At last weekend’s FedCon 16 in Germany Jonathan Frakes let loose on Paramount and the last Trek movie, but then had some nice things to say about JJ Abrams and the next movie. Regarding the box office failure Star Trek Nemesis, the director of two previous films joked "there was a perfectly good director available." He then used a couple empty seats reserved for Paramount to poke some fun at the studio. Holding up the chair signs he yelled out "this is a perfect example, see who is not here…Paramount…need I say more? That speaks volumes." To cheers from the audience he continued, "Paramount doesn’t show up. Paramount doesn’t know what to do with the franchise."
Frakes summed up his thoughts on Nemesis by joking "I’m not bitter" but apparnetly he really is not. The Next Gen actor went on to say the nicest things about JJ Abrams and his plans to continue the franchise without Frakes and his fellow TNG co-stars:
JJ Abrams, who created Lost, which I think is one of the greatest shows on television, has been given the keys to the spaceship and I for one, being the eternal optimist that I continue to be, am very optimistic about what he will do with the franchise, what he will do with the next film and I think all of us who are excluded are reacting in different ways. My feeling is, from the work that he has done and the passion that he has for the franchise and the legacy and the vision of Roddenberry that it will be in good hands…It’s going to happen so we can’t be upset. And I’m very glad that the franchise is carrying on, obviously, but it could be great. And that’s what I hope.
Frakes did an excellent job directing First Contact, the only bonafide hit of the TNG film era. His work was competent on Insurrection, but that film suffered from the ‘too many cooks’ problem and a weak script. (Piller may have been a great show runner and TV writer, but could not migrate to the needs of a feature). Frakes may even have been able to save Nemesis. The script (from Academy Award winner John Logan) had potential in the right hands. Frakes comments above clearly show he lays the blame for the failure of Nemesis on director Stuart Baird and Paramount itself…and there is certainly enough blame to be had on both parts. It is also good to see Frakes not jump on the ‘I hate the Abrams prequel’ bandwagon with some of his fellow TNG castmembers.
Much thanks to Markus Kettner of the German Trek site TrekZone for providing the reporting on Fedcon.