Simon Pegg Says ‘Star Trek 4’ Director S.J. Clarkson Is “Super Into It”

As he continues to promote Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Simon Pegg spoke again about the two upcoming Star Trek films currently in development, this time talking more about directors S.J. Clarkson and Quentin Tarantino.

 Pegg had lunch with Clarkson to talk Trek

Yesterday we reported on an interview conducted earlier this month at the UK premiere of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, where Simon Pegg was seen with Star Trek 4 director S.J. Clarkson. In a new interview conducted live today on Nerdist News, Pegg recounted his first meeting with Clarkson with glowing praise:

I met S.J. [Clarkson] in London recently, and she is just great. She is a real ball of ideas and so into it. We just had lunch and had a chat. Having co-written [Star Trek] Beyond and been part of the growth of the characters to a point, we were going to talk anyway, but I just wanted to meet her and say “Hi.” As soon as I talked to her for half an hour I knew this is going to be great. She is super, super into it, and very smart.

Pegg co-wrote 2016’s Star Trek Beyond with Doug Jung. The next Star Trek movie, which Clarkson is directing, is being written by Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne.

The actor also talked about Clarkson being the first woman to direct a Star Trek feature film, saying:

And it’s about time. It’s a shame that it’s a big thing, the first female director [for the Trek film franchise]. Come on dude, this is 2018. So, yeah, it is exciting stuff.

S.J. Clarkson on the set of Jessica Jones

Tarantino will do something extraordinary with Trek

Recently Zachary Quinto has sounded somewhat definitive that a Star Trek movie based on a Quentin Tarantino pitch, and scripted by Revenant writer Mark L. Smith, would immediately follow Star Trek 4. Pegg too talked about the film coming later, but seemed to add a bit more caution on it becoming a reality:

Oh yeah. As far as we know Quentin came in and pitched an idea. Obviously he is real busy at the moment. He is doing his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and that is what he’ll be doing for the next few years. But if there comes a time when it becomes a reality, that would be incredibly exciting.

However, Pegg was clear that he has faith in Tarantino’s approach to Star Trek:

I imagine it would be a passionate and very faithful take. Quentin is a big Star Trek fan. I think people thought “Oh, he’ll just come in and dismantle it.” He will do something extraordinary with it. I am absolutely certain of that. If that happens, that would be great.

Quentin Tarantino pitched a Trek idea to J.J. Abrams which Pegg says will be extraordinary

Watch Pegg talk future Trek

Here is the full episode of Nerdist News Talks Back where Simon Pegg mostly talks about Mission: Impossible – Fallout, but delves into a bit of Star Trek at the end.

See Simon Pegg in Mission: Impossible – Fallout this weekend

Check out the new featurette featuring Simon Pegg for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which opens July 27.

Keep up with all news on both Star Trek 4 and the Tarantino Trek project here.

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When JJ Abrams went on TV to promote the first two movies, he stated that he “didn’t get Trek” growing up. Though they were commercial successes, it showed in his movies that he didn’t really get it. ST: Beyond, although it tanked at the box office, was a step in the right direction in terms of content. I hope that momentum, along with a better marketing campaign, makes ST4 successful.

Maybe. Though you have to keep in mind that Star Trek 2009 and Into Darkness were both written by Star Trek fans. I think J.J. just directed them the way he directs everything.

No. Only Orci was a fan, and while he probably wouldn’t admit it for professional reasons you can expect that he was often overruled.

Into Darkness might be an exciting action movie, but a Star Trek movie it is not. At least Trek 09 gets away with being a set up movie. Beyond was the first to justify the partial reboot.

