Jonathan Frakes
When it comes to directing Star Trek, Jonathan Frakes is no rookie. Frakes is best known for playing William T. Riker on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ but has also been a big player behind the camera. Frakes directed 14 episodes of ‘Star Trek’ across three series, ‘The Next Generation,’ ‘Deep Space Nine,’ and ‘Voyager.’ He also directed two ‘Trek’ feature films, ‘First Contact’ and ‘Insurrection.’  Now, Frakes reveals the advice he’d give Quentin Tarantino about directing that rumored R-rated new film project.On December 8, news broke that Tarantino was in talks with Paramount Pictures to direct a new ‘Star Trek’ project. Since then, the in-development film has purportedly hired ‘Revenant’ writer Mark L. Smith to pen the script. Frakes has one big reminder for the Tarantino project, should it actually materialize. In a recent interview, he said:

“Don’t forget the heart. Before you eat it, don’t forget the heart!”

Frakes always said he’s “fascinated” by the idea of Tarantino taking a turn in the director’s chair, saying:

“I texted with J.J. about it to see what his take was. I wanted to see if I could get the scoop out of him, and he just said it’s going to be wild. I threw it back at him. I’m fascinated. I love the fact that Patrick Stewart played his hand so well and said, ‘Yeah, I’m available. Count me in.'”

Though Frakes’s ‘Star Trek: First Contact’ was considered a particularly hardcore movie when it was released in 1996, it still contains perhaps some of the most heartwarming scenes of hope and friendship in any ‘Star Trek’ story. The Vulcans made contact with the human race, Picard learned to let go of his anger, and Data admitted he only thought about betraying the Enterprise for a minute or two.

In the ‘90s (Frake’s heyday), Paramount had control of all things ‘Star Trek,’ whereas now, Paramount only handles the films, while the TV incarnations of the franchise are controlled by CBS. While this doesn’t necessarily prevent crossovers and references between the newer Trek films and TV series, it seems unlikely Tarantino and Smith would directly connect the new film to the events of ‘Discovery.’

While Frakes was always slated to direct one episode of ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ he revealed that he didn’t actually get to select which episode would be his. He said:

“It’s the luck of the draw! And I got very lucky.”

Frakes’ episode of ‘Discovery’ which he directed, titled ‘Despite Yourself,’ was written by Sean Cochran and aired on Sunday, January 7 at 8:30 pm eastern time on CBS All Access.