Rumor Patrol: Joe Cornish Shortlisted to Direct ‘Star Trek 3′

Published 2 years ago by

Star Trek Into Darkness Captain Kirk Commander Spock Rumor Patrol: Joe Cornish Shortlisted to Direct Star Trek 3

Star Trek Into Darkness is the rare well-received followup to a critically and financially-successful franchise blockbuster that hasn’t outstripped its predecessor at the box office (so far). It’s possible that a backlash against J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars-ian take on the late Gene Roddenberry’s sci-fi franchise is to blame; or, more likely, the film’s marketing campaign – which was so focused on preserving secrecy around the film’s villain – didn’t really get audiences properly excited.

Regardless, Into Darkness ticket sales have been quite healthy during the first couple weeks of release ($184 million worldwide), with openings in several foreign markets to come. So, there’s no reason to believe that Star Trek 3 – the third installment in Abrams’ rebooted continuity and 13th Trek movie overall – is not going to reach theaters, possibly in time for the property’s 50-year anniversary in 2016.

Star Trek 3 probably won’t have Abrams sitting in the captain’s director’s chair, as he will be preoccupied for the next two years with developing, shooting, editing and hyping Star Wars: Episode VII; that is, unless Paramount postpones the U.S.S. Enterprise’s next voyage until 2017 (it’s a possibility). Latino Review‘s El Mayimbe has the scoop on one candidate in the running to take Abrams’ place:

“I guess y’all wanna know about who might be directing STAR TREK 3 if it ever goes. Heard Joe Cornish BUT also heard he’s on a list of names. I’m NOT saying Joe Cornish is the guy, but what I am saying is the he is definitely one of NUMEROUS contenders.” – @elmayimbe

Mayimbe went on to say that “quite frankly there is no story there,” seeing how the Star Trek 3 situation – which includes the director of choice – is in a fluid state. Cornish may end up being the first of multiple names that gets tossed around, but doesn’t stick to the wall (similar to what happened back when he was shortlisted to direct The Hunger Games: Catching Fire); nonetheless, the prospect of Cornish guiding the Enterprise crew’s next mission is worth being addressed and discussed in greater detail.

atttack the block cast Rumor Patrol: Joe Cornish Shortlisted to Direct Star Trek 3

The cast of ‘Attack the Block’

Cornish co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin as well as Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man movie (with director Edgar Wright), but his most noteworthy accomplishment is the sci-fi action/comedy Attack the Block. That critical gem – which landed the #2 spot on Screen Rant’s Favorite Movies of 2011 – shows why Cornish would be considered for the Star Trek 3 directing job, given how well he served a socially-conscious sci-fi story featuring an ensemble cast on that film (with that creative spark often lacking in Hollywood tentpoles nowadays).

However, if history is anything to judge by, then this Star Trek 3 director story is a long ways from being over. For one, Cornish’s lack of big-budget filmmaking experience no doubt affected his candidacy to helm Catching Fire – which ended up being entrusted to director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) instead – and he has the same disadvantage here.

Moreover, it wasn’t until after he had released Super 8 in theaters that Abrams was confirmed to direct the (at the time) untitled Star Trek sequel. He’s going to produce Star Trek 3, so it might be a similar long wait before Abrams stops dancing around the subject of whether or not he could end up directing Star Trek 3 after Episode VII has been completed.

Would you like Joe Cornish to direct Star Trek 3? Would you prefer to have the movie’s release date delayed until 2017, so Abrams can direct – or should another filmmaker take over the franchise? Let us know in the comments section.


Star Trek Into Darkness is now playing in U.S. theaters.

Source: El Mayimbe

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Joe who???

    • Dude, that’s why you need to read the article before commenting. 😉

      • lol. Sandy, I always read your stuff.

        • Ha, no worries, I’m just ribbing you.

  2. I haven’t seen ATB, I might have to check it out.

    • Its not that great, cool monster effects though.

      • I thought it was pretty great. Something very old school about it.

        • Meh. I thought it’d be more thrilling and hilarious considering the amount of praise critics were giving it. I was disappointed of how unintentionally cheesy it was and how it took itself so seriously by the finale.

