Next ‘Star Trek’ Feature Film Beams Up a Familiar Director

By May 14, 2014

When director J.J. Abrams jumped (space)ship from the Star Trek franchise to helm the newest Star Wars film, it left the third Star Trek film in a strange state of flux. Who would direct the next installment of the rebooted series? Rumors swirled early on — way back in November, there was buzz that Joe Cornish could take on the project, and the addition of a pair of newbie screenwriters sure made it sound like the project was interested in new blood.

But then screenwriter Roberto “Bob” Orci made his aims and desires clear — he wants to direct the film — and the possiblity of something sparkling and new went, well, right into outer space.

It sure seems as if Orci has gotten his wish, as Variety is reporting that Orci will direct the next Star Trek feature for Skydance and Paramount Pictures. Orci is a familiar name around both the Star Trek franchise and other big blockbuster features, at least in a screenwriting capacity. He is currently penning the new Star Trek script alongside J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, and his other writing credits include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers. Yes, that’s a heck of a mixed bag there.

Star Trek Into Darkness - UK Film Premiere

Orci has never directed a film before, and the idea of giving him a massive, multi-million dollar film like Star Trek 3 as his debut feature seems, quite frankly, like a big risk. Orci’s creative partner Alex Kurtzman has also attempted to branch out into directing, but his first outing behind the camera, the low-key relationship drama People Like Us, was probably a better first film pick than something like Star Trek 3. Kurtzman, however, still seems to be benefitting from a shortened learning curve, as he is next set to direct Venom, a superhero-centric blockbuster-in-the-making. Whatever happened to building up to that sort of thing?

Kurtzman and Orci recently decided to split up when it comes to their filmmaking work — supposedly, because both want to direct films and felt that staying so linked would not help the cause — though they continue their television work together. Star Trek 3 will be the first film to come out of that split, and the idea that Orci will be taking this thing on sans his constant partner is certainly worrisome enough, beyond the fact that he’s being handed nearly $200 million to try out this directing thing. Perhaps Payne and McKay’s ideas will outweigh the possible bad stuff?

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss,, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.