Jonathan Frakes has openly criticized ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ for its excessive focus on Tom Hardy’s character, Shinzon, at the expense of the ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ (TNG) family.
‘Nemesis,’ the final movie starring the TNG cast, did not involve Frakes in the directorial role. In ‘The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years,’ he shared his views on what he perceived as the film’s missteps. He pointed out that the film’s focus on Shinzon overshadowed essential elements, saying:
“With Nemesis, it was as if the Fates stepped in. We had John Logan, who’s an A-list writer. We had what was a great company back together again. Tom Hardy was a brilliant guest star. My take on it, though, was that there was not enough of the family. It was a little too much of Shinzon and not enough of Picard and Data. The first weekend, people came to see Bones, Kirk and Spock, or Picard and Data. The story of Nemesis was very much a story about the obsession of Shinzon, Tom Hardy’s character.”
Frakes’s critique extended to the editing decisions that led to cuts in key scenes:
“The front end of the movie, with the wedding of Riker and Troi, which was so charming, just got cut to bits. We originally had Whoopi and Wil Wheaton and all of these Easter eggs in there, and Brent sang. It was a big deal that got cut up to nothing.”
This Isn’t the First Time Frakes Expressed His Discontent
In an earlier 2009 interview, Frakes again expressed that, had he directed ‘Nemesis,’ the film would have focused more on the Star Trek family rather than primarily on Shinzon:
“I think we would have kept a lot more of the Star Trek family in the movie. It would have been more about us than about Tom Hardy [Shinzon]. I would hope. As great he is and as great as his character was, people come on the first weekend of a Star Trek movie to see their family.”
So, he brought forward the same issues he saw in the movie in the past as well.
Why ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ Failed to Achieve Success?
‘Star Trek: Nemesis‘ was directed by Stuart Baird, a newcomer to the Star Trek universe. Following its release, the film did not meet the expectations set by its predecessors.
Despite being written by Academy Award-nominee John Logan, with contributions from Brent Spiner, the film was a box-office disappointment. It garnered only $67 million worldwide against a $60 million budget and received largely negative reviews.
However, the narrative and character developments in ‘Nemesis’ have been addressed in the following ‘Star Trek: Picard‘ series. Set two decades after ‘Nemesis,’ the show revisits and resolves many of the film’s plot points. Its third season also revived Commander Data in a new, organic form while exploring the marriage of Riker and Troi.
Considering Frakes’ critiques, it’s safe to say that the series has effectively navigated past the shortcomings of ‘Nemesis.’