  3. This is great news! No more lens flare and hopefully no more reusing of overly used villains.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Abrams somehow makes Darth Vader the villain in the next Star Wars.

    • The Borg are overly used villains, clones, time travelling assassins, angry ex-cia terrorists, hackers, Sith, these are all examples of overly used. Khan, used three times in 50 years, is hardly overly used.

      • +1

      • Maybe Khan has not been overly used, but being the villain in the sequel to the reboot, as he was in the sequel to the original, was an incredible lack of originality. Plus, of the two, I would have to say that Montalban played the definitive role. Looking forward to another director besides Abrams.

        • Montalban was good, but the current film is so much better than the original it’s ridiculous to even compare. Watched this at the IMAX in 3-D today, and this is the FIRST 3-D film that actually felt 3-D.
          It is so good that it will surpass all previous box office records for any Star Trek film. Looking forward to the next dozen or so films, if I live that long!

          • On what level? Action, sure the new one beats the Wrath, in CG sure, since the original did not have any. In things like tension, plot, story, and development, Wrath curb-stomps it. Heck, they made the new Kirk cry (like a baby) after harping on how bad of a captain he is (with him agreeing!!). It has good points and bad points, but the original is far better. Watch it again and pay attention to how immersed you are. Also the plot holes in the new one really hurt. Cold fusion does not work like that, and ship have shields! Nice that JJ keeps forgetting that as anything other than something for Sulu to say. Too bad no one could point out to him that shields actually stop damage…

          • While technology may have improved so that CGI in movies nowadays are totally mind blowing, nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, is a substitute for well written characters, a great story and great direction. Look at the original Star Wars trilogy compared with the new trilogy; visually the new trilogy beats the originals hands down, but the story telling is so woeful that it dismayed many a fan. The originals though and still universally loved (even if Lucas kept changing them every couple years! lol).

            With ST Into Darkness, JJ made a fatal error in taking one of the most widely cherised villains in trek history and rebooting the episode/movie that made him so popular. Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance was great, but nowhere near as masterful as Ricardo Montalban’s was. Wraith of Khan was released in 1982 and 31 years later is still considered (one of) the greatest Star Trek movies ever. I doubt the same will be said of this recent movie in years to come.

            I remember the first time watched Wraith of Khan and I cried when Spock died. I rewatched it recently (and I’m in my 30s now) and it still brings a lump to my throat. This is because you care about the character, totally believe his friendship with Kirk and are moved by his sacrifice for his ship mates.

            I never fully bought into the relationship between Pine and Quinto in this movie (I thought it was better in the first one). There are so many scenes/story details/plot holes all over this movie that it would take too long to list them all here. I liked the redesign of the Klingons, even though they spelled Kronos wrong (it’s Qo’nos), but none of this matters so long as “the FIRST 3-D film that actually felt 3-D”.

            I’m glad that JJ has gone over to Star Wars. he was always more of a fan of that franchise. It can sometimes be positive getting a director who isn’t a fan of the franchise (NIcholas Meyer who directed Wraith of Khan, The Undiscovered Country and was involved with the screenplay for The Voyage Home) was not a fan of the franchise before he directed Star Trek 2. But what he tried to do (and was very successful at) was tell a good ORIGINAL story with these characters.

            • Whilst your initial statements regarding CGI (indeed all SFX) & plot, acting, etc. Are irrefutable universal truths, after that you seem to become purely nostalgic in a semi-wittingly naive way. Nimoy & Shatner were ‘more believable’ in Trek 2 than Pine & Quinto primarily because of affiliation with the role in the minds of those who believe this; probably secondly because of not fully appreciating the deliberate intreguing narrative of tension and dislike between Kirk & Spock in 11 – which was excellently thought out as an interpersonal character journey dynamic in the plot, thus in 12 a brilliance of subtly is found in Spock only using Kirk’s first familiar name Jim for the first time after both of them have risked death for each other, the latter instance Kirk’s, via the inverted parallel narrative of self-sacrifice (Jim in Spocks shoes as the warp engine martyr); another variable being simply experience – Nimoy has acted as Spock for half a century: although I would suggest that Pine equals Shatner in acting ability (much of it in his eyes for both: fearlessness, drive, boldness, tactical deceit [poker], hubris, lust & compassion), and Quinto performs the emotionlessness flawed-with-emotion paradox of Spock very well considering the depth of established archetype within the Trek pantheon (primarily Spock, Data & The Borg – the Borg’s emotions being megalomaniacal perfectionistic supremacism (snobbery) & it’s inevitable endlessly self-perpetuating resentfulness via lust, and bitterness at critique).

