‘Star Trek 3′: Roberto Orci in Official Talks to Direct

Published 12 months ago by

Star Trek Into Darkness Poster2 Star Trek 3: Roberto Orci in Official Talks to Direct

Paramount’s new Star Trek universe may have divided long-time fans of the franchise, but both the 2009 reboot and its 2013 sequel Star Trek Into Darkness - both directed by J.J. Abrams - proved big hits in the U.S. – and even more so overseas. Naturally, our attention has turned to the mooted Star Trek 3 and just who will helm the next big-screen adventure of the starship Enterprise, now that Abrams is deep into his duties on Star Wars: Episode VII.

Two of the main creative minds behind the property’s relaunch, Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, are about to sever their big-screen writing partnership after more than a decade of success both in the movies and on television, having shepherded lucrative franchises like TransformersFringeThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 (along with the Venom spin-off), Alias, and Sleepy Hollow

This news was quickly followed by reports that Abrams’ Bad Robot shingle, which is still producing Star Trek 3 alongside Skydance Productions, has been pushing Roberto Orci into the frontrunner position for the job. Several different names were batted around in the past half-year, with Attack the Block director Joe Cornish the most recent – but it turns out the frontrunner may end up with the job after all.

Deadline reports that Robert Orci is “in talks” to direct Star Trek 3, with both Bad Robot and Skydance now lobbying Paramount to sign off on Orci taking the captain’s chair.

Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman Star Trek 3: Roberto Orci in Official Talks to Direct

Robert Orci (left) with Alex Kurtzman

Orci’s co-writing credits on the last two Star Trek films and his long track record of franchise successes certainly give him an edge, and while this would be his feature debut as a director, it wouldn’t be the first time Paramount handed a major franchise to a first-time director: J.J. Abrams jump-started his feature directing career with 2006′s Mission: Impossible III.

This development definitely points toward Paramount’s intention to continue developing their rebooted Star Trek continuity, with Orci co-writing alongside Boilerplate scribes Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne. Whether or not this also means that a 2016 release will happen is as-yet unknown.

Die-hard Trekkies remain ambivalent about the rebooted universe, with the first film’s destruction of Vulcan and the sequel’s controversial – and arguably botched – introduction of the classic villain Khan sticking in the craw of longtime fans. The promise of fresh blood on the creative team gives rise to plenty of questions: will Star Trek 3 once again attempt to please hardcore fans with plots lifted from the original series or even – dare we to even dream it? – Star Trek: The Next Generation?

star trek 3 screenwriters Star Trek 3: Roberto Orci in Official Talks to Direct

And what about the persistent rumor of Orci meeting with CBS for a potential Trek TV series? Fans have been vocal about their desire to see Star Trek return to television, as the classic themes which make Trek‘s future of humanity iconic are better suited to a long-form, episodic rendering. Plus, let’s face it, the idea of a Captain Worf show is still awesome. Fans shouldn’t hold their breath, though – as long as the reboot films continue to draw big profits, the exploits of the U.S.S. Enterprise will remain bid-budget, 3-D CGI popcorn flicks, despite the potential for a cross-platform universe.

Trek fans remain somewhat bitter about Orci’s ill-advised online tirade against fans who had legitimate problems with the way Into Darkness seemed to betray the core of what their beloved franchise is all about. With Orci already attuned to what the studio wants from this franchise, expect confirmation of a release date relatively soon, along with plot detail rumors to surface once Orci is confirmed for the job.


Star Trek 3 is currently expected to release in 2016.

Source: Deadline

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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    • Writing is NOT the same thing as directing!

      • writing in all caps is not the same thing as communicating…

        In spite of Orci’s mistseps with his twitter account the man knows how to tell a story. A good DP and Art director can cover up a novice, but a Director who doesn’t know how to tell a story? worthless.

        • I am doubting his skills as a story teller at this point.

          I love some of the changes he and his friends have made to Trek and the opening of Trek 09 indicated there was a lot under the belt.

          But by now we have two films that are copies of Wrath of Khan. Neither dreadful films but not indicating that there is a story teller in there.

