A rumor surfaced earlier today that Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) is the top candidate to direct Star Trek 3. It seemed unlikely, because Chu would have to drop out of G.I. Joe 3 to helm the sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness. Plus, our editor-in-chief Steve Weintraub noted that he’s been “hearing a different name than Jon M. Chu” for Star Trek 3.
Two developments since that posting. 1) Chu’s representatives denied that their client is up for the project. 2) A new report raised the name Steve has been hearing: Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt. More after the jump.
Chu’s reps informed the Huffington Post that “Chu has not been contacted about the project.” On its own, this could just be your standard denial for a J.J. Abrams production. Paramount is the home to both Star Trek and G.I. Joe, so they could make it happen if Chu was game. But there’s more.
A source tells Cinematallica that Wyatt is “virtually a lock at this stage in the game” to sign on to the project. This is far from an official announcement, but there is a compelling case for Wyatt’s chances since it falls in line with what Steve heard.
Wyatt has attached himself to several projects after leaving the Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel. The highest profile belonged to The Equalizer remake led by Denzel Washington. Wyatt entered early negotiations, but talks swiftly broke down. Wyatt is also attached to Birdsong, Night Film, and Agent 13, but Star Trek 3 is the type of project that jumps to the front of the queue.
In other Star Trek news, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci will return to write the sequel, this time without Damon Lindelof. Abrams is in negotiations to produce. All signs point to a 2016 release to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1966 premiere of the Star Trek TV series.