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Paramount: Think Carefully About New Director

This is a time to get someone with experience, not potential

I don’t know Joe Cornish. And to be honest, his name wasn’t really known to me, either, before it popped up on a directors short list for “Star Trek 3” a couple months back.

Hollywood seems to be totally in love with Cornish, and maybe they have reason to be. I haven’t seen “Attack of the Block,” and I’m not going to judge it simply by box office returns (as we know box office and quality don’t always go hand in hand). But I am going to judge the fact that Cornish really hasn’t done a lot of movie work, and I think we’re asking a lot to suddenly hand to him a film that is 20 times the budget of his last outing, and could be make or break for the Star Trek film franchise for a while.

It’s not that directors like Cornish don’t deserve a chance. They do. But why with Star Trek? Why is Paramount so against bringing in a big-name director to keep the franchise growing?

Think about it. The last time Paramount did it was in 1979 with Robert Wise, who at that point had already won some Oscars. Yes, J.J. Abrams had made a name for himself by the time he took on the Trek franchise several years ago, but then again, he wasn’t huge in film. His only previous film was “Mission: Impossible III” in 2006, and he was more of a television guy than a movie guy.

I guess we should be grateful that one of the names on the list is not Michael Bay … that would be scary. And people like Joss Whedon, McG and Christopher Nolan are tied up elsewhere. But still, there have to be some names of directors who would love to take on Star Trek — and would help to take it into the next 50 years.

So here’s our short list of who we think should helm the next Star Trek film. Some of these are serious, some are dreams — but either way, we want Paramount to look bigger, not smaller.

David Fincher
The director of films like “The Game,” “Se7en” and “The Social Network” are more intelligent than action based, but why is that bad? Fans have been asking for something going more toward the thought-provoking (although we also understand why Paramount wants explosions and city destruction). But Fincher and his talents could take that on and so much more. “Star Trek 3” wouldn’t be another Oscar nomination, but he would have to admit — it would be a load of fun.

Joel Coen
He did “No Country For Old Men” and “True Grit,” and has proven himself as someone who can bring dark and dirty to the screen, without scaring away audiences (and critics). He’s also not afraid to try something new, and I don’t mean more lens flares. It’s possible that “Star Trek 3” won’t be as big at the box office than it would be otherwise, but at least it would get some amazing credibility — something it hasn’t really had since Wise.

Jon Favreau
OK, so “Cowboys and Aliens” did not live up to the hype, but hey, this is the same man who brought us “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.” And you have to admit, the biggest problem with “Iron Man 3” is that it was missing Favreau, big time. Since “Cowboys and Aliens,” Favreau has focused more on television, only doing an occasional film. So why not bring him back into the saddle with a Star Trek movie? He took Iron Man from a franchise no one thought would work into one of Marvel’s biggest — maybe he could do the same for Star Trek.

Peter Jackson
He might be resting from his latest J.R.R. Tolkien bit, but wouldn’t it be great to see Jackson slow down a bit and do a single movie — one with Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise? Sure, he might want production to move to New Zealand, but I doubt you’ll hear Karl Urban complain. Plus, if nothing else, he will make whatever Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman write beautiful beyond description.

Robert Zemeckis
He’s not big on action, but he is a master when it comes to directing special effects (yes, move over James Cameron). Yet, Zemeckis doesn’t direct a lot, and that’s sad. The man behind the Back to the Future trilogy has most recently helmed the film “Flight” with Denzel Washington (which I think could’ve worked a lot better if it had been edited differently), but he seems to not have anything else on his plate at the moment. So he would be perfect, right?

Spike Lee
And yes, I’m serious. Although I am not a big fan of remaking Korean movies that do not need to be remade, you have to admit, the American version of “Oldboy” definitely looks good, at least in the trailer. And Lee is very meticulous, something I think he would do well with a Star Trek film. If nothing else, maybe Zoe Saldana’s Uhura will have a much better presence than what she got in “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” which was just sad. And plus, it would already have a name: “Spike Lee’s Star Trek.”

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