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The Real Reason Jonathan Frakes Didn't Direct Star Trek: Nemesis

Jonathan Frakes is legendary in the world of "Star Trek," and his name carries almost as much weight as William Shatner and Patrick Stewart. That's pretty impressive, considering his character, Commander William Riker, spends most of his career as the second-in-command to Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart). Acting as the First Officer on the starship Enterprise, Riker is often called Number 1 to denote his authority on the famous space-faring vessel.

Besides appearing as Riker in well over 170 episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Frakes also directed several episodes of that series, as well as "Star Trek: Voyager," "Picard," and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." He's helmed "Trek" big-screen adventures, too: "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Star Trek: Insurrection" (via IMDb). However, his directorial prowess is strangely absent from the next film in the series — "Star Trek: Nemesis." Why didn't Frakes lend his skills and familiarity to the movie, considering that the actor/director is in a rather unique position when it comes to the production of different "Star Trek" properties?

Frakes was never offered the director position for Star Trek: Nemesis

"Star Trek: Nemesis" tells a story that at its core is about identity. Set during a period of change for the Romulan Empire, Picard and his intreprid crew become embroiled in an unstable political dynamic between Romulans and Remans, who were a brutally enslaved race from the nearby planet of Remus. However, the leader of the Remans is Shinzon (Tom Hardy), who is in truth a clone of Picard that was designed to supplant him in the future, acting as a sleeper agent in the Federation. At first, Shinzon and Picard's interactions are amiable, but they soon turn hostile when it is revealed that Shinzon is dying due to his genetic makeup and needs Picard's life to end to continue his own.

As to why Frakes didn't direct this final movie starring "The Next Generation" cast, the actor/director suspects that it had something to do with his agents. In an interview with IGN, Frakes said that he was not offered the position of director, and added "I wish I had been. I probably would have [done the film]. I know that my representation, they thought that it would not be a great idea just doing Star Trek after Star Trek." In a separate interview with Vulture, Frakes said in hindsight, "I would have loved to have done 'Nemesis,' but it seemed like, 'Really? That's all you're going to do, is "Star Trek" movies?' It's glib to say now. I wish I had done 'Nemesis.'" To this day, Frakes still appears as Commander Riker in "Star Trek" properties and continues to direct, but it seems as if he really laments the fact that he wasn't in the director's chair for "Star Trek: Nemesis."