Paramount Pictures is nearing its director choice for Star Trek 3, and the name is sure to make plenty (rightfully) wary of the upcoming sci-fi sequel. With J.J. Abrams busy in a galaxy far, far away for the foreseeable future, Paramount has been searching for a new director to take the helm of the lucrative Trek franchise. They came close with Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, but the filmmaker subsequently backed out due to his reluctance to step into an already established franchise.
A few weeks ago, we heard that Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness scribe Roberto Orci was lobbying hard for the job complete with Abrams’ blessing, and now it appears that the screenwriter/producer is in formal negotiations to make his directorial debut on Trek 3. Read on after the jump. [Updated with unofficial confirmation after the jump.]
[Update: Variety reports that their sources have confirmed Orci is on board Star Trek 3 as the director. The original story follows below.]
The folks over at Deadline report that Roberto Orci has emerged as the clear frontrunner to direct Star Trek 3 and is now in talks to take the helm. Though he has not directed before, Orci has been intimately involved in the Trek franchise as a writer and producer since the 2009 reboot, and has plenty of experience crafting large-scale tentpole films. Along with his writing partner Alex Kurtzman, Orci has penned the screenplays for blockbuster films like Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Mission: Impossible III, and most recently The Amazing Spider-Man 2. As such, he won’t be entirely out of his element should he find himself in control of the Trek franchise.
But Orci’s involvement as the Captain of Star Trek is troubling for other reasons. His screenplays are heavily tailored to match studio interests and appeal to the widest possible audiences, resulting in mostly bland and forgettable scripts. Moreover, his controversial ideologies sometimes bleed heavily into his work, as evidenced by all the “false flag” stuff from Into Darkness. I really want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but at this point I’m highly skeptical of an Orci-led Star Trek film. At least in the first two movies we had the counterbalance of Abrams and, to a lesser extent, Damon Lindelof, but if Orci does indeed take over as director, Trek 3 will be all his; he’s even writing the screenplay with two of his protégés, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
This news comes on the heels of word that Orci and Kurtzman have ended their lucrative film partnership, as both are going their separate ways in favor of carving out directorial careers. Kurtzman has one feature under his belt as director, 2012’s People Like Us, and he’s currently attached to direct Sony’s Spider-Man spinoff Venom. As of now, he has no involvement in Trek 3.