Paramount has found the director to bring Star Trek into its 50th anniversary... and it's Justin Lin, the guy who made the Fast & Furious films into global mega-events. Lin, whose FF films grossed around two billion dollars worldwide, comes in to salvage the wreckage left by Bob Orci over the past year.
I like Lin. I like the Fast & Furious films a lot. I think Lin's a great action director. I just don't think we need a great action director on Star Trek 3. Action hasn't been lacking; JJ Abrams made sure to bring Trek closer to Star Wars during his tenure on the series. We need more classic Trek, and I don't mean boring The Motion Picture stuff - Trek was never hard science. I mean adventure stories with a morality/social commentary element.
Lin's hiring shows that Paramount is serious about making this franchise a global box office winner. They're tired of the OK returns of the last two films, and they're going balls to the wall on this one. But could they kill the soul of the franchise by going in that direction?
I'll tell you what is good about Lin taking the captain's chair: he handles ensembles well. His FF films have an earnest positivity to them. He can shoot very well. We'll probably get a movie where Sulu actually does stuff, as Lin and John Cho go way back to Better Luck Tomorrow. It'll look good.
But I am still gravely concerned. I want this film to be great, and I would be okay with it being popular (I'm not making any money on this shit so I honestly don't care what kind of cash it makes), but I worry that hiring Lin is a shift away from any sort of traditional Trek elements and a move into absolutely modern blockbuster aesthetics.
I'll still be showing up, hopeful.