Just before Christmas it was announced that Justin Lin, director of the last five The Fast and the Furious movies, would be taking the directing chair on the next Star Trek film. It should be pointed out here that this film will be released next year, the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.
Now, I've never in my life watched a Fast and the Furious film and the internet seems divided on whether Lin's appointment is a good thing. Some point to him adding depth to the Furious films and having an admirably diverse cast whilst others worry his selection means Paramount are going to continue making the Star Trek reboot as an action movie series.
The action movie thing is inevitably because after two well-performing movies in that vein Paramount has no impetus to change up the formula. Its the same reason Michael Bay's Transformers movies will continue to be military gun-wank films that sideline the titular giant robots: because after four militaristic gun-wank films made millions for their makers they are not going to risk their money changing tack. Even if Bay leaves the series the films will continue like that because its guaranteed money.
I just think Star Trek deserves better for its half century than its been getting the last couple of years. Doctor Who had a positively decadent 50th with a TV special, a 12-issue comic series, a docu-drama, a short story anthology and several audio projects dedicated to celebrating the series and proving its relevance a half century after its creation. Star Trek is getting one film and probably a couple of novels.
It all boils down to this: I cannot for the life of me say what Into Darkness was about on a philosophical level. Obviously, Section 31 are being evil but it didn't seem to resonate for any reason other than “This isn't the sort of thing we do in Star Trek!”. There was no discussion being had there. Also, whilst I didn't hate the character Benedict Cumberbatch was playing there didn't seem to be any reason for him to be there other than as a recognisable bad guy from the classic series so some nice references could be made.
And this is Star Trek, damn it! Some things are sacred and the ultimate Humanist fantasy, a fantasy born in an age when the human race was in very real danger of annihilating itself, deserves to spend its 50th anniversary proving that it still has something to say instead of proving it can be a good two-hour distraction.
So hopefully if this man really did add depth to The Fast and the Furious we can hope.