The Wrath of Khan’s videocassette helped bolster the adoption of VHS players in households. Later films were also released on LaserDisc as well. For those films that did not receive an initial DVD release, Paramount released simple one-disc versions with no special features. Later, the first ten films were released in two-disc collector’s versions, with The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan branded as “director’s cuts”, followed by later box set releases. All of the films are now available on Blu-ray, digital download, streaming media and video on demand.
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