Simon Pegg is Co-writing Star Trek 3 and Might as Well Direct It

By  · Published on January 22nd, 2015

Paramount Pictures

The Star Trek franchise has a great tradition of seeing its actors become creatively involved behind the camera. Leonard Nimoy got the ball rolling by taking the helm of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and then co-wrote and directed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and collaborated on the story for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

In between those latter two, William Shatner co-wrote and directed Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. Later, The Next Generation cast member Jonathan Frakes directed Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection.

Frakes also directed many episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Other cast members who’ve helmed episodes of various incarnations, including Enterprise: Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Roxann Dawson, Michael Dorn, Siddig El Fadil, Gates McFadden, Robert Duncan McNeill, Robert Picardo, Andrew Robinson and Tim Russ.

As far as I’m willing to go through everyone’s IMDb credits, I am unaware of any other Star Trek stars scripting installments of the franchise. That makes it more special that Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the rebooted movie series, is co-writing the next sequel, Star Trek 3, according to Deadline.

Pegg previously partnered with Edgar Wright on his scripts for Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, as well as their earlier TV show Spaced, plus he rewrote Michael Ian Black’s script or Run, Fatboy, Run and co-wrote Greg Mottola’s Paul with buddy Nick Frost. This time he’s working with screenwriter Doug Jung (Confidence).

Speculation that his creative involvement could mean more screen time for his character is silly, because there’s no reason that should be the case. The real question here should be whether or not he’s been tapped to pump more humor into this installment and the franchise as a whole.

Another question I have is this: why not just have him follow in the footsteps of Nimoy, Shatner and Frakes and direct the movie, too? Sure, he hasn’t much experience, but he just needs to get behind the camera for a few TV show episodes somewhere, like his predecessors did, and let Wright give him some advice. (It doesn’t really matter who directs this thing, anyway.)

Star Trek 3 already has a director on board, Justin Lin (Fast and Furious 6). But maybe next time, Pegg. Or a fellow cast member, such as Zoe Saldana, who seems to be the only other one of the main crew with any directing credits.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.