While most of the heavyweight Hollywood titles due to hit theaters next summer – like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises – have either recently begun filming or will in the very near future, Star Trek 2 has yet to reach that point in its development. Paramount has nonetheless already committed to the sci-fi sequel by going ahead and financing pre-production on the project.

Co-screenwriter/producer Roberto Orci revealed a few months ago that he, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof had not yet completed the Star Trek 2 screenplay. Jump ahead to the present and Orci is saying that this remains the case – however, pre-production is still pressing ahead, even though the film doesn’t technically have a director onboard just yet.

Orci informed TrekMovie that a 70-page outline for the Star Trek followup has been finished, and that it allowed for progress on the project to be made while J.J. Abrams completed post-production duties on next month’s release, Super 8. Star Trek 2 is still tentatively expected to begin production by this fall – even though it may still ultimately be delayed from its current June 2012 release date.

With regards to the actual Star Trek 2 script, Orci offer the following:

“Just been waiting for J.J. [Abrams] to be free to really decide if he likes the story and hear his suggestions before we finish our script. Once he says go, we’ll have it in no time…”

Abrams is reportedly “hopeful” that he’ll return to direct Star Trek 2, which may end up having to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor by having its release date pushed pack several months – so as to not rush production in order to make an increasingly tight deadline.

Romulans in Star Trek 2?

While chatting with Empire about some of her upcoming projects, Zoe Saldana naturally touched on the potential character arc of her on-screen counterpart, Uhura, in Star Trek 2. To quote:

“I can tell you for what I’d like to see happen [which is] for Spock and see Uhura to really hook up [in ‘Star Trek 2′] and for Uhura to kick some Romulan butt.”

With virtually nothing in the way of concrete information having been released about the plot of the Star Trek followup (other than word from Orci about its thematic content), it’s not surprising that Saldana’s comments prompt speculation that Romulans will indeed once again serve as a villainous force in the film – much like the renegade Captain Nero (Eric Bana) did in the original Star Trek reboot.

Last year there were rumors about a character from the original Star Trek television series serving as the antagonist in Star Trek 2, but without even a complete script at this point, there’s really no way to determine if there’s any truth to that claim. However, Orci has talked about the prospect of introducing a villain in the sequel before, saying that “the trick is not to do something that’s been seen before just because you think it will be a short cut to likeability.” Take that as you will.

Star Trek 2 remains (for the time being) slated for theatrical release on June 29th, 2012.

Source: Empire, TrekMovie (via /Film)