Why David Cronenberg Never Directed An Episode Of Star Trek: Discovery

David Cronenberg is one of our greatest living directors; a Canadian auteur who made a name for himself with body horror masterpieces like "Scanners," "The Fly," and "Videodrome," just to name a few. And every now and then, Cronenberg will step in front of the camera, too. He has a memorable supporting turn as the villain in Clive Barker's "Nightbreed." And he has cameos in films such as "To Die For" and "Jason X." He also appeared in several seasons of "Star Trek: Discovery" as the character Doctor Kovich. 

With Cronenberg having spent so much time on the series, you might have wondered: why didn't he direct any episodes? He is, after all, a director first, actor second. Well, according to Cronenberg himself, it's not a gig he's particularly interested in. When asked by StarTrek.com what would happen if he was asked to direct an episode of the show, the acclaimed filmmaker bluntly replied: "I wouldn't consider it."

David Cronenberg doesn't want to direct a Star Trek show

So, why wouldn't David Cronenberg direct a "Star Trek" episode? As the filmmaker put it, "[I]t's a different kind of directing. It's almost a completely different modality of work because so many things are established. You come in to direct an episode of something like 'Star Trek,' the casting's been done, the tone of the script's been done. And you're not there for months and months of CG work and post-production, including the dialogue."

In other words, it just doesn't sound like the type of filmmaking Cronenberg is used to and comfortable with. The director-actor went on to describe some of the more technical aspects behind appearing on the show. "For example, normally you do ADR (additional dialogue recording), because sometimes they're recording on the set and there's movement or special effects explosions or something like that," he said, adding: 

"So, you have to replace the dialogue. Normally, you do that in a studio, but because of Covid, we couldn't do that. I ended up in a closed closet, using an app on my iPhone to record additional dialogue, which was fantastic! It really is doable. ... I'd never done that before, because it's never been necessary before. But that was a new thing, and in its own weird way, very Star Trek-y."

While Cronenberg may never helm a "Star Trek" episode, he's not done with filmmaking. After some time away from directing, he returned with the 2022 weirdo extravaganza "Crimes of the Future." His newest film, "The Shrouds," just premiered at Cannes.