          Then dropping in an Into Darkness plot device into Spider Man 2 as well as making Electro the main villain secondary as far as there being a battle with any cost makes me wonder if there is anything new he can bring to the table.

          I recognise some positive things too, perhaps working with new talent will give him the freshness that he needs.

          I really hope he can deliver on the next Star Trek.

          In terms of directing I will reserve judgement. He may not have done it prior but being around those who have while they are doing it would have to have given him much of the required skill set.

  2. I don’t want a 9/11 truther in charge of anything

  3. Blase 3 anyone????? Getting deja vu here.
    If this goes ahead with Orci as director I fear it will end up like Spiderman all over again, with a new reboot in 5 years.
    Studio execs are like politicians, they never listen to what the people actually want.

    Alex Proyas for directing duties this time.

    • I think you meant Blade 3 there.

      And, yup, I was thinking the same thing. Goyer does Blade 3, and we know how that turned out. They’re settling on Orci because nobody else (that’s worthy) wants the job.

    • I hate to say it, but I’m actually praying for a reboot at this point. As a life-long fan, I’ve just completely lost confidence. The actors, SFX guys, Michael Giacchino (oh, hell yes), and other creative types did a terrific job, but the nonsense that made up ‘Into Darkness’ really put a big damper on my enthusiasm for anything more from this timeline.

      Trek movies are necessarily more action-oriented, and I can accept that, but these guys are more concerned about big exciting Summer action setpieces that are wicked cool when you’re watching it for the first time, but make no bloody sense once you start to actually begin thinking about it afterward. I’m sick of that.

      (Though, to be fair, the TNG flicks started the trend of trading intelligence for action, too.)

      • Absolutely nailed the good and the bad of the last couple movies, and the trend set by the TNG movies. A friend once explained to me what made TNG the tv show so great. His descriptive term was family. The TNG cast is a close nit family, which is why the end of the last episode “all good things” gives such chills when Picard does his long look over the poker table. What happened to this quality, that is so key to Gene’s vision? My favorite ST movie is ST:TMP – Its long, slow, plodding… but I love every second of it. I love the performances. I love the ambition of the story. And while it remains a mystery how a god like being can’t wipe rust off of a surface to discover its real name… ST:TMP maintains a constant sense of awe and mystery until the final revelation. THIS is what I want out of a star trek movie. Intelligence, mystery, awe, and a revelation! Not F’ing SW’s without lightsabers!

  4. No. Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman are bad writers whose screenplays were saved by JJ Abrams’ direction. The Star Trek movies, in my opinion, were good films in their own right if not particularly faithful to Gene Roddenberry’s philosophical vision. But what really stopped them from being great was Kurtzman and Orci who also ruined the Amazing Spider-Man 2.

    • The saving grace for both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness is that thanks to the directon of JJ Abrams everything but the story was done top notch: the actors are great, the character interaction is great, the humor is great, the effects are great, the sound is great, the music is great, the action is great, the cinematography is great and the editing is great, and I tremendously enjoy those movie for all of that. They are audio-visual masterpieces. But the stories of both movies are so friggin’ bad and poorly researched that it’s painful.

      I mean, the very least that you would expect from a Star Trek movie is that the writers have some very basic understanding of space. Looking up “supernova” on Wikipedia is literally the least that they could have done, and they didn’t even do that. And don’t get me started on sequel-breaking Deus Ex Machina devices like transwarp beaming and death-defying blood. Where are you supposed to go from there?

      I have to agree with Red Letter Media’s Mike and Jay and what they said about Orci and Kurtzman in their Amazing Spider-Man 2 review: these guys just think up some nice action set pieces and then connect the dots in the laziest way imaginable, with no logic or plot coherence whatsoever.

      • I agree with everything you wrote.

  5. As a die hard trekkie, I have really liked the new movies and I think Orci is a great choice to direct.

    • +1 on this. Besides, I’m pretty sure he knows what he’s doing. I liked both of the new ST movies.

  6. seriously??? these guys suck!
    they’re not successful at all. A 2 year old could write better screenplays than these two!!
    Transformers series? Awful!
    Spiderman? Total BS!!!
    Last Star Trek? Terrible link to Khan and third act! Harrison could have been a success if he was Harrison!

