Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes Shares Blunt Thoughts On Why Franchise's Future Is Through TV Instead Of Movies

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is just around the corner, and it will reunite an ensemble cast that has shared both a show and films together. Few actors can speak on Trek in film and television as competently as Jonathan Frakes, as he's worked as both an actor and director within the Star Trek universe. As such, it may be surprising to hear he has pretty blunt thoughts on the franchise's future and how it is squarely rooted in television. 

Jonathan Frakes recently spoke about Star Trek: Picard Season 3, as well as the state of the franchise and efforts to make another movie happen with SFX Magazine. Frakes, who has directed multiple episodes of Star Trek as well as the feature films First Contact and Insurrection, talked about the woes of making Star Trek 4 and how it shows him that TV is the future (via Slashfilm): 

Movies are tough! Even JJ [Abrams] can't get this fourth movie off the ground. All those wonderful rumors? Noah Hawley was attached to a 'Star Trek' movie, and Quentin was toying with people's emotions about doing a movie. If those two names can't get a fucking movie made, I don't know. TV is the future, it seems to me.

It may sound a little shady of him to say, but Jonathan Frakes is only stating the facts. While Noah Hawley was attached to direct Star Trek 4 it never got off the ground, and Quentin Tarantino's truly off-the-wall pitch for a movie seemingly didn't wow Paramount's decision-makers. It's 2023, and it still doesn't seem like we're any closer to seeing Star Trek 4

Jonathan Frakes Gets Real About Star Trek: Lower Decks

Meanwhile, there are plenty of upcoming Star Trek shows on the horizon and the 2023 TV schedule for anyone with a Paramount+ subscription to enjoy. There are even shows in development to replace current ones, like Picard, which is believed to be ending this year. For now, television is keeping the franchise active in the pop culture space, and the movie side has grown stagnant.

Jonathan Frakes has a valid point in alleging the future of Star Trek is with television, but that doesn't mean he's against lending a hand on the film side if asked. In fact, Frakes told he wrote J.J. Abrams to express his interest in directing Star Trek 4, though added he didn't expect to be seriously considered for the job.

While he likely won't be directing the next Star Trek movie, Jonathan Frakes will return to play Riker in Season 3 of Picard. Frakes will also direct Episodes 3 and 4 of the Paramount+ series, which means he directed scenes with some of his beloved former co-stars of The Next Generation. The upcoming season should be a treat to fans, both new and old, and thankfully, we only have to wait a bit longer to find out. 

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres on Paramount+ on Thursday, February 16. Tune in for what might be the final adventure for The Next Generation crew, and see if they can escape their latest adventure unscathed. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.