‘Star Trek 3′: Is This Writer Beaming Up to Fill J.J. Abrams’ Shoes?

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Source: Paramount Pictures

The third installment in the recent J.J. Abrams-directed Star Trek franchise won’t be directed by J.J. Abrams, according to a source who spoke to Variety. That report says that Roberto Orci has been tapped to replace Abrams for Star Trek 3, as Abrams will be too busy directing the new Star Wars films to have time to do the third Star Trek, though he will stay on the project as a producer.

The film would be Orci’s first time behind the camera, though he has worked as a writer and producer for years. Orci has written the previous two Star Trek movies and is set to write the screenplay for the third installment alongside J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. He also wrote the screenplays for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the first two Transformers movies, among other popular franchises.

The studios behind the project, Paramount and Skydance, declined to give Variety a comment on the report, as did Orci. The publication reports that no plot details for the third installment have been revealed, but actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are expected to return, as well as others from the previous cast.

According to Deadline, the decision to hire Orci as director had been rumored for a while. Skydance had been pushing for Orci to direct, while Paramount needed some convincing. Orci’s involvement with the franchise from the beginning as a writer and producer were certainly cards in his favor, though it is curious that the studios would place such a big project in the hands of a first-time director.

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