It was an extremely controversial decision when Paramount gave Roberto Orci the director’s chair for the upcoming Star Trek 3. But it was nevertheless a genuine shock when the news broke recently that Orci would no longer be helming the sequel. With Orci sidelined, who would take up the baton to get the next Trek sequel across the finish line, ideally in time for a 2016 release timed to the franchise’s 50th anniversary? Apparently Paramount’s shortlist is now down to five potential directors: Rupert Wyatt, Morten Tyldum, Daniel Espinosa, Justin Lin, and Duncan Jones.
The names come from Deadline, who report that Rupert Wyatt is currently Paramount’s top choice, and that they have already taken meetings with him about the possibility. This wouldn’t be the first time Wyatt got to play in a beloved science fiction sandbox — he directed 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a flick that surprised many by proving to be far better than anybody had reason to expect from an Apes resurrection at this point. It was followed up by this past summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves, and the revived franchise is set to continue in a third film in 2016. Wyatt is a solid choice, if not an inspired one, but nor would he likely be a controversial hire, which might work as an olive branch to lure back Trek fans riled up by J.J. Abrams’ brand of Trek.