WEEK IN WOMEN news update: S.J. Clarkson becomes first female ‘Star Trek’ helmer, Tilda Swinton to star in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s new film, Russian actor Alisa Khazanova’s directorial feature film debut gets a release date

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S.J. Clarkson has been tapped to direct “Star Trek 4,” making her the first female to helm a film in the “Star Trek” franchise. Courtesy photo

S.J. Clarkson has been tapped to direct “Star Trek 4,” making her the first female to helm a film in the “Star Trek” franchise. Courtesy photo

The “Star Trek” film franchise has a new captain at the helm, and for the first time, it’s a woman.

S.J. Clarkson has been tapped to direct “Star Trek 4,” making her the first female to helm a film in the “Star Trek” franchise, Variety reports.

Paramount Pictures announced at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that it was planning a fourth movie starring Chris Hemsworth, who played George Kirk, the ill-fated father of future Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot.

Although “Star Trek 4” details are vague, sources tell Variety a key storyline involves Pine’s Captain Kirk encountering his father in a time-travel plot. Zachary Quinto is also set to return.

Clarkson is best known for her work on television, including shows such as “Dexter,” “Bates Motel,” “Orange is the New Black,” Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” and the Marvel team-up series “The Defenders.”

J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay penned the “Star Trek 4” screenplay. J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce through Bad Robot Productions, while David Ellison and Dana Goldberg of Skydance Media will executive produce.

Paramount is developing another “Star Trek” film from Abrams and Quentin Tarantino, but sources tell Variety it is still being written and would come after the fourth movie.

The original 2009 “Star Trek” reboot earned $385 million worldwide, and the 2013 sequel “Star Trek: Into Darkness” made $467 million globally. The third film in the series, 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond,” hauled in $343 million worldwide.

Tilda Swinton appears in a scene from the 2017 film "Okja." One of her next projects will be a feature film with Thai writer-director Apichatpong Weerasethakul to be lensed in Colombia. Netflix photo

Tilda Swinton appears in a scene from the 2017 film “Okja.” One of her next projects will be a feature film with Thai writer-director Apichatpong Weerasethakul to be lensed in Colombia. Netflix photo

Tilda Swinton to star in new feature from Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Oscar winner Tilda Swinton recently confirmed that she will star in “Memoria,” next feature film from esteemed Thai writer-director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose lyrical 2010 feature “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” became the first Thai film to win the Palme d’Or, the top award at the Cannes Film Festival.

During her visit at last month’s Cartagena Film Festival in Colombia, Swinton told The Independent that she and Apichatpong have been talking about making the film for more than a decade. The upcoming feature will be Apichatpong’s first filmed in Colombia, or anywhere outside his homeland.

During the her visit to the Cartagena Film Festival, which marked her first trip to Latin America, Swinton said she was slightly thrown when a Colombian citizen had asked if she was really going to act in a film made in the country.

“I was struck by the fact that this person assumed that I was maybe going to drop this film for another project or another job,” the Englishwoman told The Independent. “But I learned something from this comment about what we are used to, we are used to actors moving from project to project in a slightly detached way, or that they are looking over their shoulder for a more interesting project, or more money, but that is not how I approach projects, I need to work with people that I can trust.”

Along with her repeat films with the Coen Brothers, Jim Jarmusch and Bong Jooh-ho, she can currently be heard voicing a canine called the Oracle in Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” her third outing with that director. Helmer Luca Guadagnino (“Call Me By Your Name”) has tapped her up again to collaborate for a fourth time on his upcoming reinterpretation of Dario Argento’s surreal horror classic “Suspira.”

“I always choose the people first,” she said. “I knew from the beginning that out of fellowship comes conversation and then comes the project.”

Although this will be her first feature to make with Apichatpong, it’s not their first time to work together. While curating together Film on the Rocks, a film festival in the Maldives, Apichatpong created his 2013 short film “One Water,” which features Swinton recalling her dreams in front of his camera. The lovely short film is currently on view at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, which is the last North American stop for “The Serenity of Madness,” a traveling exhibit of the Thai filmmakers experimental short films and video installations.

In an email interview from Colombia, where he is working on his new film, Apichatpong gave me a little insight into the upcoming feature.

“I am still developing it. I don’t know if it can be considered sci-fi. It’s a medical symptom of this person … that synchronizes with the land’s memory,” he said by email. “I visited Colombia and loved its landscape. Then I read, made friends, and discovered many beautiful stories of others. I’d like to try not working on my materials of Thailand for once.”

To read more of my interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul, click here.

Russian actor Alisa Khazanova’s directorial feature film debut, the thriller “Middleground,” will get a limited theatrical release and global VOD/Digital release beginning on May 18. Hype Films poster image

Russian actor Alisa Khazanova’s directorial feature film debut, the thriller “Middleground,” will get a limited theatrical release and global VOD/Digital release beginning on May 18. Hype Films poster image

Russian performer Alisa Khazanova’s “Middleground” gets a release date

A former ballet dancer at the Bolshoi Theatre, Russian actor Alisa Khazanova’s directorial feature film debut, the thriller “Middleground,” will get a limited theatrical release and global VOD/Digital release beginning on May 18, according to a news release.

“Middleground” made its world premiere at the Moscow International Film Festival and stars Khazanova (“The Woman in Black,” “Tale in the Darkness”), Noah Huntley (“28 Days Later,” Snow White and the Huntsman”), Rob Campbell (“The Crucible,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”), Marisa Ryan (“Wet Hot American Summer,” “Major Dad”), and Chris Beetem (“Emelie,” ”Black Hawk Down”).

“Middleground” tells the story of a husband and a wife staying in a cozy hotel, where it is easy to get trapped in the daily routine. Their time is like a flat circle in a deceptively intimate setting, according to a news release.

“I see a life of every single person as a separate timeline. This bizarre hotel in my film is a place where those ‘time streams’ intersect,” Khazanova said in a statement

A Russian production from Hype Films, “Middleground” was directed by Khazanova, written by Khazanova and Michael Gregory Kupisk (“Chef,” “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”) and produced by Ilya Stewart (“The Student, “Blockbuster”), Khazanova, Roman Volobuev (“The Passenger, “The Cold Front”) and Claudio Bellante (“The Student,” “The Book of Love”).

The Vladar Company is distributing the film.

-BAM

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