Bryan Singer: Directing Star Trek Could Be ‘Great Experience’

With JJ Abrams set to direct the next Star Wars movie, it now seems possible (perhaps probable) that a new director will be brought in to direct the follow-up film to Star Trek Into Darkness. One director who appears to be open to the idea of jumping into Trek is Byran Singer. More on that below, plus Entertainment Weekly offers suggestions for Trek’s next helmer.  



Bryan Singer Open To Directing Next Star Trek

X-Men and Superman Returns director Bryan Singer is a fan of Star Trek and was even involved in a possible pitch for a Star Trek series which was shelved once it was announced JJ Abrams had taken on the task of rebooting Star Trek. Now that there is talk of a Star Trek movie for 2016 and with JJ Abrams set to direct the next Star Wars movie due in 2015 many are assuming that Abrams (while returning to produce) will not be in the director’s chair for the next Trek.

And so when IGN was recently speaking to director Bryan Singer they brought up the issue of Trek. Singer is no stranger to jumping in and out of franchises. After directing the first two X-Men movies Singer left the franchise leaving Brett Ratner to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, and now Singer is back directing X-Men: Days of Future Past, the follow-up to Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class (which Singer produced).

Speaking to IGN, Singer talked about the notion of directing the next Star Trek, contrasting it with his experience with X-Men, saying…

It’s a very different thing jumping into someone else’s franchise, someone else’s cast. It was very tough when Brett Ratner did it with mine, you know. And you’re held up, particularly if it’s something that people really like what the originator did, you’re held to a very, very tough standard when you’re jumping into somebody else’s franchise. It’s a very scary thing to do cause’ they’re waiting to judge you.

But a sequel to a character charged Star Trek…I’m friends with some of the cast and I was on the set recently. I’m friends with J.J. [Abrams] and so I was on the set visiting, which was really cool and it looks really awesome. They’re really great people. Chris Pine is lovely and I’m friends with Zack [Quinto] and they’re all great. That would be the most fun part, to work with those people and to work with the lore that I love. I just…I’m like, the pressure of doing it would freak me out. Or might freak me out. That being said, if someone presented a story and a structure and the original director was supporting you, really supporting you and producing with you and behind you then maybe it would be a great experience.

Bryan Singer’s cameo in "Star Trek: Nemesis" – now says directing Star Trek could be a "great experience"

EW Contemplates Possible Star Trek Directors

Producer Bryan Burk’s recent comments that the next Star Trek could arrive in 2016 (which would likely be too soon after Star Wars Episode VII for Abrams to direct) also prompted Entertainment Weekly to start thinking about new directors. Their article suggested the following:

  • Rian Johnson (Looper)

  • Duncan Jones (Moon)

  • Josh Trank (Chronicle)

  • Matt Reeves (Cloverfield)

  • Jonathan Nolan (Chris Nolan’s brother, better known as writer and producer but works with Abrams on Person of Interest and directed one episode)

  • Neill Blomkamp (District 9)

  • Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim)

  • Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy)

  • Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods)

  • Shane Carruth (Primer)


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Copper Based Blood
March 14, 2013 10:22 pm

Sounds good!!!

March 14, 2013 10:26 pm

YES !!!!!

YES !!!!!

YES !!!!!

Copper Based Blood
March 14, 2013 10:26 pm

Sounds good!!! singer is a great director.

March 14, 2013 10:32 pm

No problem with a replacement director, as long as they stick with the current format and don’t try to put their own stamp on it. This is not the time for Trek to depart from the standards set by Abrams and crew.

March 14, 2013 10:32 pm

Love the Back To The Future nod! Great icon!

March 14, 2013 10:37 pm

Singer would be a great choice, assuming JJ is not available. I’ve become a fan of JJ in whatever he does (and he seems to be everywhere!).

March 14, 2013 10:39 pm

the superman returns director………?


sorry just had to say that lol, but if there’s one person who should helm a trek movie again its Jonathan Frakes with maybe him as a producer.

although he didnt write superman and I’ve heard X men first class wasnt bad so ehh maybe it aint that bad of an idea.

March 14, 2013 10:44 pm

Singer directed the mega flopping Jack the Giant Slayer, which never should have been made. Career-wise, he’s not exactly on a roll.

But if Ender’s Game turns out to be a big hit, we may have another candidate director for #3. Gavin Hood.

March 14, 2013 10:49 pm

Singer right now is like Joss Wedon BEFORE Avengers.

March 14, 2013 10:51 pm

@8. There must be a reason why Ender’s Game has been moved to fall release science fiction hell???

