Although he was confirmed to be taking over the director’s chair from J.J. Abrams for the third outing of the Enterprise‘s new crew, screenwriter Roberto Orci will no longer be helming the anticipated sequel, reports Deadline.
According to Variety, Orci’s exit was given no specific reason by their sources at Paramount Pictures, owners of the Star Trek film franchise. Orci had previously co-written 2009’s successful franchise relaunch Star Trek with regular collaborator Alex Kurtzman, and also co-wrote last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness with Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. He will remain on as a producer on the film along with Abrams and Bryan Burk. Orci wrote the first draft of the new film, which was most recently polished by writers Patrick McKay and John D. Payne.
Since production is due to begin early in 2015 for a 2016 release (coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise), the studio will have to move quickly to fill the vacant director’s chair. Deadline makes mention of director Edgar Wright being a candidate to take on the new film, since he’s both a franchise fan and even directed a shot that made it into the final cut of Star Trek Into Darkness. However, Wright seems to have a lot on his schedule in the coming months, so its not clear whether or not he would be a viable choice to take the reins of the project from Orci.
The new film is expected to reunite all seven primary castmembers: Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock, Karl Urban as Dr. McCoy, Zoë Saldana as Lieutenant Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty, John Cho as Lieutenant Sulu, and Anton Yelchin as Ensign Chekov. No word on any other casting has been confirmed.
Speaking as a massive Star Trek fan, I’m a little disappointed that Orci won’t be given the chance to direct the next adventure of the Enterprise, which seems to be poised to head out into deep space for the first time since the franchise’s last days on television nearly 10 years ago. Still, we’ll be watching this story carefully to see what course will be set for Captain Kirk, so keep an eye on GeekNation for any further developments.
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