Joe Cornish’s name is once again attached to “Star Trek 3,” and this time, it may be the real thing.
Cornish, whose major directing work is centered around a single film that did not make back its budget at the box office, is said to be in early talks with Paramount as the studio’s first choice to replace J.J. Abrams on the next Star Trek film.
Cornish’s name first came up last May when he was reportedly on a list of directors being considered by Paramount and its partners on the Trek films, Abrams’ Bad Robot and Skydance Productions. It would be a tremendous gamble for the production singles, especially in a new film franchise that has pulled in more than $750 million in worldwide box office with its last two films.
Cornish directed “Attack of the Block,” a sci-fi comedy he also wrote. It made $1 million domestically, far short of its $13 million budget. Most of his work before that was in television, in projects like “The Adam & Joe Show.”
Putting television directors into the film director’s chair has been something Paramount has done a lot with Star Trek over the years. Before taking on “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” Leonard Nimoy’s only directing credits were in television for shows like “T.J. Hooker” and “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery.”
Before “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier,” William Shatner also only had television credits on his resume, all on the show he starred in during the 1980s, “T.J. Hooker.”
Popular Star Trek television director David Carson had never directed a big-film feature before, and it showed in “Star Trek Generations.”
Jonathan Frakes defied some of the setbacks, and took the path of Nimoy when he directed a strong film critics liked — “Star Trek: First Contact” — and then one they despised, “Star Trek: Insurrection.” Before those films, all of Frakes’ directing was in television.
Moving from films of $13 million to one that is expected to be closer to $175 million is going to be a big jump for someone like Cornish. And it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.