I am not expecting much. If the studio thought it was going to be a hit, it would be coming out this summer.

March 14, 2013 10:53 pm

You forgot Joss Whedon.

March 14, 2013 10:54 pm

The above list is almost as blue-sky as the list of directors proposed for TMP … that one had Coppola and Lucas and even George Roy Hill. As if!

Johnson won’t direct somebody else’s material, anyway.

March 14, 2013 10:59 pm

Otherwise, the only guy on that list that I am REALLY keen on is Rian Johnson, because he’s the only guy on that list who experiments with the medium the way that great filmmakers do. Brick was a bizarre experience, but it was really inventive. Even though I didn’t think the film worked perfectly, I knew as I was watching it that here was a director who could be called an auteur. He wasn’t doing what everyone else did, he wasn’t, in other words, just another competent director telling a good story well. He was experimenting with the medium of film itself. He was THINKING new stuff.

I DIDN’T see Looper yet, so I don’t know if he’s continuing what he did in Brick, but I hope so.

March 14, 2013 11:03 pm

If Joss Whedon is going to do anymore big screen SciFi, I would rather it be a new Firefly movie. That’s his baby, and I wish we’d get some more of it.

That was one of those series that makes TV worth watching.

Lope de Aguirre
March 14, 2013 11:22 pm

My choices would be:
Peter Jackson
Steven Spielberg
Duncan Jones
Joss Whedon

Harry Ballz
March 14, 2013 11:28 pm

Bryan Singer couldn’t direct TRAFFIC!

March 14, 2013 11:29 pm

I saw Jack the Giant Slayer the other night, and it was better than I’d expected (I’d expected terrible from the reviews). It was a slight but entertaining studio movie with incredible attention paid to visual details. It was fun. I still don’t see theguy as a great fit with Star Trek (although, what do I know) — but this was way more watchable than Superman or Valkyrie.

March 14, 2013 11:48 pm

Whoever directs the 50th anniversary Star Trek movie should have a strong background or foundation in the series & mythology. Here’s my suggestion:
Leonard Nimoy

March 14, 2013 11:54 pm

@16. Well, Steven Soderbergh already had the Director’s seat lined up for Traffic. It’s not singers fault that he wasn’t given an opportunity to direct that film.

@17. If it was called Fred the Giant Slayer, would you have liked it so much? (seriously, I will see it this weekend — I am not influenced by mob opinions that a movie is failing…aka the great and misunderstood, John Carter)

March 15, 2013 12:08 am

Brad Bird

Brent E
March 15, 2013 12:11 am

no thanks… he screwed up Superman, i dont want to see him screw up this franchise.

March 15, 2013 12:21 am

David Yates — slam dunk!

March 15, 2013 12:34 am

Well my money is on Matt Reeves … He is a Bad Robot director so it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities

March 15, 2013 12:45 am

I’m in the Frakes camp as well though I’m sure TPTB will want a big name director to take the helm. Singer would work.

March 15, 2013 12:51 am

Joseph Kosinski Please!!
He did a great job with TRON Legacy. It was his first feature film and the upcoming Oblivion looks amazing as well. I have full trust in him. Look how well JJ has done. Paramount gave him MI3 for his first feature film and it was kick ass and since he has made great movies. I kind of think of Joseph Kosinski like JJ. I think it would be a smooth transition to a different director with him since he and JJ are similar. It would be the perfect fit. But of course we wouldnt be that lucky. At least he will be making another TRON.

March 15, 2013 12:58 am

Singer’s superman movie was really boring

March 15, 2013 1:06 am

I enjoyed Superman Returns on multiple levels.

March 15, 2013 1:09 am

Gary Ross or David Yates or Jonathon Nolan.

March 15, 2013 1:18 am

He is my first choice after JJ

March 15, 2013 1:26 am

Frakes and Nimoy did reasonable jobs directing in the past but resoectively neither of them is up to directing new guard Trek. They’ve each admitted it.

The Voyage Home and First Contact are two of my favorites — but those directorial styles are from a different fabric from what JJ has created.

March 15, 2013 1:27 am

* respectfully

March 15, 2013 1:35 am

On that list I would go with Jonathan Nolan. He has a HUGE understanding of story and big ideas, and although he hasn’t much directing experience, I’m sure he could ask his brother a thing or two about directing huge set pieces. He may even get Chris to do some second unit stuff. He’d be my first choice.

I’d be happy to see a Bryan Singer series, but not a movie. I still haven’t forgiven him for promising so much and delivering so little with Superman.

March 15, 2013 1:40 am

Bryan Singer would be a great choice. He is a very good director and a big Star Trek fan.

