Star Trek 4 Has Hired A Female Director, A First For The Movie Franchise

Chris Pine as James Kirk in Star Trek Beyond

Although 2016's Star Trek Beyond was met with a lot of positive reviews, it underperformed commercially. Around the time Beyond came out, an official plot tease for Star Trek 4, but since then it had been unclear if that project was still in development, especially with the news that Quentin Tarantino has pitched his own Star Trek movie. However, it looks like a direct follow-up to Beyond is indeed still in the works, and Paramount Pictures is eyeing S.J. Clarkson to direct the movie, which would make her the first woman to direct a Star Trek movie.

Following in the footsteps of J.J. Abrams and Justin Lin, Variety reports that S.J. Clarkson has been tapped to board the Star Trek reboot film series as the still-untitled Star Trek 4's director. She would be working off a script that was written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Although Star Trek 4 would mark Clarkson's theatrical debut behind the camera, she has plenty of experience in television, having episodes of Life on Mars, Heroes, Dexter, Jessica Jones, The Defenders, Collateral and many more.

It was revealed yesterday at CinemaCon that Paramount is developing two separate Star Trek movies, so to clarify, the S.J. Clarkson-helmed Star Trek 4 would follow the Enterprise crew in the Kelvin timeline for a fourth time, i.e. Chris Pine's James Kirk, Zachary Quinto's Spock, the list goes on. Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek movie is presumably the other movie that's in the works, but that's reportedly still being written, so it would be released after Star Trek 4. So far the only details we've learned about Star Trek 4 is that it will see Kirk crossing paths with his father, George Kirk, played by Chris Hemsworth. George died at the beginning of the 2009 Star Trek movie minutes after James was born, so their meeting in the next movie would supposedly be accomplished through time travel.

The fact that the Star Trek film series is now diverging into two paths is an interesting move on Paramount's part, but if you've been enjoying the adventures of the alternate Enterprise crew, you can now look forward to them starring in at least one more tale. S.J. Clarkson's hiring is also a huge milestone for this franchise. There have been numerous women who've directed episodes of the various Star Trek TV shows, and with Clarkson set to oversee Star Trek 4, the film side of the franchise is finally boldly going where the previous movies have never gone before in this regard.

We here at CinemaBlend will keep you updated on how Star Trek 4 is progressing as more news comes in. For now, you can look through our 2018 release schedule to find out what movies are coming out this year, and you can also check out Star Trek: Discovery, which streams on CBS All Access and has been renewed for a second season.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.