Riker actor Jonathan Frakes opens up about reaching out to J.J. Abrams with an offer to direct Star Trek 4 amid the film’s development delays.
With the sequel experiencing a variety of delays, Riker actor Jonathan Frakes says he reached out to J.J. Abrams about directing Star Trek 4. Frakes has a storied history with the Star Trek franchise, beginning his tenure with Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987. Frakes also went on to make appearances in several other franchise shows, including Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and most recently, Star Trek: Picard. During his time with the series, Frakes also acted in several Star Trek films, such as Generations, First Contact, and Insurrection, even serving as director for two of the movies.
In a recent interview with TrekMovie, Frakes was asked about Paramount’s open schedule following the removal of the J.J. Abrams’ produced Star Trek 4. Frakes then revealed that he reached out to Abrams about potentially directing the next Star Trek movie and regaled his love for the franchise, but noted the unlikelihood of his landing the job. Check out Frakes’ comments about potentially directing Abrams’ Star Trek 4 below:
“I actually wrote to J.J. to say “If you need an experienced guy to take over Star Trek 4, I’m available.” [laughs] He said, “You are certainly experienced.”
“Why wouldn’t I? It changed my life, this job. Both of my alleged careers have been blessed by having been part of this Star Trek family starting 35 years ago.”
“Well, no, that’s not going to happen.”
Frakes’ Directing History With Star Trek
Frakes has a long history of directing within the Star Trek franchise. His first directing job ever was helming an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, with him going on to direct another seven episodes of the show. He also directed episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. More recently, Frakes has directed seven episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and six episodes of Star Trek: Picard.
Unlike many other TV directors, Frakes has also been able to helm for the big screen, having been behind the camera for 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact and 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection. He has even ventured into the video game realm, directing 1996’s Star Trek: Klingon, a game that featured full motion video segments. Furthermore, Frakes even ventured outside the long-running franchise to direct episodes of Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, which is a series heavily inspired by Star Trek.
Will Star Trek 4 Ever Happen?
Following three well-received movies, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek 4 has encountered a number of hurdles trying to get off the ground, including multiple scrapped stories and a revolving door of directors, the most recent being that of WandaVision’s Matt Shakman, who departed to head back to Marvel for Fantastic Four. While the latest departure left many feeling doubtful about the sequel’s chances, especially as it was pulled from Paramount’s release calendar, the studio reportedly still consider it a top priority and are searching for a new director, indicating that they remain confident in Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet’s script. Given they have encountered a difficult path to get the project off the ground, one could argue Riker actor Jonathan Frakes’ ongoing involvement in the franchise could make him the best pick to helm the long-delayed Star Trek 4.
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