Jonathan Frakes regrets not directing Nemesis

Star Trek: Nemesis is perhaps best known as the film that ended the films for the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew. Having grossed only $67 million against a budget of $60 million, it was a box office flop, and further movies with the TNG crew were scrapped. How much the direction of the movie played into that failure is questionable, but the director, Stuart Baird, admitted that he knew little about Star Trek when he took on the project.

Prior to Baird being hired, Jonathan Frakes was offered the opportunity to direct Nemesis as he had directed both First Contact and Insurrection which were successful. Because he didn’t want to be pigeon-holed as someone that would or could only direct Star Trek movies, he turned down the offer, something he now regrets.

When he spoke to Comic Book, he said “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?’” He went on to say, “It’s glib to say now. I wish I had done Nemesis.” And through Frakes was in the movie, unfortunately, Baird didn’t seek out his help or advice about the direction of the filming, a move which could have resulted in a much better film.

There’s no doubt that Frakes knows what he’s doing when he’s in the director’s chair, and having that expertise on set, had it been mined, might have made the difference between several more TNG films and the final one. Though there’s no going back now, fortunately, Frakes didn’t turn down opportunities to direct Star Trek afterwards, and he’s taken the helm on Star Trek: Picard and Star Trek: Discovery and will be taking the lead in episodes of the upcoming Strange New Worlds as well.