‘Star Trek 4’ Hires The Franchise’s First Female Director

The quest for diversity and representation in Hollywood just scored a win. When it comes to blockbuster filmmaking, it’s been all but exclusively an all boys club. That’s about to change. While a lot of the recent “Star Trek” conversations have been around Quentin Tarantino potentially working on a franchise installment, something else has come to light. That movie wouldn’t be in the current series timeline, so a “Star Trek 4” filmmaker was still required. Well, it seems like Paramount has decided upon who should sit in the big chair. Historically, it’s not a he that they’ve settled on, but a she.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, longtime television filmmaker S.J. Clarkson is in deep negotiations to helm the next sequel. With tons of credits, ranging from “Dexter” to “Heroes” to “Jessica Jones,” Clarkson is more than up to the task. Under the radar, she’s been one of the best TV directors out there. Now, she’ll be tasked with a third “Star Trek” sequel. A script has already been written by Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne. No word on a potential plot as of yet.

Here’s what they had to say:

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Paramount is deep in the hunt for a female director, a mandate that comes from the top, including producer J.J. Abrams, to helm Star Trek 4, the new installment of the rebooted film series that stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.

S.J. Clarkson, the woman who directed the pilot for Netflix’s acclaimed Marvel-based series Jessica Jones, is in talks to helm the pic.

When reached by THR, Paramount had no comment.

Star Trek 4 has a script from J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay and would continue the film series that was rebooted by Abrams with 2009’s Star Trek.

Paramount is also developing a separate Star Trek movie that Quentin Tarantino would direct. The latter is understood to be set in a separate timeline.

Also, as pointed out by The Playlist, the THR piece also mentions that a trio of female filmmakers are being mentioned for the “Black Widow” spinoff. That’s particularly interesting, considering how slow moving that particular film’s development has been by Marvel.

Here’s that part:

Hiring women directors has become an actionable priority for studios in recent months, and results are starting to be seen as more female filmmakers are getting hired for franchise projects. Ava DuVernay is now developing a movie based on DC Comics’ The New Gods for Warner Bros., while indie filmmaker Cathy Yan last week was hired to helm a pic based on DC anti-heroine Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey comic book characters. Marvel Studios has been looking for a director to break its glass ceiling with Black Widow and has been meeting with filmmakers such as Deniz Gamze Erguven (the Turkish movie Mustang), Chloe Zhao (The Rider) and Amma Asante (A United Kingdom), among several others. That search is still ongoing, according to sources.

Chloe Zhao would be an inspired choice for “Black Widow,” if that comes to pass. For now, we have Clarkson on “Star Trek 4,” Tarantino hovering around a different “Star Trek” film, and the franchise overall is alive and well.

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