Star Trek is boldly going where no woman has gone before.
The venerated sci-fi movie franchise based on Gene Roddenberry's 1960s television show has been churning out installments since 1979, but none of them have been directed by a woman … until now.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Paramount is deep in the hunt for a female director, a mandate that comes from the top, including producer J.J. Abrams, to helm Star Trek 4, the new installment of the rebooted film series that stars Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto.
S.J. Clarkson, the woman who directed the pilot for Netflix’s acclaimed Marvel-based series Jessica Jones, is in talks to helm the pic.
When reached by THR, Paramount had no comment.
Star Trek 4 has a script from J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay and would continue the film series that was rebooted by Abrams with 2009’s Star Trek.
Paramount is also developing a separate Star Trek movie that Quentin Tarantino would direct. The latter is understood to be set in a separate timeline.
The last Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond, was released in 2016, grossing $158 million domestically and $184 million abroad.
The studio does not have acting deals with the castmembers, which also include Simon Pegg, John Cho, Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban. Fresh contracts would have to be drawn up, making the project pricey, but Star Trek is a crown jewel for Paramount.
Hiring women directors has become an actionable priority for studios in recent months, and results are starting to be seen as more female filmmakers are getting hired for franchise projects. Ava DuVernay is now developing a movie based on DC Comics’ The New Gods for Warner Bros., while indie filmmaker Cathy Yan last week was hired to helm a pic based on DC anti-heroine Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey comic book characters. Marvel Studios has been looking for a director to break its glass ceiling with Black Widow and has been meeting with filmmakers such as Deniz Gamze Erguven (the Turkish movie Mustang), Chloe Zhao (The Rider) and Amma Asante (A United Kingdom), among several others. That search is still ongoing, according to sources.
Clarkson is repped by WME and Curtis Brown Group.