In recent months, Star Trek 3 has seen plenty of shifting behind the scenes, especially in the proverbial captain’s chair. Roberto Orci, who produced both of J.J. Abrams' entries in the rebooted sci-fi series - Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness, was initially given command of the director's seat of the series following Abrams’ departure, but recently stepped down from the position (with his draft of the script nixed for good measure).
Paramount was quick to right the project, finding a new director in Justin Lin (Fast Five) and confirming a 2016 release date. Now, a new team of screenwriters have been brought on to provide a script, including a well-known member of the film's cast.
Deadline is reporting that Simon Pegg, who has played the new U.S.S. Enterprise’s engineer Scotty, will be co-writing the Star Trek 3 script with Doug Jung (Dark Blue, Banshee), the latter of which has an existing relationship with both Paramount and Abrams’ production company Bad Robot having penned a script for their film Diamond. Though the actor may be best known for his on screen roles, being given script duties isn't as strange a notion as casual movie-goers may realize.
Pegg’s previous writing credits include director Edgar Wright's Cornetto trilogy - Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. As one of the best-received re-imaginings of the classic Star Trek cast, it will be curious to see how fans and larger audiences react to this news, and whether his popularity among the Commic-Con crowd will extend to his writing skills as well.
If Paramount really is pushing for Star Trek 3 to be closer to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Pegg may be one of the best available candidates to pen the script. His previous films have mixed offbeat humor, action, and some sci-fi elements to critical success, and this news casts further light on the prior rumors of Edgar Wright being considered for the director role as well. With the help of Pegg’s familiarity with Star Trek, he may provide a script that will please both fans and the studio.
However, with Star Trek 3 scheduled for a 2016 release, that doesn’t offer Pegg and Jung a lot of time to work on the script. Additionally, it will mark the first collaboration between the two, so their success is hard to predict this early on. That being said, it has seemed for some time that Star Trek 3 would be heading in a new direction from the previous films in the reboot. The result of those changes could prove successful or flawed once the box office and critical response is tallied, but you can't accuse Paramount of playing it safe.
What do you think of the decision to give Pegg a larger voice in the film's story? Does his history in the sci-fi and comedy genres give you hope for a new chapter in the Star Trek series, or do you have concerns about the film's production given the continuous upheaval? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Star Trek 3 opens in U.S. theaters on July 8th, 2016.