Dakota Fanning Heats Up

She's an Autistic Trekkie in Please Stand By

BY: Zak Wojnar

Star Trek means so much to so many people. It’s one of the longest-running sci-fi franchises of all time, dating back over fifty years, the original adventures of Kirk and Spock on their “wagon train to the stars,” as it was pitched by Gene Roddenberry. Today, Trek is as strong as ever, with the latest television series, Discovery, drawing viewers to CBS‘s streaming service, and a new film is in the works from visionary director Quentin Tarantino.

The cultural importance of Star Trek cannot be understated, having inspired critically-acclaimed films like Galaxy Quest and Free Enterprise. A new film by director Ben Lewin (The Sessions) looks to join the ranks of movies about Star Trek.

Please Stand By stars Dakota Fanning as Wendy Welcott, a young autistic woman with an endless love for all things Trek. After learning of a screenwriting contest, she embarks on an ill-advised road trip to deliver her teleplay to the Paramount studio in Los Angeles. Hilarity, drama, and heartwarming antics inevitable ensue, but nothing’s gonna stop her from her mission to make her voice heard.

Fanning initially broke out as an adorable child actor in films like I Am Sam and War of the Worlds. Since then, she’s balanced her output between big-budget blockbusters like the Twilight series and little-seen indies, such as American Pastoral and the underrated thriller, Brimstone. She’s an actor who likes to try new things with every role, and playing an autistic person without being kitsch or offensive will be a true test for the talented actor.

Toni Collette, Patton Oswalt, and Alice Eve co-star. In a bit of a meta nod to Trek, Eve is perhaps best known for playing a young Carol Marcus (originally portrayed by Bibi Besch in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) in 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness.

Up next for Dakota Fanning is the TNT series, The Alienist, starring Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans, as well as an undisclosed role in the highly-anticipated Ocean’s 8, a gender-flipped spin-off of the esteemed franchise of heist flicks.

Please Stand By hits theaters on January 26.