Thursday, April 26, 2018

Two Star Trek Movies in Works; Director Chosen

This week is CinemaCon in Las Vegas where the movie studios show off their upcoming projects for theater chains, merchandisers and more to help gain their support for their summer and later slate of movies. As part of their presentation Paramount revealed that "several new Star Trek movies" are in the works. Shortly after several was defined as "two" films. The next day it was then revealed that S.J. Clarkson is being tapped to direct the next Star Trek film. Clarkson's current credits are exclusively in the realm of television with turns directing episodes of Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black. The Defenders and many more. More then likely the two films is the Quentin Tarantino version and alternate plan with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) reprising his role of George Kirk if the Tarantino treatment falls through.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount has not officially confirmed the directing choice but the decision to tap the first ever female director of a Star Trek film was "a mandate that comes from the top, including producer J.J. Abrams." The various studios have been trying to get more female talent in the director's seat in light of the "#MeToo" movement. Her TV work seems fine but is almost exclusively drama related with little to no special effects work.

Normally I wouldn't be concerned as nothing like learning on the job but the last film I saw from a director with heavy drama experience but little special effects experience was the debacle of A Wrinkle in Time with a directing job by Ava DuVernay that can only be described as incompetent. Your average direct to video or YouTube production do a better job. She clearly couldn't figure out the green screen and compensated with a high reliance on close-ups and failed at getting necessary coverage (definition) to balance out the excessive close-ups. Her reward for such blatant incompetence and a world wide box office total of $125 million on $100 million+ production was to get hired to direct the green screen heavy "New Gods" film for DC Comics. Under normal circumstances such failure would have sidelined her from directing big budget films for a while. Other examples of bad matches include the Star Wars films with three (male) directors essentially being fired as their drama (or comedy) rich directing backgrounds did not translate into being able to handle big budget special effects driven tent pole films.

A Wrinkle in Time was supposed to start a new franchise. Instead its deader then a door nail. Star Wars could afford those mistakes and absorbed the cost of essentially starting over three times. Star Trek cannot. The simple fact is Star Trek's box office isn't strong enough to survive a single bad director, male or female. Even with "A-list" male directors of JJ Abrams and Justin Lin behind the last three films, the box office results were just barely strong enough to warrant another film. One misstep and the movie franchise will be sidelined yet again. I just hope that Clarkson's strong drama directing instincts also translate to directing heavy special effects scenes with much more skill then DuVernay's did. Star Trek's future depends on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment