Jonathan Frakes Offers 'Star Trek' Directing Advice to Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino is still set to direct a R-rated Star Trek movie, as bizarre of a notion as that is. For a series that's normally optimistic, the franchise is swinging back into Deep Space Nine territory between this and the heavier elements currently in Star Trek: Discovery.
The news caught a lot of attention from fans when it came out, as well as several actors who used to wear Starfleet uniforms. Not least of which is Jonathan Frakes, who played the brash, bearded, trombone-playing Will Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Frakes is also a veteran director, having directed both Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection, as well as episodes of Discovery and Seth MacFarlane's pseudo-Trek show The Orville. Regardless of how beloved Insurrection may be, Frakes is a great person to speak to if you're directing a Star Trek movie, and he offered the following advice to Tarantino while speaking to Inverse:
It's short, but frankly, it's good advice. The world of Star Trek was always meant to be a window into a better future, where humanity is united in a post-scarcity utopia. It's why Star Trek is heavy on philosophy and moral quandaries, with many episodes ending with Kirk or Picard passionately talking to the villain instead of blowing them up. It's what separates Star Trek from the more explosion-happy Star Wars saga.
This isn't to say that Tarantino movies don't have heart, it's just that Tarantino's movies contain a strictly angry sort of passion - that's what happens when your specialties are revenge fantasies (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) and crime dramas (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs). Unless audiences want more moments like the Star Trek Into Darkness scene where Spock beats the long life and prosperity out of Khan, Tarantino might have to tap into a less angry part of himself, should that exist.
If you want to hear from a Star Trek actor who's more explicitly excited about Tarantino's upcoming movie, Riker's captain was more upbeat: Patrick Stewart is very excited about this movie, and even offered to reprise his role of Jean-Luc Picard in it.
It's important to clarify that Frakes isn't slamming the idea of an R-rated Star Trek movie, as he's said before that he's fascinated by the idea. Speaking to Rotten Tomatoes around the time the first announcement was made, he recalled talking to J.J. Abrams - who's producing the new R-rated movie with Tarantino - about how he wanted to get involved:
There's no word on when this movie is coming out, or whether it has room for folks like Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes - since Abrams is involved, there's a chance the film could be connected to the new movies like Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond.
So again, here's hoping Spock doesn't beat anybody up in the new movie.