New Film Fantastic Fungi Explores the Real Mycelial Network that Inspired Star Trek: Discovery

A new nature film out now features the real mycelial network and an appearance by the real Paul Stamets. Fantastic Fungi is a film by director Louie Schwartzberg, who is known for his time-lapse and nature films. Previous directorial credits include a series of Moving Art documentaries, the Disneynature film Wings of Life, and (serious Disnerds take note) “Soarin’ Around the World”, from the Disney California Adventure ride of the same name.

From the film’s description: “Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offers us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.”

The Hollywood Reporter calls the film “Eye opening eye candy.”

If any of that sounds familiar, it should! Star Trek: Discovery’s mycelial network and the character of astromycologist Lt. Paul Stamets were directly inspired by the real Stamets and his work in amateur mycology.

Fantastic Fungi is now showing in select screenings across the country and around the world. You can view the trailer and look for a screening near you on the Fantastic Fungi website.


This article was written for the podcast Daily Star Trek News.

Alison Pitt is the writer, producer, and host of Daily Star Trek News, on the Roddenberry Podcast Network. A veteran Star Trek podcaster, she started her career on the weekly show Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast in 2015. She has appeared on panels at Star Trek Las Vegas, WonderCon, and San Diego Comic Con.

Alison Pitt