    Overall please someone kill these guys! They’re ruining movies and I don’t know why they still get a job? Seriously how can they get jobs?
    A fan fiction would be better than they’re screenplays.

    Paramount please don’t kill the Movie franchise like this to go to TV!

  7. Ive got no problem with Orci directing. He obviously knows the franchise and has an interest in building on its success. I don’t think the studio would turn it over to him if they had doubts in what he would do with it. But of course this is still all speculation as he hasn’t been named yet.
    But regardless of the future of the film series, I think they should definitely bring Star Trek back to TV as well. Captain Worf would be great, but I doubt they would do a TV series set in anything but the rebooted universe. I had heard something about a kind of medical based Star Trek series a while back and another concept which I can’t remember now. Anyone else got any info on proposed ideas for a new series?

  8. I read somewhere as long as the current film franchise is ongoing, Trek won’t be returning to TV. Is that true?

    They desperately need science advisors. Transwarp kind of demolishes the need for spaceships. I honestly have no idea how they’d remedy that, hard to go back on introduced tech. On one hand, you ignore but then you incur the wrath of established canon in this universe. Or you keep it, then you face the problem of irrelevancy of most spaceships. Then there’s also the whole magic blood thing.

    They also have the whole Klingons with bling situation. Are they going to expand on that or actually venture out into space to explore the unknown? Who knows…

    Hopefully, Interstellar raises the bar and standard for sci-fi down the line and has some effect on Trek. I’m so desperate for sci-fi these days, sci-fi that actually explores science and doesn’t treat it as a backdrop.

  9. Well. I would not pick Orci, I can tell you that. I imagine that it comes down more to, from Paramount’s perspective, the fact that the recent films have made money. What does the studio care about longtime fans being upset if general audiences are buying it? I hate to be so cynical, but that seems like what the deal is here.

    I will echo what others have said – the last two Star Trek films were pretty good in every way *except* for the writing. Orci being a writer, in my book he has very little Star Trek credibility at this point. That being said, maybe if he does direct, they will hire someone else to write the film. That could be a good thing, pragmatically speaking.

    As far as the “pleasing hardcore fans” thing…I consider myself a dedicated Star Trek fan, and the last thing that I want to see is wink-wink recreations of film plots that we have already seen. That is antithetical to Star Trek. I’d much rather go where no Trek has gone before. How can they ignore the irony of using this franchise to recycle the past?

  10. i think this is the right way to do this the transition will be seamless we don’t want another shane black type scenario where an outsider comes in and changes the continuity and tone of the movie..i loved the first 2 new star treks under jj abrams and i think that roberto orci well deserves this chance as does alex kurtzmann with venom..as long as they can hold onto the cast i think everything will be okay.

  11. He should at least apologize for his zietgist nonsense about the US, 9/11, and the Boston Marathon first to assure us as fans,
    Orci should want as much consultation and help from JJ as he can get.
    if anyone is guilty of false flag attacks its Russia using occasional planted bombs by commissars for the FSB,to provoke a veil of a reason to crack down on chechnya, and has been doing so for over the last 20 years, as Putin wipes out all dissidence, opposition and personal enemies, as free thinkers, critics in russia and other countries,
    other states, and encroach once more on neighboring countries,
    as i’m sure many of us here even have seem extensive documentation on this and along with whats on the news now,

  12. At 53, and discovering Trek late in it’s original run, I consider myself a long – time fan. But definitely not part of the vocal minority that missed the point about evolution versus stagnation. New ideas instead of slavish devotion to “traditional” thinking. But they claim ownership of the franchise and arrogantly speak for everyone about what is and isn’t Star Trek. Hard core fans don’t and shouldn’t matter. For Trek to live long and prosper, the creative team has to reach the next generation and broader audience. Bob Orci has earned the right to take the next step in his own evolution through his passionate role in revitalizing Star Trek. Bravo Mr Orsi! Best of luck to you.

    BTW,the Twitter incident wasn’t an unwarranted smack – down on all Trek fans. I was on that message board when it all went down. Bob was gracious enough to talk to fans directly and answer questions. A great discourse was unfolding until the Herberts showed up and attacked him. Completely disrespectful and hurtful comments leveled at him. He still tried to engage this group of Talifans with patience and grace…but got pushed beyond reasonable limits and finally let them have it. And in my humble opinion, it was well deserved.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see where Mr Orci takes Trek next.