              You overlook the cunning in J.J.’s personal marketing strategy too: The very hook for a mass audience was a director openly saying he wasn’t a Trek fan. Tactic: honesty + manipulation of potential audience… you don’t direct actors for a living without learning to be one yourself, more often wittingly than not.

              Lost was a deliberate exercise in cult-like-thinking in it’s orchestration, knowing that J.J. knows very well how to hook an audience into a submersive maze of providence, suble meanings, secrets, jargon, social dynamics & living in constant fear of isolation & death (the two biggest human fears) in his first successful outing, we could only but expect him to know almos exactly how to market to the masses, whilst at the same time maintaining the existing Trek-cult-fans.

              The man is a genius, Trek 11 & 12 equal 2, 4 & 8, and long may the franchise continue… preferably with non-fans in the chair: Fresh life.

  4. Isn’t Cornish attached to adapt Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash? What’s the latest on that?

  5. I’m glad for this rumor. Usually when they are this quick they are completely untrue. AotB was a terrible movie with protagonists I kept hoping would die. He doesn’t deserve ‘Trek.

    • Man, each to their own and all that but ATB is a great movie with brilliant writing and realistic characters. Yes they are characters from a different cultural background than we are used to as audience members, but they are very well written and the monster effects were brilliant. He could easily do justice to Star Trek. Not trying to say your opinions are wrong, they are fair enough, but many critics loved ATB and the characters portrayed within it, so it’s not as clear cut as you suggest.

      • Since when is “different cultural backgrounds” code words for scumbag muggers and drug addicts?

    • I wasn’t a fan of ATB either but I think Cornish showed promise.

    • Abrams admitted that he was not a fan of Trek, and I don’t believe he did a good job directing or scripting the stories for it. Looking forward to another director. Hopefully, that person will be a true fan of the franchise, from its inception.

    • Gil– I felt I did myself a disservice when I skipped Attack in theaters. I caught up to it on video on the basis of the glowing praise from peers, friends and the film blogging community in general.

      And I thought one thing.
      To each their own.

      That’s being polite.

  6. I still think David Cronenberg is the best choice. He’s doing nothing and Abrams has been begging him to go back to sci-fi. I haven’t seen The Fly from way back in 1986 but if it is that much of an inspiration to Abrams as he said it is, then it must be really cool.

    • He’s not doing ‘nothing’. He currently prepping his next film Map to the Stars. And as for his return to Science Fiction, I’d rather he do something original.

    • Wow, Cronenberg’s a great idea!

      • Dear god no. Love some of his movie and style but he hasn’t shown that he could ever do a fast paced action oriented blockbuster movie. His films have some pretty slow pacing and the action choreography is always pretty basic.

  7. Well lets hope they have somewhere else to go on their 5 year mission except planet rehash and its moons…

    • Got a chuckle from that, and I agree. As I indicated above, Abrams admitted that he was not a fan of Star Trek, and it showed, from relegating the original timeline to nothingness, to making Khan the villain in the sequel to the reboot, as he was in the sequel to the original…what an incredible lack of originality, especially when the storybook from which he could have drawn was space and all of its infinity.

      • The original timeline was not reduced to nothingness. It was moved over to the video game Star Trek Online. Although, I think Abrams did a good job. There is just one issue I do not understand. Spock and Admiral Pike rip on Kirk violating the Prime Directive to save an entire planet. However, if Spock and Pike were so concerned about the Prime Directive, wouldn’t the first and most important step be to attempt to restore the timeline back to the prime universe? And don’t say they didn’t know, because Spock said it clearly in the 2009 movie, and Spock Prime was still a very influential member of Starfleet as an Ambassador at Romulus…Spock Prime knows the regulations as well. But that aside, I still think its a good movie. And I am a little hesitant to see anyone else directing Star Trek. At least Abrams sat through the entire TOS series before he started directing, and most of his staff were big fans too.

