‘Star Trek 3’: Will Jonathan Frakes Step In To Direct?

Star Trek 3 is set for 2016 release, but the film still needs a director. It was recently reported that the movie’s last director, Roberto Orci, abruptly departed. Now, reports are circulating that an actor-director long associated with the franchise may be tapped for the role.

Jonathan Frakes, best known as Commander William T. Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, has indicated he’s interested in the job. KOMO News spoke with Frakes, who was transparent about his ambitions — noting he’d even put in a formal inquiry on the director’s chair.

“I say, unabashedly, I’d be great at it and would love to do it.”

Frakes has personally reached out to Star Trek producer J.J. Abrams, who directed the first two films of the Trek reboot. Frakes also had his agent contact Paramount Pictures, which is making the film.

The idea is not so far-fetched. Frakes has a substantial resume as a television and movie director, including two Star Trek films that featured the Next Generation cast, Insurrection(1998) and First Contact (1996). He also directed several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine.

Empire notes that despite Frakes’ credentials, Paramount might not be receptive to his participation, because of the notional step backward for the franchise. Other names such as Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish have also been mentioned.

Roberto Orci confirmed on the TrekMovie.com fan discussion that although he will not direct Star Trek 3, he will stay on as producer and writer, according toIGN. Orci had participated in the first two Star Trek reboot films, but this would have been his first time directing.

Orci also gave a bit of a plot spoiler, by saying “no time travel was ever considered, fyi,” a reference to rumors that a plot line would allow Chris Pine, Captain Kirk in the franchise reboot, and William Shatner, Captain Kirk in the original series, to somehow meet.

On a recent commercial shoot, William Shatner did say there had been talk of his possible participation in Star Trek 3.

Throwing a wrench into the entire director debate for Star Trek 3 was Entertainment Weekly‘s Darren Franich, who picked up on a fan comment that maybe a new Star Trek movie is not even necessary. Franich instead suggests Star Trek go back to the small screen, where its storylines and character arcs seem to fit.

“Now let’s also say, for the sake of argument, that the new 2016 Star Trek would be a ten-episode season, Game of Thrones-style, with maybe a special ‘bonus’ 90-minute episode that airs six months later, Doctor Who-style. Now let’s say for the final argument that The Powers That Be at Paramount decide to turn this new Star Trek into an anthology drama, like True Detective or American Horror Story, with the implication being that every ‘season’ will tell a complete story.”

In the meantime, Star Trek 3 is still looking for a director, and Jonathan Frakes is promoting the hashtag #BringInRiker.

[Images: startrekblog.wordpress.com and Peter Becher / Star Continuum Via Los Angeles Times]