Writer/Producer Bob Orci is Lobbying to Direct ‘Star Trek 3’

By April 22, 2014

Variety just published a story which reveals Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci – two of the most famous producers in Hollywood, who have co-produced “Alias,” “Fringe,” the Transformers films, the new Star Trek franchise, and Ender’s Game, among tons of others – are breaking up the partnership to go their separate ways and try to make it as directors. They’ll still work together on the television side of things, but as far as features go, they’re splitting up. The most interesting aspect of this story is the mention that Orci is “heavily lobbying” to direct Star Trek 3. We’ve known for a long time that J.J. Abrams will not direct that sequel, but who would succeed him has been the topic of much speculation since Star Trek Into Darkness came out.

According to the report, “The film’s co-producers, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and David Ellison’s Skydance, appear to be in favor of [Orci directing], but people familiar with the situation say that Paramount is being cautious.” The studio is likely keeping an eye on Wally Pfister’s recent box office bomb Transcendence, which was The Dark Knight cinematographer’s directorial debut. And with Christopher Nolan vouching for Pfister before filming started, this sounds an awful lot like the same kind of scenario could play out here: Orci’s been a writer/producer on the Star Trek series, but has never been behind the camera as a director. Does Paramount really want to risk derailing this franchise with an untested filmmaker at the helm? Whatever happened to getting Attack the Block director Joe Cornish to tackle this project?

Star Trek Into Darkness fall

Kurtzman has already been hired to direct the Venom spin-off at Sony, and he directed the underrated drama People Like Us a couple of years ago, so he seems much further along his new career path than Orci at this point. Variety’s report also says that Kurtzman is trying to score a solo deal with Universal which will allow him to oversee monster movie franchises like Van Helsing and The Mummy, which Kurtzman and Orci were tapped to reboot recently. No word yet on how this new development will impact those projects (is Orci getting bumped from them completely, even though they jointly signed on to produce those films?), but I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I’ll be more than a little worried about Star Trek 3 if Paramount decides to hand Bob Orci the keys to the kingdom.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.