Jonathan Frakes is interested in directing Star Trek 4.
Jonathan Frakes has more than proven that he has what it takes to direct quality Star Trek content like Picard Season 3, so maybe he could be the perfect solution to Paramount’s Star Trek 4 conundrum. The long-delayed movie has been scrambling for a director for years, and Frakes has made it known that he’s interested in stepping up to take on the job. In a recent interview, Frakes said, “I did write an email to J.J. [Abrams] and said, ‘If you need an experienced old white guy, I’m available,'” to which Abrams replied, “‘Well, you certainly are experienced'” (via Looper).
Despite this, Jonathan Frakes doesn’t have high hopes that Paramount will ever hire him for Star Trek 4. In a different interview, he was asked if Abrams ever responded beyond that initial exchange, to which Frakes replied, “Well no, that’s not going to happen.” Hopefully, Frakes is wrong about that because it’s hard to think of too many people who could pull it together better than someone who has been acting and directing in the franchise since the late 80s.
Jonathan Frakes has directed numerous episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Discovery, and most recently, the pitch-perfect third season of Picard. His motion picture directorial debut was Star Trek: First Contact, which is fairly beloved by fans. He’s even directed episodes of the Trek-inspired comedy The Orville, so there’s no reason he wouldn’t be able to take on Star Trek 4.
If all of those accolades aren’t enough to get Jonathan Frakes at least in the negotiating room for Star Trek 4, it’s no wonder Paramount is dragging its feet on this movie. Clearly, there’s not a unified vision for what the fourth film in the Kelvin timeline should be. This is evidenced by the fact that it has undergone so many changes with directors and screenwriters.
Put simply, Jonathan Frakes knows the Trek franchise inside and out, so Star Trek 4 wouldn’t be an issue for him to take on. Since the development of the film was announced in 2016, names like Quinten Tarantino, Noah Hawley, S.J. Clarkson, and Matt Shakman have all been attached to direct in some capacity. Shakman was the most recent name attached, and he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
So, now Paramount is back to looking for a director, and stars like Chris Pine have yet to even see a script, which has undergone multiple rewrites. Most recently, Josh Friedman and Cameron Squires were reported to be re-writing the script. While the project is seemingly sitting in the void, it wouldn’t hurt to just bring Jonathan Frakes in and see his ideas for Star Trek 4.
But, as Jonathan Frakes said, it doesn’t seem like they’re going to be bringing him in for Star Trek 4, so we’ll have to keep sitting on our hands while we wait to hear more about the long-gestating film. Fortunately, we’ll get to see more of Frakes’ directorial prowess when he directs the upcoming Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks crossover that will be part of the second season of Strange New Worlds. For now, the future of Trek seemingly lies in TV, so make sure to check out the season premiere of Strange New Worlds on June 15.