The fact that former Star Trek actor Jonathan Frakes has said he wants to direct the next Star Trek film is going to be laughed off as one of those “Ha ha, b-list celebrities sure are wacky” stories.
You can already see that in how it’s being reported. The Hollywood Reporter’s headline for the story was “Commander Riker Wants To Direct Star Trek 3.”
“I’m all over it. I’m all over it,” Frakes said. “I would love that job. I say, unabashedly, I’d be great at it and would love to do it.”
But it’s not that wacky. As the story also points out, in addition to playing Riker, Frakes has already directed two Star Trek movies, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection, plus a ton of TV shows. Yes, that does include many episodes of Star Trek. Frakes directed “Darmok,” an episode many rank as one of the best Star Trek: TheNext Generation episodes.
Okay, so his previous Star Trek movies aren’t exactly regarded as the best of the franchise. But strange politics swirled around the franchise at that time at Paramount, and I’d like to see what Frakes can do with all of that out of the way.
Mainly, however, as a Star Trek fan I feel that the franchise lost its way under J.J. Abrams. Abram’s original Star Trek may have pleased the matinee crowds, but this Star Trek fan died a little inside at how it misunderstood some of the characters. That was nothing, however, compared to the tragedy that was Star Trek: Into Darkness, where Star Trek abandoned all logic and reason for noise and nonsense.
Could Frakes, a product of Star Trek history, right this floundering ship with a synthesis of the old and new? I know I don’t have half a billion dollars on the line like the studios do, but I say give him a chance.
“I’m trying to keep the lid on how excited I am about the possibility, knowing it’s such a long shot,” Frakes said. “but there’s nothing I would like better.”