Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Roberto Orci is the frontrunner to be hired to direct the forthcoming “Star Trek 3” – yes, we’re getting another sequel. Orci has a vast resume as a writer and a producer, on the Star Trek films and various other big, noisy blockbusters, but he’s never directed anything. Ever.
First-time feature directors have taken on huge blockbusters in the past, but they’ve usually come from the world of directing commercials or music videos (Rupert Sanders and “Snow White and the Huntsman” being a recent example). The latest case of a first-time feature director coming at a $100 million + project with zero directing experience is Wally Pfister on “Transcendence”. And look how that worked out.
Needless to say, this only ever happens with male directors. Women directors just don’t get hired for projects like this. But it’s not too late! According to Deadline, “Paramount needed convincing” over Orci’s credentials, although they concede “now it all could happen at warp speed”. But since the deal has not been made official yet, we’d like to suggest that Paramount don’t ignore their cold feet, and consider that just maybe, the risk of hiring a totally untested director on such a huge project is greater than the risk of hiring – gasp! – a woman with a track record.
There are dozens of women out there with the proven directorial experience to take on a project like this. Jamie Babbit has a superlative TV resume, as does Michelle MacLaren. Mimi Leder has been there and done that. Isabel Coixet could be the female Guillermo del Toro if given a chance. Lexi Alexander has proven she has the chops. Or what about an indie director like Tamara Jenkins, or Mary Harron, or Dee Rees, or Lone Scherfig, or… the list goes on and on and on. Of course, some of these women may scoff at the very idea of directing “Star Trek 3”, and more power to them if so. But the point is that studios’ willingness to take punts on totally unproven male directors, while continuing to ignore their female counterparts, is looking more and more ridiculous.