After J.J. Abrams agreed to take on directing duties for Star Wars: Episode 7, the race was on to find someone to take over for him on Star Trek 3. Now, it looks like Paramount may be nearing a decision.

Early rumors suggested there were a few possible candidates, including Jon Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). One other name on that list was Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, who was first reported as a candidate by our friends at Latino Review back in May.

Now, according to Deadline, it appears that Cornish has risen to the top of the pack and has become Paramount’s first choice for the job. No deal is in place yet, but with a summer 2014 start date looming, you can expect to hear some official confirmation soon if Cornish accepts the role.

Cornish has had a hand in developing big-budget properties before, having co-written Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s The Adventures of Tin-Tin and Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man. But if he ends up at the helm (pun intended) of Star Trek 3, it will be a major leap up from the relatively low budget of his directorial debut.

‘Attack the Block’

While Star Trek Into Darkness received largely positive reviews, some fans were critical that the film rehashed old villains from Star Trek canon instead of opting for something original. At the end of the sequel, the crew of the Enterprise finally sets off on their five year mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before,” so perhaps injecting a new director into the mix is the right approach.

Whatever the case, if Cornish gets the job, he’s going to have to meet some pretty big expectations. His work on Attack the Block (our own Kofi Outlaw gave it a 4.5 star review) shows that he knows how to combine action and humor effectively, which is an essential part of the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Now let’s hope that whatever story Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci come up with gives him the opportunity to put his skills to use.

What do you think of the possibility that Joe Cornish may direct Star Trek 3? And where would you like to see the franchise go in terms of plot? Let us know in the comments.

Star Trek 3 does not currently have a release date.

Source: Deadline