Paramount Pictures and CBS Studios have filed a copyright infringement complaint against Axanar, an independently produced Star Trek prequel film that has been a major success on crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo, where it has raised more than $1 million.
The lawsuit, obtained by EW, states that Axanar infringes “[Paramount and CBS’ works] by using innumerable copyrighted elements of Star Trek, including its settings, characters, species, and themes.” As a result, the two companies are seeking $150,000 in damages “for each separate Star Trek Copyrighted Work infringed.”
According to Axanar’s website, the film is scheduled to begin shooting in January. Although the filmmakers Alec Peters and Robert Burnett have not released a full statement yet, Peters did briefly address the lawsuit on the film’s official Facebook page.
“Well, it appears CBS knows that Axanar is exactly what fans want, because they are trying to shut us down!” he wrote. “While Team Axanar will have a response shortly, know this DOES NOT deter us from what we are doing! Delivering to fans exactly what you want.”
The movie — called “the first fully-professional, independent Star Trek film” on its Indiegogo page — is set to focus on Garth of Izar, a hero of Captain Kirk’s, as he and his crew struggle through the Four Years War against the Klingon Empire. Read more about Axanar at the project’s website.