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S.J. Clarkson Is the First Female Director in Star Trek Feature Film History

I'm not saying that makes Star Trek better than Star Wars at this point, but...

Zoe Saldana as Uhura in Star Trek

There’s big news a-brewin’ for Trek fans everywhere! First, there’s the announcement that there are two more Star Trek films being planned. Second, there’s the even more exciting announcement that the fourth Trek film in the Kelvin Universe has hired its director, and she is the first female feature director in the franchise’s history!

As reported by, Paramount CEO Jim Gianopolus announced at CinemaCon that two Star Trek films are currently in the works, though it’s unclear if that includes the potential Tarantino take on Trek or not. However, the director for the next film, the fourth in the current series, has been announced, and we’re looking forward to seeing what she brings to the table!

S.J. Clarkson, whose work is best known from television (Dexter, Bates Motel, Orange is the New Black, Jessica Jones), will be taking the reins on Star Trek 4! She’ll be working with a screenplay by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot, while David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance Media will executive produce.

All of the main cast will be returning, including Chris Hemsworth as Kirk’s father, though we still don’t know how they will handle the sad passing of Anton Yelchin, who played the Kelvin Universe’s Chekov. We don’t really know much of anything about the plot yet, except that it will obviously involve some kind of time travel if we’re going to be seeing Kirk’s dead father.

Or will it?!

In any case, I’m thrilled that the Star Trek franchise has finally, at long last, gotten a female director in the mix. Took them long enough. And…look, I don’t wanna be that person, but it’s just straight-up #TrueFacts that Star Trek beat Star Wars to a female feature director. Now, I’m not saying that make them a better franchise…? But…

(via Variety, image: Paramount)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.