Star Trek: Jonathan Frakes Wishes He Had Directed 'Nemesis'

Jonathan Frakes is a beloved Star Trek actor and director. He directed two Star Trek feature films [...]

Jonathan Frakes is a beloved Star Trek actor and director. He directed two Star Trek feature films and now reveals that he wishes he'd directed a third.

Frakes directed and starred in Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. Despite the success of both movies Frakes passed on directing the follow-up, Star Trek: Nemesis. In an interview with Vulture, Frakes reveals that he passed because he didn't want to be pigeonholed, but now regrets the decision.

"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."

Instead, the job went to Stuart Baird, a director much less invested in the Star Trek franchise. The film performed poorly, was panned by critics, and several of the actors have recounted having a difficult time working with Baird.

In the interview, Frakes recalls how his next film, Clockstoppers, was a success, but then the pressure began to mount. He directed 2004's Thunderbirds, which performed poorly when released against Spider-Man and Shrek. After that, he was put into what Frakes calls "movie jail."

Now Frakes has returned to Star Trek. He's directed three episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, including last week's episode "New Eden." He's also worked on The Orville, Seth MacFarlane's comedic love letter to Star Trek. Frakes says he's thankful to still be involved with the franchise again.

"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."

He spoke previously about how the Discovery and The Orville compare.

"The Star Trek that we have has really found its voice, and Discovery has really found its voice," Frakes said. "And The Orville has filled in a void. For a lot of people, The Orville is their new Star Trek because it does tell stories like [The Next Generation], and it's got wild humor in it.

"[Seth MacFarlane] clearly wanted [The Orville] to look like [The Next Generation]. So, he hired the cinematographer [Marvin Rush] and the camera operator, and Brannon Braga, who wrote First Contact among other things that are fabulous. Robbie Duncan McNeill, one of our wonderful directors from Voyager, James Conway, who directed a bunch of great Next Gen episodes; he hired me. He filled the room with Next Gen people so that the show would look and feel like it. I think he did it."

New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.