Few people have gotten to play in the Star Trek sandbox quite as often as Jonathan Frakes, who’s gone down as a bona fide legend of the long-running sci-fi franchise. As well as starring as Commander William Riker in 176 episodes of The Next Generation and going on to show up in Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and Picard, he also directed three of the four Trek movies he starred in.
Paramount may have been forced to publicly deny that they were giving up on feature length Star Trek adventures after rumors recently began spreading, but the Enterprise crew are very much on hiatus with the canonical Star Trek 4, Noah Hawley’s proposed reboot, Quentin Tarantino’s R-rated effort and a pitch from Wrath of Khan writer Robert Sallin currently on hold as the studio weighs up their options.
There’s very little chance that all four of those movies are going to end up getting made, of course, and in a recent interview, Frakes weighed in with his opinion, admitting that he thought the continuation of the Kelvin timeline would be the next one out of the blocks.
“Well, that’s probably the one that has the most hope of being made first because there’s already an audience. After Paramount shut down Star Trek for five years, J.J. relaunched it, and in my taste, very successfully. It captured the zeitgeist again. They spent a lot of f**king money so it was a big movie. His first one in particular was great. I wasn’t crazy about Idris Elba wearing a mask. And I love Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. And I love that cast, so my opinion is that that movie with J.J.’s cast is the one, if I were betting, that would be greenlit.”
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He also showed support for the projects in development with Tarantino and Hawley attached, respectively, saying he thinks the studio should move forward with them.
“I say greenlight the Tarantino and Noah Hawley, if you are lucky enough to get either of them. And if they are too busy to direct, I’ll be available.”
Having already headlined a trilogy, the crew first assembled by J.J. Abrams find themselves waiting for the call to return, and with the Kelvin movies raking in over $1.2 billion at the box office, they’ve already got the built-in audience appeal that none of the other projects can boast, even if the stars have no idea what the future holds. As such, it’d probably make the most sense to move forward with a fourth outing in the series first.
In any case, while Star Trek looks to be in good health on the small screen, it could be a while yet before Paramount firmly settles on which direction the next movie will be heading in.