STAR TREK 3 Is Filming in Dubai and Vancouver

     June 26, 2015


The Star Trek franchise found itself in a bit of a pickle after the release of Star Trek Into Darkness. With the 50th anniversary of the series looming, J.J. Abrams had been offered the chance to build the first entry in an entire new trilogy in the Star Wars saga, so Trek needed a new director and it needed one fast. The studio really wanted Star Trek 3 to be ready for release in 2016 to coincide with the anniversary of when the TV series first aired. Abrams remained onboard as a producer while the director search was underway, and following brushes with folks like Joe Cornish and Bob Orci, production is finally getting ready to begin with Justin Lin at the helm.

Lin was an unexpected choice to take over for Abrams on the sci-fi franchise. He first broke out with his Sundance indie Better Luck Tomorrow, then proceeded to direct four Fast & Furious movies in a row, starting with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift all the way up through Fast & Furious 6. In short, Lin was responsible for turning the Fast & Furious franchise into one of the biggest series of all time, and while it was clear he could handle action, he had never tackled a sci-fi story before.


Image via Paramount Pictures

Steve recently took part in a group interview with David Ellison and Dana Goldberg, producers of Star Trek 3 and the CEO and CCO, respectively, of Skydance Productions. During the course of their wide-ranging conversation at the Berlin premiere of Terminator Genisys, the two revealed that the new Star Trek movie begins shooting imminently in two very different locations:

What can you tell people about when it’s filming and where?


ELLISON: We start shooting in ten days and we’re shooting in Vancouver and Dubai.


Dubai is an interesting place for an alien planet.


ELLISON and GOLDBERG: Could be [laughs].

The first two Trek films shot mostly in Los Angeles, where Abrams used plenty of trickery to dream up alien planets with locations like parking lots. For Trek 3, however, it sounds like the production will be based out of Vancouver and will be taking advantage of the Dubai surroundings for what is almost certainly some sort of alien planet.


Image via Universal Pictures

Additionally, on the subject of Lin, Goldberg had high praise for the franchise’s new director:

“Who knew Justin Lin was such a Star Trek fan? And he is. He met with J.J. and Lindsey Weber at Bad Robot and they fell in love with him, and brought him in to meet with us and to meet with everybody at Paramount and pitched a version of the film that we just thought ‘wow, that has huge potential.’ We’re not allowed to talk about the specifics of the film to say the least, but what we can tell you is there are some sequences that we have seen in pre-vis that are just incredible.”

Simon Pegg is co-writing the screenplay with Doug Jung, and Pegg previously revealed that the film’s title is Star Trek Beyond, though Goldberg responded with “To be determined,” when asked if that was true.

Regardless, Lin seems poised to make his sci-fi debut in a big way after a bit of a palette cleanser on True Detective Season 2 (he directed the first two episodes), and fans are no doubt eager to see where this next Trek movie takes the franchise when it hits theaters on July 8, 2016.

For more on what’s coming up from Skydance, click on the links below. Terminator Genisys opens July 1st.


Image via Paramount Pictures

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