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Justin Lin to direct Star Trek 3; here are 4 people who should direct Star Trek 4


For a franchise like Star Trek, it's never too early to start thinking about the future...

Justin Lin to direct 'Star Trek 3' (2016); here's a list of four people who should direct Star Trek 4

[N.B. This article started out as being about Star Trek 3, but then Justin Lin was announced as director before the article was published. Having directed four Fast and Furious films, including the terrific Fast Five, Justin Lin is a brilliant action director, who's bound to deliver on a blockbuster level, although the same could be said of basically any action movie he might work on.

The article follows, slightly reworked for Star Trek 4, seeing as Star Trek is a franchise with lots of potential to explore further, and Justin Lin is a highly sought-after director, who will probably go on to The Bourne Legacy 2 and then perhaps Fast and Furious sequels after finishing Star Trek 3. So this is probably the first article about who should direct Star Trek 4...]

Recently, Roberto Orci stepped down from directing Star Trek 3 (2016), which would have been his directorial debut. He's worked on the screenplays for all three rebooted Star Trek movies, and remains involved in Star Trek 3 as a producer.

The obvious question remained: who would direct Star Trek 3?

With Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) director J.J. Abrams busy directing the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII (2015), Justin Lin is stepping in to direct Star Trek 3, now set for July 8, 2016.

In any case, it has the potential to be a great film, with a talented action director in Justin Lin who can also do justice to the theme of 'found family', the main cast expected to return, J.J. Abrams still producing, and production designer Scott Chambliss returning from the first two films, as well as Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi, Tron: Legacy) coming aboard as cinematographer, which means that the film should look stunning.

Of course, it does mean that the fascinating directorial speculation for Star Trek 3 now has to focus on the presumably eventual Star Trek 4. So Shadowlocked has gone for 4 choices who could each bring something to the world of Star Trek.

Here they are, in no particular order, and with some of their more relevant directorial work in brackets. If one of your favourite examples of their work has been left out, it probably just means this writer hasn't seen it.

Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes)

Rupert Wyatt directing 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' (2011)

Reportedly Paramount's top choice to direct Star Trek 3 (though in the end Justin Lin was the only one offered the gig), Rupert Wyatt brought a fresh, dynamic sensibility to the prequel Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which worked even for those unfamiliar with the franchise. (And, as it turns out, even if you miss the beginning.)

The film's expert handling of make-up and performance-capture bodes well for the portrayal of humanoid aliens in the Star Trek universe (which one could argue the simians of Rise of the Planet of the Apes effectively count as).

Wyatt also got good dramatic performances out of his cast (especially Andy Serkis and Tom Felton), which is important for most films, and the terrifically recast Star Trek crew will give him lots of potential to work with in that regard.

Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, one shot of Star Trek Into Darkness)

Edgar Wright directing a shot of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' (2013)

[Mild spoilers for Star Trek Into Darkness follow]

Previously rumoured to be on the shortlist to direct following Orci's departure, Edgar Wright then did not appear on Paramount's list. However, he would nevertheless be a very fresh choice (with Abrams having paved the way for this with his energetic and accessible first two Star Trek reboot films).

Perhaps the most unconventional of the directors on this list, Edgar Wright brings an energy and wit to his films (even if Hot Fuzz could have been faster paced leading up to the terrifically over-blown, tongue-in-cheek finale).

Edgar Wright has worked closely with his friend Simon Pegg (who plays Scotty) on multiple occasions, so the two of them (plus their mutual friend and collaborator Nick Frost, who could still be cast in a supporting role that allows him to interact with Scotty) have a natural rapport.

A consummate fanboy of many different fandoms, Edgar Wright relished the chance to direct a shot in Star Trek: Into Darkness. It's a dynamic action sequence where Benedict Cumberbatch's character takes out a patrol of Klingons, showing off his superhuman abilities. It would be great fun to see Edgar Wright expand on this experience, as well as the stylised action of Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, and parts of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Reportedly, Edgar Wright's take on Marvel's Ant-Man, before he left the project, was very comic-book, so it would be wonderful to see him cut loose on another big blockbuster. Of course, it's possible that there could be a similar clash of his particular sensibilities with the existing Star Trek universe, but at the moment there's only one narrative thread of movies, so to speak, being made in the Star Trek universe, whereas Ant-Man has to be grounded in the context of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, which spans many different franchises.

Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, the Dollhouse episode 'Belonging', the Marvel's Agents of SHIELD episode 'The Well')

Star Trek actor-director Jonathan Frakes as William T. Riker

Jonathan Frakes has publicly announced his desire to direct Star Trek 3, and this kind of enthusiasm is an encouraging sign for a director. Having directed two Star Trek films previously (the acclaimed Star Trek: First Contact, and the underrated Star Trek: Insurrection), as well as having played Riker, Jonathan Frakes brings a lot of experience with the Star Trek franchise, meaning that the franchise would be in safe hands. Perhaps some of the other directors on this list might bring a fresher take, but Frakes is a great director with a knowledge of and respect for the franchise.

Jonathan Frakes has also worked with the genius that is Joss Whedon, directing the Marvel's Agents of SHIELD episode 'The Well' (which is very good), and the Dollhouse episode 'Belonging' (which is one of the show's best, most dramatically powerful episodes). Admittedly, a lot of the credit for 'Belonging' goes to writers Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, but it's also very well directed, in an understated yet visually impressive way which serves the story.

Billy Gierhart / Bill Gierhart (the Marvel's Agents of SHIELD episodes 'Repairs', 'Nothing Personal', and 'Ye Who Enter Here')

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD S1 E20, 'Nothing Personal', shows director Billy Gierhart's aptitude for making the team's plane The Bus feel like a spaceship

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD seems to perhaps be influenced in various ways by Star Trek (as well as influenced by Dollhouse, and Joss Whedon's other work), so one could make a case for any of the directors working on Star Trek (or writers—perhaps some of them could work on a Star Trek TV series someday, if they're not needed in the Whedonverse at that time). In fact, among the Marvel's Agents of SHIELD directors, both Jonathan Frakes (who appears earlier in the list) and Roxann Dawson have directed and acted in the Star Trek franchise.

However, for the purposes of this list, I've gone for Billy Gierhart, because he's the one whose episodes most represents the space of the team's plane, The Bus, as if it were a spaceship. 'Nothing Personal' and 'Ye Who Enter Here' are also brilliant, thrilling episodes. In addition, he's also directed multiple episodes of other quality shows, such as Sons of Anarchy, Torchwood, and The Walking Dead. He clearly has a great understanding of edge-of-your-seat storytelling.

So, Shadowlocked readers, who do you think should direct Star Trek 4, and why?


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#1 RE: Justin Lin to direct Star Trek 3; here are 4 people who should direct Star Trek 4 Phil 2015-01-16 00:08
So, would this mean that Roberto Orci is probably out of consideration for some future installment? If so, why?

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