As Star Trek continues to expand, from the Discovery era forward beyond The Next Generation and even further into the future with Picard, another milestone is being passed as Hanelle Culpepper becomes the first female director to launch a Star Trek show.
Culpepper has directed two Star Trek: Discovery episodes, season one’s “Vaulting Ambition” and the upcoming tenth episode of season two. One of the top episodic directors working today, she most recently directed multiple episodes of Counterpart and Shooter, as well as AMC’s forthcoming show, NOS4A2. Her many other credits include How to Get Away with Murder, Gotham, Criminal Minds, and American Crime. Culpepper got her start by assisting Academy Award-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri on her directorial debut, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. She followed that experience by participating in AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, where she quickly found her vision and voice behind the camera.
And producer Alex Kurtzman was effusive in his praise for Hannelle.
“Hanelle is a gifted and dynamic filmmaker whose directorial choices are always deeply rooted in character,” said Alex Kurtzman, Discovery’s co-creator, executive producer and showrunner. “I’ve been a fan of her work since she started with us on Discovery, and she’s the perfect person to re-introduce the beloved character of Picard to longtime fans and new viewers alike. We’re thrilled she’s joining our Trek family on this next adventure.”
Congratulations to Hannelle and her crew. Picard will arrive on CBS All Access and Netflix around the rest of the world later this year.