  13. If paramount signs off on Orci, it’s just confirming that they don’t care about long time fans. Only the money that they’re guaranteed to make just because it says Star Trek in the title. He already told fans to go “F” themselves. If you want to save this train wreck, get Nick Meyer to come back and get it back on track. It won’t matter to Orci or Paramount, but I’ll not spend a dime on a trek movie with that guy pulling the strings.

    • This isn’t about the fans. It’s about money. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.I agree they should have gone a different direction in Star Trek 2. It was entertaining. I enjoyed both movies. Some people just over analize.

    • Then stay home on opening night and watch 50 year old episodes on Betamax tapes. You won’t be missed and the Enterprise will continue to fly forward anyway.

  14. They need to keep the Orki, Kurtzman, Abrams hacks away from Star Trek they have no respect for the source.
    I just hope Abrams does not ruin Star Wars with his untalented fan boy, lens flare, crap

  15. Orci and Kurtzman are hacks. Everything they crank out is shyte. Even the Hawaii Five-0 series reeks of their over-glossed, under-brained approach to material. Which is to say sexed up, lowest common denominator storytelling for the average joe; neither particularly offensive, nor particularly satisfying, either.

  16. Disclaimer: If you like New Trek, don’t read this. I’m glad you like it. New Trek was made for you.

    My opinion:

    The 50th anniversary of Star Trek is coming up and this is Paramount’s plan? Not to honor Trek, or kick off a new TV or Netflix series, or to create anything new at all that would poise Trek to stand strong at the 60th anniversary? No, the plan is to try and make some more big bucks in the short term. Orci has zero quality writing achievements in his portfolio. None. Orci has helped turn Star Trek into dumbed down, lowest common denominator, super sexy, action shlock. And this isn’t the only franchise he’s ruined. So naturally, Star Trek is the perfect arena in which to let this doofus direct his first movie. Wonderful.

    Drop this reboot crap. Forget Kirk and Spock, those characters have had MANY fine send-offs. These New Trek over-emotional whining caricatures are unrecognizable to me. Drop the alternate universe. Drop the action and the fratboy antics. Drop the Beastie Boys (sorry, but no one knows who the Beastie Boys are in the 23rd century. They didn’t make it). Drop the writers (if I can’t buy Starfleet giving a 20something yr old jackass a command, then can’t buy anything else that happens in the story). Drop the ‘splosions and the running and the yelling and the crying. Drop the restrictive movie format entirely.

    (Credit where it’s due: No offense to the cast or the visual effects team. Great work. You didn’t write this crap, it’s not your fault.)

    Bring Trek back to the small screen, where it will be free from box office numbers. Get a new crew, new mission, new setting, and with it: new possibilities. Leave the past behind. Let a team of diverse writers take a crack, preferably some writers that know how to wrap a morality tale in a science fiction setting. Explore something! Learn something! Create something. This is the best way to honor Trek on its 50th.


  18. If you were trying to please hardcore fans of the original you would have had the common sense to not use khan as the story arc for into the darkness. No matter how good you make the movie it was never going to be good enough for those hardcore fans. I liked the reboot minus a couple issues with science and or cosmetic things in the first movie, but the only major flaw of course is the completely unrealistic manor in which kirk gets to be captain. He went from Being a cadet to O6 in an extremely short period of time.

  19. Man, people get defensive if you have a different opinion. Yea, I’ll stay home and watch the good stuff bdcarter. I won’t be missed and I’m fine with that. Guess I need more than explosions, and 3d effects to be entertained. Magic blood doesn’t cut the mustard for me. R.I.P Star Trek.

    • Word.

      The biggest complaint about those of us that didn’t like the reboot Trek is that we’re afraid of something new. That we don’t want to let go of the old.

