Paramount Finds Buyer In Skydance, But What Does It Mean For Star Trek?

Details of the merger deal could be announced in the coming days.

paramount skydance star trek
Paramount Global / Skydance

The business of Star Trek news can't all be about the excitement of an upcoming new season, a huge character reveal, or an Oscar-winning lead. Sometimes, it's actually about business. If you've got even half a Ferengi's interest in the intricacies of high-stakes deals between multinational media conglomerates then this is the announcement for you! As reported today by David Faber of CNBC, after several months of negotiations, Paramount and Skydance Media have settled on a merger agreement. This deal could be great business for Star Trek, and more Star Trek content, moving forward.

'What else is new?' I hear you cry as you flick over to the next salmon pink page of the Financial Times. Our own Seán Ferrick already bravely reported on the possibility of a Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global merger back in December 2023. Not much of a Christmas present, I agree, and, naturally, those talks never went anywhere. We can hardly blame Seán for that, however. Warner Bros. stock took a tumble in February of this year, and so that was that, apparently. David Ellison, founder and CEO of Skydance Media, had put his hat in the ring to Paramount in January, too.

Since then, there's been more brouhaha than a Breen wedding over at Paramount. In April 2024, Paramount Global announced that its CEO, Bob Bakish, wasn't stepping back, but stepping down, to be "replaced by a trio of executives," according to CNBC. The talks with Skydance continued, but some major Paramount shareholders, such as Aspen Sky Trust, were extremely critical of the merger proposal, even going so far as to send a "cease and desist and pre-litigation letter" to President of National Amusements (majority voting interest in Paramount Global) Shari Redstone. There had also been other offers from Apollo Global Management and Sony Pictures.

Officially, according to the original CNBC piece, Paramount and Skydance have "agreed to terms of a merger," with a deal likely to be made public "in the coming days". Under the current terms of negotiation, as published by The Wall Street Journal, Skydance and RedBird Capital Partners are set to receive a two-third ownership of Paramount in the deal.

The point in all this for us, of course, is not (just) the latinum that they're raking in (though that will hopefully help), but the Star Trek that might come out of it. Skydance has been good to us Trekkies in the past, as the production company behind Star Trek: Into Darkness, and the far better of the two, Star Trek: Beyond. Star Trek 4 is also one of its 'upcomings'.

In general, the optics of this are better, no doubt, than the merger with Warner Bros. might have been. There, Star Trek could have easily got lost amongst a huge range of programming. Given Skydance's track record and vested interest in Star Trek, the outcome is surely more positive. Moreover, this is a deal that will hopefully see Paramount thrive and be able to put more money and time back into Trek. Who knows, this might place the likes of Star Trek: Legacy back on the table and provide space (pun intended) for more spin-offs, more seasons, and Long Treks. Now, that's business I have the lobes for!


Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.