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It looks like we’ll once again be boldly going where no one has gone before a little bit sooner that some of us previously thought. Star Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in the revamped cinematic franchise, says that Star Trek 3 could start filming as early as the beginning of next year.
Quinto appeared on NBC’s Today Show and indicated that production is inching closer and closer to kicking off, and that he expects to step on the bride of the Enterprise again sooner rather than later. When the subject of Star Trek 3 came up, he said, “I think it’s on the horizon..things are rumbling, so I have a feeling that we will be in production sometime in the next six months.”
If Star Trek 3 does begin filming early in 2015, it could still, in theory make the 2016 release date that Paramount has indicated that they’re after. Fans of the franchise know that this date is significant because it marks the 50th anniversary of the original series, which debuted on NBC on September 8, 1966. There were originally some issues that led many to suspect production would be delayed and they would miss that target date, but those appear to be getting ironed out.
There were issues with the script, but a solid first draft was reportedly finished in the middle of last month. Since damn near the moment the last film, Star Trek Into Darkness ended, there has been talk that the next installment would see the cast and crew embark on their trademark five-year mission. Reports say that the script features characters “closer… to the original [television] series characters than you have ever seen,” which sounds like something many fans are itching for after the last time out.
Finding a director has also been an issue. J.J. Abrams very publicly departed the franchise and is, as most of you probably know, directing Star Wars: Episode VII for Disney and Lucasfilm. A while back, there were widespread reports that Roberto Orci, who wrote and produced the two previous Trek films, was going to take the helm for what would be his first ever directorial effort. Then, more recently, we got word that those reports had jumped the gun and that no one, including Orci, has been given this job. We’re still waiting to see how this one shakes out, but if production is going to begin early next year, you have to assume that we’ll hear something definite one way or another before too long.
It’s also going to be interesting to see how much of a role Uhura plays in Star Trek 3. James Cameron’s Avatar 2, 3, and 4 are also reportedly scheduled to begin production early next year—shooting back-to-back-to-back—and Zoe Saldana obviously is a huge part of all three of those films. Beyond that, she also has commitments to Marvel in the wake of the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, so she’s going to be rather busy from now until, well, forever. It is entirely possible that she can arrange things in order to film all of these things, especially if her part in Star Trek 3 isn’t huge. Then again, it’s entirely plausible that they’ll recast the part, it wouldn’t be the first time something similar has happened. Right now this is all speculation, but it’s definitely something to keep in eye on moving forward.