When JJ Abrams left the Star Trek franchise to helm Star Wars VIII and he was replaced with Roberto Orci I was, to put it lightly, not filled with girlish glee. The new Star Trek movies had been hit and miss (Star Trek = hit, Into Darkness = miss) but they had retained a sense of style and professional execution. Star Trek 3 (Star Trek it Ralph? Star Trekking Ball?) would have been Orci’s first movie as a director and though I am a fan of some of his writing credits* (Fringe, Star Trek) I did not think he had the chops to pull off something to match the visual prowess of JJ Abrams before him.
And then Orci left the project and there was much rejoicing. So now we can begin wildly speculating upon his replacement and pray to whatever Gods that watch over us that neither Brett Ratner nor Michael Bay get the gig.
- Edgar Wright
As soon as the news of Orci’s departure broke Wright’s name was the first to get mentioned. Maybe it’s because awesome. Maybe it’s because he’s shown his chops with action (Cornetto Trilogy) and special effects (Scott Pilgrim). Maybe it’s because he seems like such a nice guy. And maybe, and more likely, it’s because we’d all cut off our own feet to see him direct another movie starring Simon Pegg (with Nick Frost as the head of Starfleet). Wright knows how to balance wild sci-fi concepts with human drama. I will always be in awe of how many times I am brought to the edge of tears in Shaun of the Dead, a movie that ostensibly supposed to be a romantic comedy (with zombies). His movies also usually deal with friendship during tough times and surely Spock and Kirk are the Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman of Starfleet. After the Ant Man fiasco Wright is owed a big, summer blockbuster to cement his position as one of cinema’s true geniuses. Now how’s that for a slice of fried gold!?
- Kathryn Bigelow
Bigelow’s last two movies, Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, are two of my favourite war films. Locker is claustrophobic and Thirty is vast, taking in years and years of action while Locker focuses on just a short time. I’ve chosen Bigelow for this list because I would like to see her take Trek into some darker territory. Have war break out between Earth and Klingon and have the Enterprise sent on guerrilla missions into enemy space. The claustrophobia of being on the bridge, hiding from the enemy would mix neatly with the sheer vastness of the battleground. Bigelow has shown a little love for genre pictures earlier in her career with Near Dark and Strange Days, and given the chance to make a war movie that has the potential to be fun might appeal to her after the past few years of making grim, relentless brilliance.
- Nicholas Meyer
Who’s that? I hear you cry. Shame on you. Meyer wrote the three best Star Trek films with the original crew and directed two of them. It is because of Meyer that there is the rule of even number Trek films being the good ones as he was responsible for The Undiscovered Country (6), The Voyage Home (4) and, the best ever Star Trek movies and one of the crown jewels of Sci Fi cinema, The Wrath of Kahn (2). If anyone has the experience and clout to make a good Star Trek movie it’s Meyer. Though the new Star Trek would be an odd number, however considering that so far the odd numbers are the good Star Trek movies it would make sense for Meyer to get involved now.
- Steven Spielberg
He can do action, pathos, humour, sentiment, special effects, ensemble work, and he’s a legend. A good old-fashioned Spielberg adventure movie would be amazing and something my life has been sorely lacking of late. As long as he kept his friend George Lucas away from the writing process, filming process, editing process, and, actually, just lock Lucas away at his ranch while the movie is being made and I’m sure it’ll be gravy. Spielberg isn’t afraid to get in close though and a Star Trek movie by him would be big on action but keep the little human stuff there as well, something that I think has been lacking from the new Star Trek movies, which was especially notable when Kirk died at the end of Into Darkness and I felt nothing at all, compared with the death of Spock in Wrath of Kahn, which is heart-breaking.
- Joe Cornish
Cornish only has one directing credit to his name, but when that credit is Attack the Block, one credit is all you need. Attack the Block is a piece of seminal urban, socially conscious sci-fi. It is fun and smart without being preachy and shows Cornish’s ease at juggling big set pieces with smaller, more intimate scenes, something which would match Star Trek’s style of its plots tending to be a metaphor for some sort of social injustice. Another reason for Cornish to get this gig is because I know a lot of people watched Attack the Block and thought, ‘That is my shit, what else has this dude done?’ and found that he hasn’t directed anything else. Cornish needs a big, name-establishing hit to put him in the big leagues so he can be putting out awesome films every couple of years and not worrying about scraping together budgets and having funding fall through. Cornish would make an awesome Star Trek movie and it would be the beginning of an awesome career.
*But not all of them, this is the man who wrote Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after all.
Feature Image: Star Trek: Into Darkness (Paramount Pictures)