‘Into Darkness might be an exciting action movie, but a Star Trek movie it is not.’

i figured that when they had spock running around punching people’s lights out.


he was no doubt overruled regarding the holo-shatner cameo at the end of ST09 (and maybe Picard/Data cameos in spock primes 24th century flashback). also bet there was more emphasis on Khans backstory in STID (with maybe more of an explanation for why khan went from Montalban to Cumberbatch, seeing the botany bay etc) and with ST3 his Days of Shatner Past script (which sounded pretty good idea esp for the anniversary movie and how well HFord had been received coming back to SW) was canned in favour of Beyond Furious

I’ve always been curious about the rejected ST3 script they wrote that was criticized for being to Star Trek-y. Would be nice if that turned up on line one day…

Beyond didn’t really tank. It’s box office was good enough for them to be looking to continue. It just didn’t perform as well as the rest. I think part of that is down to the fact that people flocked to Into Darkness thinking they were getting what the first movie set up and instead got a mindless turd of a movie.

@El Chup,

“Beyond didn’t really tank. It’s box office was good enough for them to be looking to continue.”

The movie was a flop, period. It cost over $285 million ($185 production budget + $100 marketing) and grossed just $343 million worldwide. Simon Pegg blamed the marketing for the very poor performance of the movie.

The reason why Paramount is continuing with another movie is very simple, Star Trek is one of their few valuable franchises and it is a given that they will produce another Trek movie. When Star Trek V tanked at the box office, Paramount didn’t stop making Trek movies, on the contrary they released another one two years later.

That was to cash in on the 25th anniversary — if that hadn’t been the case, I don’t know that there would have been a sixth with the original cast. When they threw out Bennett’s ACADEMY, there was precious little time to develop TUC properly, and it suffered on account of that (and of course the restrictive budget, which only got bumped up about 10% during postproduction. Interestingly, the film came in at the price Meyer and his producer intended to make it before Par cancelled TUC for a couple weeks, basically over a million or two bucks.)

I don’t see how it suffered. Turned out to be the 2nd best of the TOS movies.


“That was to cash in on the 25th anniversary”

Didn’t know that, thanks for the info.

Initially I had no interest in this movie.

But that was before I knew that the director is “super, super into it.”

It’s good that the director isn’t bemoaning the chore of having to direct a big-budget Hollywood movie for a large fee. And, coupled with news of the Tarantino Trek movie possibly coming in the unforeseeable future, it’s almost more excitement than I can handle at once. I’m super, super, super pumped now, baby!

Super Star Trek!

Being a cynic is no way to go through life.

@ Bryant – Well, it’s carried him through the last ten years of Trek. Apparently with no signs of abating.

Bryant Burnette

Being cynical (based on an abundance of evidence) about one entertainment franchise does not imply a cynical attitude toward life in general, mein Freund.

As pointed out above, JJ has never been into ST much and even admitted that he didn’t really get it. It felt like he wanted to direct a Star Wars movie, but couldn’t as they weren’t making any then so took this instead (he even included R2D2 in 2009). I feel a lot more hopeful about someone being enthusiastic. Pegg might also be trying to bolster her as a female director due to the for the false belief that ST is only for guys.

Trek is only for guys? Where does this nonsense come from?

Never has been.

I swear that the fandom is regressing. In the golden age of the 90s fans were diverse and, I have to say, a lot more intelligent and accepting of difference than they seem to be now.

In my opinion, that is in no small part to the dumbing down of Trek.

Yeah, my wife would certainly disagree with that, at least as far as TNG is concerned. And I think you’re right about the dumbing-down of Trek with regard to fandom. And not for nothing, I don’t think social media helps, either.

No, it absolutely doesn’t help. It has created a culture of shaming fellow fans for being different or having different opinions.

Forced to agree with that. Many internet posters say things in anonymity they would never say in public.

Speaking of JJ, he had ads for the 2009 movie that said “not your dad’s Star Trek”. Like you say though, this was never the case.

I thought that was the campaign used for Enterprise?

It come from you guys.

Lol, my reaction is the same to that “super, super into it” line. Also, the fact he had to point out how smart she was is kind of weird. I wonder if he would have said the same about a male director. It’s like “wow, I just met Steven Speilberg, he is so smart!”


