Star Trek has always been a bastion of progressive ideas. From one of the first ever interracial kisses on prime-time TV to the gender-fluid Trills, the series has maintained its forward-thinking reputation for over 50 years. In front of the camera. Behind the camera, the production of Star Trek has often skewed white and almost always skewed male. Until now. After 13 movies with a male director, Variety has announced that S.J. Clarkson, director of the film Toast, will be helming the yet-to-be-named fourth Star Trek film.
In the 52 years of Star Trek, only five women have directed an episode of the series. Kim Friedman (LA Law) and Allison Liddi-Brown (Friday Night Lights) directed multiple episodes of DS9 and Voyager, while stage veteran Nancy Malone directed a couple episodes of the latter series. And in a long, long history of cast members taking the director’s chair, only two women have done so. Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher) directed an episode of TNG, while Roxann Dawson (Lt. B’ellana Torres) directed episodes of both her own show Voyager and network sister Enterprise.
Clarkson is a British director with a long career in television, with long tenures on soaps like Doctors and EastEnders. Stateside, she’s worked on Orange Is The New Black, Dexter, and House. Star Trek won’t even be her first foray into the world of nerd-dom, as she has two episodes of Jessica Jones and two more of The Defenders under her belt. Her only big screen work was on Toast, a 2011 biopic of British food-writer Nigel Slater.
The untitled film, which will release before whatever schlock JJ Abrams and Tarantino shit out, will be the fourth in the franchise and bring Chris Hemsworth back into the franchise as George Kirk. The elder Kirk will meet his son James (Chris Pine) through time-travel shenanigans. Zachary Quinto as Spock has also been confirmed for a return.
The script was penned by Star Trek: Beyond writers J.D Payne and Patrick McKay and will be produced by JJ Abrams’s Bad Robot Productions. There is no release date set for the film, which is still in pre-production.