For better or worse, the writing duo of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman has been responsible for some of the biggest franchise hits of the past decade. Orci and Kurtzman penned the scripts for the first two Transformers films, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible III, and they were recently brought into the Spider-Man franchise as the scribes behind The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 3. However, it appears that the two have decided to part ways in the feature world as they have their eyes on making the move to director—separately.
Kurtzman already has one feature under his belt as director, the 2012 dramedy People Like Us, but Orci is thinking big for his directorial debut as he is currently vying to take over for J.J. Abrams on Star Trek 3. More after the jump.
Variety reports that Orci and Kurtzman are parting ways in the film world, but will be sticking together on the TV side via their various producorial efforts like Sleepy Hollow and Hawaii Five-0. They still have a number of projects in the works on the feature film side, including Spider-Man 3, but it’s currently unclear how those will be divided between the two and their K/O Paper Products banner. The reason for the split is due to their separate desires to direct. Kurtzman is already attached to helm the Spider-Man spinoff film Venom, but Orci has his sights set on the director’s chair for Star Trek 3.
With Abrams busy on Star Wars for the foreseeable future, a new director was needed to take over the Trek franchise. Orci and Kurtzman had already begun to splinter as Orci took up principal duties on Trek 3 as producer and co-writer with his protégés Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, and Variety adds that he is heavily lobbying to direct the film. Apparently Bad Robot and Skydance Productions—co-producers on Trek 3—are in favor of this idea (as is Abrams himself), but Paramount is being cautious.
The studio first approached Attack the Block helmer Joe Cornish about taking over for Abrams on Trek 3, and while he considered the offer, he subsequently decided he’d rather direct something from the ground-up rather than step into an existing franchise (he’s now onboard the spy thriller Section 6). It’s unclear if Paramount has any other directors under serious consideration right now or if they’re currently focused on making a decision with regards to Orci taking the helm.
Orci has long been the Trek expert on the franchise’s team, but I’m dubious of him taking the reigns of the franchise as director. It’s no secret that he was the primary driving force behind the “false flag” and conspiracy angles of Into Darkness, and I’m not crazy about seeing what a Trek film looks like without the counter-balance of Abrams and Kurtzman. If he gets the job, this would be 100% Orci’s baby.