        • The Prime Directive concerns non-interference with pre-warp species, James – nothing to do with altered timelines. Besides, the “Prime Universe” is only Prime to us. The Abrams Universe is now the Prime to its inhabitants, and they can no more “restore” the other one than you could divide the contents of a river into the individual streams that fed it.

    • Well said, old man.

  8. I love Attack The Block was a complete surprise for a me.

  9. If they want it out for 2016, there’s no way Abrams directs it. It’ll be interesting to see who Paramount picks.

    I’m rooting for Brad Bird. He’s had experience with big budget blockbusters. He has history with Bad Robot and Damon Lindelof. He’s a guy who should be able to maintain the tone of the first two films. Tommorowland comes out next year, so I don’t know how available he’ll be, but he’s my pick.

  10. I dont really know that much about Cornish .
    Cronenberg would be interesting.
    We shall see .

  11. But why? Why make a sequel to a horrible movie. What will the plot be? Quinto plays connect the dots on Pines face? They really need to get a better looking dude for Kirk. I felt like I knew each and every one of his pores and acne scars personally. Horrible nightmares continue.

  12. why can’t JJ direct the 3rd Star Trek Movie as well!? Yes he is directing Star Wars Episode VII but that is it! NO ONE has been committed to Star Wars Episode VIII! That is still up in the air! And I still have a big time suspicion that one of this Star Wars sequels will be directed by Steven Spielberg (even though he has said no)! But Being best friends With George do you really believe him!? Lets be honest with ourselves!!! Since Steven was the original pick to direct Return of the Jedi but do to Georges fight with the directors guild kept Steven Out of directing the 3rd movie!!!

    • JJ to direct Trek three, and fingers crossed David Fincher to direct Episode VIII (he already has Star Wars History working on REturn of Jedi)

  13. Neil Blomkamp or Matthew Vaughn simples

    • im down with Neil Blomkamp. good call

  14. Brad Bird all the way!

  15. Never heard of this joe cornish…and attack of the block ? Ok…may have 2 check it out.

  16. Jonathan Frakes

    • Because money.

  17. Oh please Star Trek 3 will be out in 2015, anyone can direct it because it’s an easy movie to make.. The Klingon War.

    An interesting twist would be that the Federation is an underdog to the Klingons.

    • Not with a couple more of those uss vengeance ships.

      With the moon already blown up around Chronos not so sure Klingons are in such sure footing

    • Now Kirk has Khan’s blood in him, so maybe Kirk can win a few more fights?

  18. Wait for JJ!

  19. If JJ leaves then who is going to do all those great lens flares!? 😛

  20. JJ Abrams is the most overrated director on the planet. I don’t care about him for Star Trek 13. Everybody else is fine.

  21. Right now i feel like going home, locking my door and playing fifa

  22. Far less concerned with who is going to direct the ST flick versus who is going to write it. Please let it be anyone other than Orci & Kurtzman!

    • Agreed.

  23. Strange, I was just thinking the other day that maybe the Tintin trio (Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish) should get to write the next Star Trek.

    • Only if Edgar kisses Ant-Man goodbye.

    • Except Moffat is a terrible writer.

  24. Loved The Adam And Joe Show, couldn’t stand Attack The Block. I’m guessing a good part of its attraction for non-UK viewers is that it’s something vaguely different to the standard movie portrayals of London in general, and English culture in particular. I don’t see any evidence there to suggest that Joe Cornish is capable of handling a multi-million dollar, special effects-laden summer blockbuster.

    I also don’t see any viable stylistic or even thematic connection whatsoever between David Cronenberg and Star Trek, and I think the man would rather eat his own shoes before directing a Trek film anyway.

  25. i think Leonard Nimoy should direct the next one!!