After the many sins of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ Paramount seems dead set on righting the course of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise with ‘Star Trek 3.’ They ditched controversial director Roberto Orci, hired the great Simon Pegg to co-write the screenplay with Doug Jung, and now, word that hit the internet suggesting that the film will contain three new female characters ... and a villain fit for Bryan Cranston.

When Cranston isn’t snatching quick paychecks by resurrecting Walter White for embarrassing Super Bowl insurance commercials, he’s one of the best (and scariest) actors working today. Six seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’ can attest to that. So when Film Divider writes that the villain of ‘Star Trek 3’ is essentially being molded for Cranston, our ears perk up. They can’t confirm if he has actually signed on to the project or if he’ll be playing a new character or one who has existed in ‘Trek’ continuity before, but the news of his interest is heartening. After all, both previous films in the rebooted franchise suffered from weak villains.

As cool as the Cranston rumor is, the other half of Film Divider’s report is even cooler. In what feels like a direct response to how ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ misused Alice Eve (remember that totally unnecessary/sexist underwear scene that existed solely for the sake of boobs?), Pegg and Jung’s script will apparently introduce three new female characters and each of them sound like they could be, you know, actual characters who are interesting and offer more to the film than a lingerie shot.

First, there’s the new female President of the Federation, a role that has appeared many times across the ‘Star Trek’ movies and shows, but one that has never been filled by a woman. Then there’s ‘Bones’ McCoy’s ex-wife, which suggests that Karl Urban’s grumpy physician will actually get to do something to do this time around. Considering how good Urban has been in these movies, that can only be a good thing.

But most importantly, ‘Star Trek 3’ will reportedly feature a female starship captain who Captain Kirk’s equal. The original report says that the production is seeking an actress who can match the “energy and vitality” of Chris Pine, which means that they are going to need to cast one charismatic and effortlessly watchable woman. In any case, giving the brash and fearless Kirk a female counterpart sounds like a huge step in the right direction. After all, ‘Star Trek’ takes place in a world where all races, sexes and creeds work together, on an equal level, to better the universe. Women kick just as much ass as men (if not more!), so we’ll cross our fingers and hope that a pinch of salt isn’t necessary with this rumor.

‘Star Trek 3’ will be directed by Justin Lin and is aiming for a July 8, 2016 release date.

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