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In Last Ditch Effort To Make The Film Franchise Relevant, 'Star Trek' Lets A Woman Take The Helm

By Tori Preston | Film | April 26, 2018 |

By Tori Preston | Film | April 26, 2018 |


Star Trek, as envisioned by creator Gene Roddenberry, was always progressive. Nichelle Nichols’s role as Uhura in the original series was a groundbreaking example for African American women in pop culture, and even led to one of the first interracial kisses on television. Star Trek, in all its iterations over the decades, has always demonstrated the importance of diversity. And now, nearly 40 years after the release of the first Star Trek film, there might just be a woman boldly taking over the director’s chair for the first time in the franchise’s film history.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount is eager to hire a female director for Star Trek 4, the next film in the rebooted continuity that stars sometime Best Chris (Pine) as Captain Kirk, alongside Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, and Karl Urban. And the woman they’re eyeing to take the helm is S.J. Clarkson, who has directed episodes of Jessica Jones and The Defenders alongside a laundry list of recognizable US and UK productions over the years.

As Hollywood is slowly but surely offering bigger opportunities to female directors, it’s appropriate that a franchise as forward-thinking as Star Trek would make it a point to do so as well. Plus, let’s be honest — as fun as the rebooted films have been, they haven’t exactly set the world on fire. 2009’s Star Trek offered a lens-flarey reimagining of the original characters that managed to be exciting and satisfying, even if it felt a bit paint-by-numbers. 2013’s Into Darkness was hamstrung by its own pointlessly convoluted (and whitewashed) take on the iconic Khan, while 2016’s Beyond finally seemed to find its footing as a classic adventure… except for the way it utterly wasted Idris Elba’s turn as the villain. What I’m saying is that the rebooted Star Trek franchise has a lot of potential, a fantastic cast, and a proven (if diminishing) box office track record, but there’s still room for it to grow. Now is the perfect time for Paramount to gamble on a fresh perspective behind the camera.

Though whether she’s talented enough to top the all-time best Star Trek movie director, Jonathan “Motherfuckin’ RIKER” Frakes, only time will tell.

Whatever, I love First Contact, shut up.

And, just to clarify, this has nothing to do with that reported Quentin Tarantino Star Trek project.

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Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.