'Star Trek' legend Jonathan Frakes to direct new series, 'Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime'

a bearded man in a grey suit sits on a stage holding a microphone
Jonathan Frakes speaks onstage during the Hallmark Channel Original Movies Clips & Conversations 2024 at Saban Media Center on June 03, 2024 in North Hollywood, California. (Image credit: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for Hallmark Media)

Filmmaker, author, producer and actor Jonathan Frakes is best known for his portrayal of Commander Will Riker in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," a role he has also played in four "Star Trek" feature films with the acclaimed "TNG" cast.

Outside of his co-starring roles in the final frontier, Riker is also an accomplished director, beginning with his dip into filmmaking on "The Next Generation" and continuing with his helming of 1996's "Star Trek: First Contact" and 1998's "Star Trek: Insurrection." Along the way, he has transitioned back to episodic series, directing several episodes of "Star Trek: Voyager," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and behind-the-camera gigs in the modern streaming realm for Paramount+'s "Star Trek: Discovery," "Star Trek: Picard," and "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." 

Now that filming has been completed in Toronto on the third season of "Strange New Worlds," Frakes has turned his talents to an ambitious new project — an epic TV series adaptation of the classic Paul Preuss novels, "Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime." Screenwriters David Cormican ("Tokyo Trial") and Dwayne Hill ("Northern Rescue") will serve as executive producers and showrunners.

Jonathan Frakes co-stars in Paramount+'s "Star Trek: Picard." (Image credit: Paramount+)

"When the materials for 'Arthur C. Clarke’s Venus Prime' were presented to me, I couldn’t help but devour them," Frakes told Variety. "When asked if I wanted to direct what I read —my answer was a resounding and immediate 'Hell, yes!' Working on such a tremendous piece of IP from the mind of another sci-fi legend (who is also a contemporary of the true #1 Gene Roddenberry), will be both an honor and a dream for me."

"Venus Prime" is a series of six sci-fi mystery novels by author Paul Preuss, based upon a number of short stories from the legendary Arthur C. Clarke. They center around a young woman with superhuman skills named Sparta and her quest for the reality of her origins while confronting a sinister cult called the Free Spirit. Each book uses one Clarke story as its source material.

Related: 'Star Trek: Picard' actor and director Jonathan Frakes talks playing Riker again in exclusive interview excerpt

"Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime" will be listed as a Navajo Entertainment production in collaboration with Claxson, Washington Square Entertainment, Palatin Media, Julijette, Karma Film, Fun Republic Pictures and virtual production studio and film financier Volume Global.

"Bringing 'Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime' to audiences is a huge privilege and responsibility," said co-executive producer Lucas Vivo Garcia Lagos. "These books, along with the incredible characters and storylines, have been with me since my adolescence; I have always believed this IP has all the necessary elements to become a major blockbuster. By uniting the collective talents of Preuss, Cormican and Hill with Jonathan Frakes at the helm, we are confident we have assembled the perfect team to realize the cinematic vision we all share for this iconic property."

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.