I agree. The whole strategy of promoting, first DSC, and now Trek 4 on “diversity” as their primary benefit is just weird to me. I mean, obviously I know why they do it—there’s no shortage of customers lapping it up—but it’s funny to me that they don’t get how it’s counter-productive to the very cause they they’re ostensibly in favor of advocating. Trotting out the cast and crew like a menagerie (here’s a Black one that’s also female!) doesn’t advance the notion that race, ethnicity and gender aren’t necessarily relevant to job performance, aptitude and skill set, but rather it seems to make the exact opposite point. If those attributes were irrelevant, then there wouldn’t be this circus-like atmosphere and attention paid to them. Rather, there would be no more interest in the gender, race or ethnicity of the crew than there is in their Zodiac signs. Which is to say that there would be (and should be) far fewer people judging them and the show on that basis. The day that gender really doesn’t matter is the day that nobody bothers to mention it, let alone use it as the primary selling point for a product that one would have hoped had more potent and meaningful benefits to offer.

You do realise that before feminism, no one bothered to mention gender either? Yet women were routinely discriminated against.

Right now gender and race are hot topics and equality is a marketing point. Many people want to support shows and films that feature actors who are usually unfairly passed over. I’m ok with that if it goes along with giving women and POC more roles. Once there is more balance between male/female and minorities they will no longer be a selling point or newsworthy anymore.

You have to realise that aren’t hiring women/minorities soley because they are women/minorities but instead are not hiring white men solely because they are white men. It’s not that people think being female/minority will make you better at a job, but that people have finally realised that being white and male does not give you an ability to do a job better. Unfortunately this idea is so embedded in the current mindset that when something does cast diversely it is newsworthy.

Support diversity and diverse projects and you will soon stop hearing about diversity!


You do realise that before feminism, no one bothered to mention gender either?

That’s not true at all. Firstly, I didn’t say anything about feminism. Secondly, there have been four “waves” or movements of feminism, the most recent two being significantly different in certain respects from the first two. And, we can even go back to the women’s suffrage movement of the 19th Century, prior to which people said plenty about gender. People had very specific notions about the roles of gender in Western society back then and they spoke about it freely. So, your comment is just historically incorrect.

Did you just try and mansplain feminism? I was talking about before feminism anyway so your post isn’t even relevant. And gender wasn’t a big issue until feminism.


You lost me with “mansplain.”


You have to realise that aren’t hiring women/minorities soley because they are women/minorities but instead are not hiring white men solely because they are white men.

They aren’t? They sold DSC more on the basis of “diversity” than on anything else. I recall quite clearly, week after week, waiting for CBS to offer some sort of dramatic or fiction or substance-based selling proposition for DSC, and it never came. What came instead was repeated pitches of the lead being a Black female and that there would be a gay character. And now we’re seeing the same for Trek 4, though it’s not clear whether Pegg’s comments are part of the official marketing strategy or not. I don’t ever recall a show being overtly pitched to audiences on the basis of all the actors in it being White men.

Again, didn’t read my post. Gender/minorities are being marketed as currently hot topics. White males have been in roles forever and so have never been a hot topic.


I read your post. And again your comment is just factually incorrect.

DSC as a product was sold largely (I’d actually say mainly, but I’ll be conservative here) on the benefit of “diversity.” CBS was not pitching audiences a “topic.” They were pitching audiences a TV show. Why should we watch DSC? Because the lead is a Black female and there’s a gay character. And, now, again with Trek 4: why should we buy a ticket? Because a woman is directing it. These articles that come out in advance of movies and TV shows aren’t just cast and crew voicing opinions for their own pleasure; they’re usually part of a cohesive marketing plan to promote the product on the basis of certain benefits to certain people. I know that this is Marketing 101, but you seem to be unaware. As I said previously, it is possible that Pegg’s comment wasn’t cleared by or part of the official promotion for Trek 4, though that would be a bit surprising.

