With J.J. Abrams about to become very, very busy in the Star Wars universe, it’s extremely unlikely that he’ll be able to direct the inevitable Star Trek 3. He’ll have plenty on his plate trying to get Star Wars: Episode VII done by its loose 2015/2016 release window, and that would be doubly difficult if the rumors that Trek 3 could come out in 2016 to celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary. So, if J.J. is out, who should be in? Once Star Trek Into Darkness has come and gone, and people begin looking ahead to Trek 3 in earnest, you can expect lots of rumors, but one director is already thinking about the project: Bryan Singer.
Unlike Abrams, Singer is a long-time Star Trek fan (Abrams was always more of a Star Wars guy), and the guy even had a cameo appearance in Star Trek: Nemesis, a film that he otherwise had no connection to. Singer seems like a good match to take over the relaunched Star Trek universe, so it’s probably a given that he’d jump at the chance. IGN recently posed the question:
IGN: You’re a big Star Trek fan. Now that J.J. Abrams is, not stepping away entirely, but moving on to other things, is that a franchise you’d like to take on?
Singer: I don’t know. Even though Matthew Vaughn directed X-Men: First Class, I produced it, I wrote the story, I was involved in the casting and the design of the movie itself, so I don’t feel like I’m taking on someone else’s franchise. I’m jumping back into my own. Particularly with this movie [X-Men: Days of Future Past], because it involves the old cast as well. It’s a very different thing jumping into someone else’s franchise, someone else’s cast. It was very tough when Brett Ratner did it with mine, you know. And you’re held up, particularly if it’s something that people really like what the originator did, you’re held to a very, very tough standard when you’re jumping into somebody else’s franchise. It’s a very scary thing to do cause’ they’re waiting to judge you. And sometimes it works like Aliens.
IGN: Right, which was both amazing and really a whole new/its own thing.
Singer: Right because that was a very different thing. Alien was a science-fiction masterpiece horror film that Ridley Scott made and Jim [Cameron] just did an action film. But a sequel to a character charged Star Trek…I’m friends with some of the cast and I was on the set recently. I’m friends with J.J. [Abrams] and so I was on the set visiting, which was really cool and it looks really awesome. They’re really great people. Chris Pine is lovely and I’m friends with Zack [Quinto] and they’re all great. That would be the most fun part, to work with those people and to work with the lore that I love. I just…I’m like, the pressure of doing it would freak me out. Or might freak me out. That being said, if someone presented a story and a structure and the original director was supporting you, really supporting you and producing with you and behind you then maybe it would be a great experience.
Singer has had a bit of a love/hate relationship with fans since his X-Men film in 2000. For the most part, he got Marvel’s mutants right, and his sequel improved on the original in every way. Unfortunately, he then bailed on the franchise to make the thoroughly mediocre Superman Returns, which left X3 in the incapable hands of Brett Ratner. Thankfully he’s now working on X-Men: Days of Future Past, which looks both to unite the early X-Men films with the X-Men: First Class timeline, as well as fixing some of the mess Ratner left the franchise in.
Lingering fanboy bitterness aside, Singer could be a great choice to helm Trek 3. He loves the franchise, he’s proven he can work well with pre-existing universes and characters, and his X-Men movies made excellent use of a large cast, something key to any successful Trek outing.
What say you? Should Singer direct Star Trek 3?