It turns out there's a limit to how far studios are willing to let fan fiction creators go with their intellectual property. And that limit is an independent movie with a $1 million-plus budget.
At least, that seems to be the case with “Axanar,” which touted itself as the “first fully-professional, independent 'Star Trek' film” and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through crowdfunding. Paramount and CBS have allowed “Star Trek”-based fan productions in the past — including ones that use characters from the series, sometimes portrayed by the same actors — but none with the kind of budget and ambition of “Axanar.” Also, there's a little matter of an upcoming “Star Trek” film and that new TV series.
The lawsuit (which The Hollywood Reporter uploaded here) asks for damages and an injunction preventing the “Axanar” team from producing and distributing the film. “Axanar” executive producer (and star) Alec Peters seemed confident that CBS wouldn't pursue legal action against the production back in August, even though CBS told The Wrap that “we continue to object to professional commercial ventures trading off our property rights and are considering further options to protect these rights.”
For it's worth at this point, “Axanar” was supposed to tell the story of Garth of Izar, a Starfleet captain who Kirk idolized until the episode “Whom Gods Destroy” when things went terribly wrong for everyone.