Nah, didn’t read my post. This is exactly what I said.


Oh you mean your first post where you agreed that “diversity” is a marketing point. Sorry, I honestly got lost in all of your false assertions and trying to idiotsplain affirmative action. How do you like “idiotsplain” btw? Do you find it as utile as “mansplain?”

OK, clearly a troll. Have a nice night!


What’s the pop term these days for people who love to dish it out but can’t take it in return? “Snowflake,” isn’t it?

Have a nice night as well!

So, I wonder if Simon Pegg is being sexist in that he had to mention how smart she is. Yes, she’s a she, but so what? If she fully capable of doing the job, then great! I do appreciate having a women’s perspective in Trek, but I don’t think we need to point out how smart she is.

That’s actually a good point. You’d have to compare his statements on previous directors. Maybe something he always says.


Honestly, I rarely bother with terms like “sexist” or “racist” because, more often than not, they’re not constructive. People who promote women over men and such-and-such race or ethnicity over others are being sexist and racist, but they argue that theirs is the good kind of sexism and racism (or sexual and racial discrimination, if you prefer), whereas other forms of sexism and racism are the bad kind. I wasn’t even getting into the merits of that argument, though your point is well taken. Pegg commenting that the director is smart reminds me of the Chris Rock bit from the 1990s where he talks about people remarking that Colin Powell is “so articulate.” And, as you pointed out, I don’t recall marketing for the past Trek movies focusing on the director being “smart.”

I would imagine with the recent NEW YORKER Farrow Moonves/CBS expose that the males helming STAR TREK over at Paramount are all on eggshells around her worrying that she might decide to pull out of any project, such as STAR TREK, in which good ole’ boys Les or CBS stands to ultimately reap benefits?

I think the QT movie will be highly dependent on the response to KT4. If it has middling success like Beyond, unless the fifth movie is already gearing up for production, I don’t see us getting a fifth KT movie.

Agreed. I think it just depends on what the next one does. If this one flops too its no way they are green lighting another regardless who is directing after two in a row.

I was reluctant because of her lack of feature experience, but I recently watched the series Collateral with Carey Mulligan and while I found the script lacking, I thought the direction was competent. So we’ll see.

By the way, I’m getting tired of the first female director for Trek narrative People forget Gabrielle Beaumont, who directed 11 episodes of Berman Trek. She’s not the only one. Nancy Malone, Kim Friedman and, of course, Gates and Roxann.

I don’t like this shutting off of Trek history, like the falsehood that Trek never touched homosexuality and transgender issues before Beyond and Discovery. Trek has always been progressive and the messages are there if you want to find them. A reason why I maintain that people are unduly harsh on the Berman era. There is some really great Trek storytelling in amongst some of the dross.

first female director of a ST film after 40 years of the series.
does that make a difference?

No, because women are just as capable as men. What’s newsworthy is that it took 40 years for the bigwigs to realise this.

“competent” greeeeat. But hey at least we ticked the PR box marked “Diversity” and “women”, that’s all that matters these days it seems, forget picking someone who’s actually good.

To be fair I think that I, personally, could easily say the same thing about a male with a similar resume.

You do realise that women only directed 3.3% of studio films for 2018? Any woman that manages to do so has to be extremely talented and fight tooth and nail to be able to do so.

With respect, this reads like a typical bigot’s response. Why? People claim they don’t care about gender, race or sexuality. They just want the best person for the job. But the very same people also then complain when a woman or minority gets the job and immediately tell us that person isn’t talented enough, without having a clue whether or not they have the talent or not. They just assume they don’t because, in this case, the director is a woman and therefore her hiring must have been in spite of talent and not because of it.

Yeah, yeah, I know…but there really isn’t any news here. Pegg seems to be filling in a lot of blanks here based on thirty minutes over lunch.