Director J.J. Abrams, screenwriters/producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci were key components of the last two Star Trek movies, but of the three only Orci will be involved with the next installment. Abrams has moved on to make Star Wars: Episode VII, while Kurtzman is taking a break from the world of Starfleet to focus on his many other developing projects (including, the script for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 that he is reportedly still collaborating on with Orci).
Directors Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) are the big-name candidates who have thus far been shortlisted as potential contenders to take the helm on Star Trek 3. More recently, Cornish was tapped as being the front-runner for the job, though it appears that he is no longer in contention for the project after all.
The news that Star Trek 3 will be co-penned by Orci and two newcomer screenwriters - Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne - broke over this past weekend, but nestled within Variety's report on the development was a tidbit announcing that Cornish "is no longer involved" in talks to direct the movie. It may be the filmmaker (who also co-wrote Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin and Edgar Wright's upcoming Ant-Man) has instead decided to move forward with his adaptation of the sci-fi novel Snow Crash next.
So, who will serve as captain (behind the camera) on the U.S.S. Enterprise's next mission into space? Well, probably not Wyatt, who's currently moving forward on a remake of The Gambler. Moreover, he passed on helming the next Planet of the Apes installment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, due to an insufficient amount of development - and with Paramount leaning heavily towards a 2016 release date for Star Trek 3 (to coincide with the property's 50th anniversary), the filming schedule could be relatively tight, by the time pre-production fully wraps up.
The hope expressed by many fans - in addition to cast members in the rebooted Star Trek lineage - is that the next installment will move the franchise back more towards its hopeful and forward-minded vision of space exploration, given that the last movie (Star Trek Into Darkness) concluded with the Enterprise crew undertaking its famous five-year voyage to explore new worlds. Feel free to let us know who you think is the ideal choice of director to accomplish that end, in the comments section of this article.
We'll keep you posted on Star Trek 3 as the story develops.