‘Star Trek 3′ Search: With Joe Cornish Out, Who Should Direct?

The 'Attack the Block' filmmaker was attached to the 'Star Trek Into Darkness' sequel, but has since vacated the project.

Good things happen to those who wait — but sometimes, bad things happen, too.

Case in point: After weeks of waiting for “Attack the Block” filmmaker Joe Cornish to sign on for the “Star Trek Into Darkness” sequel, the other shoe has dropped. Variety reports that Cornish is no longer circling the project. With J.J. Abrams out of the seat and Cornish not accepting the captain’s chair, the next voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise is currently without a leader.

“Star Trek 3,” as we’re calling it until we hear otherwise, does not yet have a release date, though it’s rumored to arrive at some point in 2016. That’s not tomorrow, but it’s not far down the line, either. If Paramount wants to hit 2016, they need someone at the helm, and soon. With that in mind, here are a few filmmakers we could see in the role:

Not J.J. Abrams or Joss Whedon
The former because he’s too busy with “Star Wars,” the latter because he’s too busy with “The Avengers.” Yes, many fans want to see Abrams back, and yes, many fans believe Whedon is perfect for basically everything. But it’s not going to happen. Let’s get that out there, right up front, and move along.

Jon Favreau
Whedon gets all the credit these days, but never forget who launched “Iron Man” in the first place.

Favreau’s work since directing Ol’ Shellhead hasn’t exactly brought the house down (still trying to forget about you, “Cowboys & Aliens”), but his Marvel movies, and earlier efforts like “Zathura,” more than prove his ability to take on effects-heavy, big-budget blockbusters, set in extreme and far-out locations. Beyond that, Favreau knows character, and he understands comedy. After “Into Darkness,” which took itself so damn seriously, a light-hearted touch could be exactly what the “Trek” films need.

Jonathan Frakes
Whoa, whoa, OK. Before anyone Frakes out, let’s just pump the Frakes a second.

Yes, we’re talking about the man more commonly known as Commander William T. Riker, alias “Number One.” Frakes not only played the best beard in Starfleet history, he also helmed many of their adventures behind the camera, including the beloved “Star Trek: First Contact.” Sure, his experience with the classic Kirk-led team is limited, but Frakes has worked in other areas of the “Star Trek” universe beyond the “Next Generation” era. He brings experience as a “Star Trek” director and some much-needed fan-service to the affair. Plus, it would bring this to the attention of a wider audience, and that’s reason enough.

Guillermo del Toro
If you can name a director with a keener sense of joy and wonderment than GDT, please let me know so I may eat my hat.

(I’m not really going to eat my hat.)

Del Toro is the guy when it comes to taking childhood geek-dreams and blowing them up big on the movie screen. “Pacific” and “Rim” are the only two words needed to further that argument, but “Hellboy” works as a nice third. Few filmmakers have a better handle on unique, impossible-to-forget creature design, yet another key factor in making a “Star Trek” film work. It’s likely that del Toro is too busy or simply uninterested in making a “Star Trek” movie, but if he’s not — if he feels he has room on his dance-card to boldly go up to the stars — then he’s my top choice for the job.

Peter Weller
First he was RoboCop, then he was the corrupt commander of Starfleet. Can we really trust this man with the keys to the “Star Trek” kingdom? I vote … maybe.

Even though he’s best remembered for serving time as a cybernetic officer of the law, Weller has made a name for himself as a director on the small-screen, having directed numerous episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” and other shows. It’s a big leap from the biker-filled streets of Charming, California to the Klingon conflict in the stars, but Weller is a proven talent behind the camera, and having starred in “Into Darkness,” he’s a known quantity on the “Star Trek” set. Perhaps Weller is a bit of a stretch, but there are certainly worse choices, and he’s far from a bad one.

Who do you want to see direct the next “Star Trek” movie? (And please, for the love of all things holy, don’t say Joss Whedon. Trust us, we know.) Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Likes pizza, punch and pie. Dislikes the Chitauri.
@roundhoward