Star Trek: Jonathan Frakes Wanted to Direct Nemesis

Jonathan Frakes learned to direct while playing William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He went on to direct episodes of that show, its spinoffs, and two Star Trek movies, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. He didn't direct the final film to feature the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew, Star Trek: Nemesis. Speaking to IGN, Frakes says he wishes he had directed the movie, but he wasn't asked. "I wish I had been," he said. "I probably would have [done the film]. I know that my representation, they thought that it would not be a great idea just doing Star Trek after Star Trek."

Instead, he went on to direct the films Clockstoppers and Thunderbirds. "I only ever made four movies," he says. "Three of them made money and then I went to movie jail after Thunderbirds. But let's not ruin a perfectly good night!"

These comments echo similar ones Frakes made in 2019. "I would have loved to have done Nemesis, but it seemed like, 'Really? That's all you're going to do, is Star Trek movies?'" Frakes said. "It's glib to say now. I wish I had done Nemesis… It's come full circle," he said. "I started on Star Trek, and now I'm primarily employed making Star Trek shows. It's been very, very good to me."

Frakes returned to Star Trek to work as a director on Star Trek: Discovery. He also directed Star Trek: Picard, and returned as Riker for two episodes of the show's first season. "I was really glad that Troi and Riker were living in the mountains in a big house," Frakes said of his return during a conversation with in April. "It felt wonderful and different and somehow logical that they would have done what they could. I love that they had kids, and one has died and that they had gone somewhere to try to save his life. All that I thought was spectacular. And frankly, watching Marina's work with Lulu [Wilson], who played our daughter, who was also spectacular, which didn't hurt."


He went on to say that the entire experience was almost a kind of family reunion. "The whole experience was great, and as you saw in the social, I'm sure, Dorn came to visit, and LeVar came to visit," he says. "Without getting too corny or Pollyanna, it's really been great to be back in the Star Trek fold. It was great to be back on Star Trek: Discovery. I feel very privileged to have been part of that family, but this is really our family, the Picard show."