      Afraid of something new: The way I see it, New Trek is the opposite of new. By definition, it’s a reboot of the OLD show. Topically, it is not new. Character-wise, it is not new. Story-wise, it is not new. Let’s stop calling it a new Trek story, its actually just a ‘nod’ to the original show. This crap isn’t new. It’s boring. It’s crying children pretending they’re in a Trek story. It’s not even science fiction anymore. Sorry, I’m afraid it takes more than just running around in space and shooting ray guns to count as sci-fi.

      Don’t want to let go of the old: I am sick of the original Star Trek series. Sure, it was great at the time. Sure it broke new ground. Sure it gave us 3 seasons of entertainment and 4 or 5 good motion pictures. But I thought the spin-off series that resulted were a fantastic evolution. I thought they were better (TNG movies not included, they were garbage). They expanded the universe and added fans. The spin-offs BUILT on Star Trek rather than just mimic it. They put the old series to shame. I let go of the original series decades ago. Why are we rebooting it? Why are we watching at inaccurate cartoon versions of those characters? New characters, new stories, and new sci-fi is the only way to evolve, not a bunch of kids dressing up like 50 yr old characters.

      I’m not afraid of something new. On the contrary, I’m disappoint that JJ Trek is NOT new. Let Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise lie. Give us something new.

    • No one takes issue or gets defensive with a differing opinion in most cases. Unless it’s presented as an attack, using phrases like “train wreck.” Then you might get people pissed.

      And since you’ve brought up magic blood…just wondering why that “doesn’t cut the mustard” but apparently you’re A-OK with the “Genesis Wave” as convenient plot contrivance.

      RIP Star Trek?! In case you haven’t noticed, Star Trek is alive and well thanks to Messers Abrams, Ocri and Kurtzman. More critical acclaim and commercial success with the last two movies than at anytime in it’s history. RIP? Ha!

  20. Best Star Trek movie ever – Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    so…to hell with the reboot. :)

    • I think Star Trek VI was the last good Trek movie. And that was 1991. That’s a lot of disappointment for me between then and now.

      Star Trek 2009 brought hope. JJ ‘made Trek cool again’ and it was actually doing well at the box office. I could except that because there was the potential of good Trek movies to come. It was up the JJ, Orci, Kurtzman and the CEOs of Paramount to get the all important next movie right. The next movie would be the true test.

      But as soon as I saw the trailer for STID, I knew they had failed. It was another revenge story, not a sci-fi story or exploration story. And that stupid line that I heard in 3 other movies in 2013, “Your world will BURN.” My eyes rolled back into my head. They had missed their chance.

      And now they want to give the third movie to a first time director with no professional or emotional maturity (see Orci’s lash out at Trek fans and all writing work). Orci is not likely to see my point of view. If fact, he’s more likely to hunker down and defend his New Trek after his embarrassing lash-out. He’s more likely to say, “I’ll so them with box office numbers. I’ll so them my writing makes the most money.”

      Boycott New Trek.

      • so = show

        • You are absolutely right. After reading your reply I went at looked at some of this guys outbursts against fans. Some pretty crazy stuff out there about Orci, stuff I never knew.

          • Don’t take his comments out of context. I was there when the exchange took place. He was gracious enough to spend time talking to fans online. But the Haters descended and viciously attacked. He was patient and tried to respond to criticisms professionally. Take a look at some of the comments above about “hacks” and “train wrecks.” By comparison to what was going on that night, these are polite. He finally responded emotionally.

            And the sad thing is, the attack was from Star Trek fans that supposed grew up believing in things like IDIC and that people’s work mattered, even if you didn’t agree with it. I was embarrassed to be part of the Trek community that night. Shameful.

  21. I like how people are claiming Orci’s a terrible writer and using Spidey 2 as a reason when actually, I thought TASM2 was the best Spider-Man film I’ve ever seen and I liked his other projects, especially Sleepy Hollow.

    I guess everyone tries so hard to be a critic these days, they don’t realise how ridiculous they sound.

    • Maybe they don’t actually sound ridiculous, and they just see it differently than you. I haven’t seen TASM2 yet, but to be fair, it has received some criticism, which is to say that such a perspective is well within norms.

    • Wow, you really can’t handle it when someone has an opinion different from your own. You should lighten up and get used to the fact that movies are, key word, polarizing ti audiences.