March 15, 2013 1:44 am

Tom, I agree.

Guess we also need to just see this next movie be successful before we talk about another film & director. Vibe seems to be positive from the producers & studio when Burk is talking about the next one already.

The real issue is connecting with a bigger global audience if they really want to get things going. I’m not sure this is happening. There have been plenty of great films that have not justifiably connected with the audience (at least in the studio’s eyes) … and this was the weakness last time.

Jim Nightshade
March 15, 2013 1:48 am

im glad tron will return….not that many 25 year old scifi movies get sequels or tv shows….tron besides being wwayy ahead of its time still resonates today…

March 15, 2013 2:11 am

I’d totally be down for a new director. I think JJ’s good as a producer and does a good job brining everything together, but I think the franchise could do well with having a new director behind things.

March 15, 2013 2:14 am

Neill Blomkamp should do Star Trek 3, since there will be no District 9 part II… and don’t forget to bring Sharlto Copley along.

March 15, 2013 2:14 am

Everybody bitching about Superman Returns :-(

March 15, 2013 2:15 am

Brian Singer would be great.
Also Joss Whedon if he has not to shoot the Avengers sequel.

March 15, 2013 2:20 am

I think I’m the only one who liked Superman Returns, although I haven’t watched it since it came out. But I’m also possibly the only one who didn’t like any of the first X-men Trilogy.

Perhaps I just have poor taste … I’ll see how Days of Future Past Turns out to reserve my Singer judgement. As long as Trek has the same writers, his directorial style might be a fine match.

AlsoJoss Whedon would be in the same boat as Abrams in terms of directing Star Trek – Avengers 2 would be coming out only a year before Trek is suppsoed to. And I also agree that he should work on something or his own again after that.

March 15, 2013 2:56 am

After what he did with Superman Returns. Something he also loved, I am very uneasy with him taking on Star Trek.

Personally, I’d like to see Robert Zemeckis take a crack at Star Trek.

March 15, 2013 3:23 am

Directors such as Robert Zemeckis, Spielberg, Whedon, etc would NEVER take on directing a Star Trek movie.

I have very mixed feelings about Bryan Singer taking on the role as director for the next Trek movie (should he be chosen to.) If you have a great script, same producers, and other same key factors, i think Trek 3 will be fine.

As long as Mr. Singer doesnt rant about making the movie more Wrath of Khan in tone. I’ve heard that from him numerous times in the past. Stop reflecting what was and devote the time to making a great movie instead.

Here’s to the success of ‘Into Darkness’ and beyond.

March 15, 2013 3:39 am

@37 Devlin

No district 9 2? Oh no! Why? I love D9 and DS9, must be something about 9’s!

March 15, 2013 3:47 am

I Want Brad Bird. His movies have depth, are emotional and have a got sense of humour.

March 15, 2013 4:18 am

None of those directors especially not Singer he is a terrible hack. Bring Nick Meyer back if he wants to do it (probably not as he has been offered several Star Trek TNG movies & turned them all down). If Meyer is not interested wait for JJ or get someone who directed a previous ST movie back but no-one else except JJ has the same style so it would be hard to match that let alone exceed!

March 15, 2013 4:42 am

Singers movies all SUCK!!!

Paramount, get JJ no matter what the costs are!!!!!

March 15, 2013 4:46 am

Meyer has never worked with that type of budget so he may not be trusted for those reasons. I think he could bring a wonderful cerebral quality to ST3 but that doesn’t seem to be the way these films are going. Action adventure with HUGE set pieces seems to be the call of the day, and I don’t know if Nick Meyer would suit that.

To the Superman Returns defenders: $200 million spent on that film. God knows how many on a deleted scene that is boring as hell and a film that is very much less than Super. You really think Singer is the guy to pick up the bat after JJ & team have knocked it out of the park? Singer doesn’t even sound sure of himself. Read his quote. Would you want a pilot to sound that unsure if you wanted to charter him to fly you somewhere?

Jerry Modene
March 15, 2013 5:08 am

I thought Superman Returns was an excellent homage to the Donner film.

March 15, 2013 5:19 am

It’s wont be about who EW want’s as director or who’s the new ‘Hot Shot’ or any of that.

If JJ produces, it’s about who he trusts to do the job, who he’s comfortable working with and who’s already proved that he can do the job for JJ. When you put it like that, there’s only one name on the list and that’s Brad Bird!

Spock's Bangs
March 15, 2013 5:21 am

I just saw Jack the Giant slayer. Mediocre film with little, if any, chemistry between the cast. And didn’t he do that awful Superman Returns? Nope, Singer is not the guy.