After producer/writer Roberto Orci dropped out of directing the upcoming sequel Star Trek 3 a few weeks ago, Paramount Pictures has now set Fast Five helmer Justin Lin to direct the sci-fi pic. With J.J. Abrams busy on Star Wars, Paramount was in need of a new shepherd for the franchise. Orci, who produced and co-wrote the previous two Trek films, subsequently won the directing gig after campaigning to be given the reins. Despite fan disappointment over the decision, he had Abrams’ blessing and all seemed to be moving forward quite smoothly until a couple of weeks ago, when we learned that Orci had been forced out of the position over creative differences (though he remains involved as a producer). Paramount wasted no time in finding a replacement, and they now have a director well-versed in the arena of franchise filmmaking. More after the jump.
News of Lin’s hiring comes courtesy of Deadline, which notes that he was the only person to be offered the Star Trek 3 director job despite the fact that the studio was also considering Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum, among others. After breaking out with the Sundance indie Better Luck Tomorrow, Lin became the steward of the Fast & Furious franchise, helming four installments in total—from FF 3 to FF 6. He’s set to helm the follow-up to The Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner, but since Universal wants to move forward with the new Matt Damon Bourne film first, his schedule recently opened up.
I can’t say I’m particularly enthused by the news of Lin’s hiring on the Trek franchise. He’s not a bad filmmaker by any means, and he definitely knows how to put together a set piece, but his talents seem to lie more in action rather than cerebral or thoughtful stories; I’m not sure he’s the right fit for Star Trek. Then again, he’s been busy making action-oriented films for so long, maybe he’s keen on switching things up with a more character-centric sci-fi pic. I’m certainly open to the possibility that he’ll make a great Trek movie, but my initial reaction is one of slight disappointment.
Perhaps we’ll get our first look at Lin’s more character-focused talents (at least since Better Luck Tomorrow) sooner rather than later, as he’s currently in production on the first two episodes of True Detective Season 2. Unlike the first season, the second season of HBO’s anthology series is utilizing multiple directors so Lin won’t be onboard for the season’s entire run, but he will set the tone with the first two installments.
There was also recently talk that Lin might return to the Fast & Furious franchise for a multi-film conclusion, but seeing as how he’ll be busy with Trek for the next two years, that may be out of the cards. Paramount hopes to release Trek 3 in 2016 in time for the 50th anniversary, so things will likely start moving very quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised if the film was in front of cameras by late next summer.
What do you think about this Star Trek 3 director news, readers? Are you interested in seeing how Lin fares in the sci-fi genre? Who would you have liked to have seen replace Orci on the film? Sound off in the comments below.