Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I ascribe a lot of credibility to Stewart’s statement. First, he seems to have said it to two reputable sources, and he was very positive and very definite about it. It also has the smell of credibility because I believe Stewart genuinely wants to make another Star Trek picture. His protestations about playing Picard again seemed like a reaction to Paramount’s evaluation of Nemesis at the box office, and probably to how he and the cast were treated. There was trouble brewing even before the picture hit the theatres, with Paramount’s surprise “A generation’s final journey begins” tag line.

And in the many months since, Stewart has spoken with affection for Star Trek and particularly his fellow cast members. He mentioned bursting into tears while rehearsing his final “farewell” scene with Jonathan Frakes as Riker, in Nemesis, and much later, crying uncontrollably when he channel surfed into a showing of Nemesis on television, because he missed his friends and their work together.

Contrary to the suggestion by some cynical fans, he wouldn’t be doing it so much for the money---or even for Star Trek---but to work with these dear friends again, in the world they created together. (Anybody who thinks Patrick Stewart works only for money might consider the 16 months he’s devoting to doing nothing much but acting for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s amazing series of the entire Shakespeare canon of plays.)

Bryan Singer’s expression of interest in directing a Trek movie, on the other hand, should be taken with a grain of salt. It could be interpreted as simply his own fantasy, and nothing new at that. Like any Trek fan, he has ideas of what he’d do with the next movie. But on the other hand it could be more than that, in which case, keep that salt to put on the popcorn.

Even though it may have been a purely speculative remark to a fan, this has to be taken a bit more seriously because of Singer’s relationship with Stewart (after Singer directed Stewart in the second X-Men film, Stewart got him a bit part in Nemesis---which Singer points out was on the Enterprise bridge during a battle---the kind of thing a fan would point out.)

But even if there’s not much chance of Singer actually making a Trek film, his interest could very well send a message to Paramount: hey, this A List director of franchise films is interested in making a Trek movie. Maybe it’s worth doing. Maybe other A List directors would be interested.

For instance, the one you just got under contract.

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