Ever since J.J. Abrams was announced as the director for Star Wars: Episode VII, there were rumors that he would not return to helm Star Trek 3. After the release of Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams stated that he would, indeed, not direct the third film of the Star Trek reboot film series, but would stay on the project as one of its producers. One of the directors believed to be a front-runner for the Star Trek 3 directing job was British filmmaker Joe Cornish. Now it appears that Cornish won’t be the guy after all.
According to Variety, the 44-year-old Attack the Block director took himself out of the running for Star Trek 3. While it’s unclear why Cornish dropped out, it’s speculated that he couldn’t come to an agreement with Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions for the film.
At the moment, Cornish is signed on to direct the film adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s classic 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, which would also be for Paramount Pictures. He’s also the co-writer of the Marvel movie Ant-Man for director Edgar Wright.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu were also considered to be front-runners for the Star Trek 3 position. In fact, Abrams has said he had his heart set on Wyatt, saying, “He’s incredibly talented and we’d be lucky to have someone as talented as Rupert.” Paramount’s shortlist also allegedly included Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise), who is now the new director for the fifth film in the Bourne film franchise.
Star Trek 3 recently added screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to work with returning writer Roberto Orci on the script. Payne and McKay replace Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, both of whom worked on Star Trek Into Darkness. It was also revealed that Paramount is aiming for a 2016 release date for Star Trek 3, set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series, released in 1966.
While Trek 3 currently has no director and no finished script, there’s no need to push the panic button just yet. There’s still plenty of time between now and 2016, so it looks like Star Trek 3 is in good shape for a possible late 2014 production start. While Trek 3 would’ve greatly benefited with Joe Cornish in the director’s chair, there are plenty of other good directors out there. Jon M. Chu would be a good fit, as would as Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class), Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion), or Rian Johnson (Looper).
While there are no plot details for Star Trek 3 available, according to Damon Lindelof, the new film could feature a conflict between the Federation and the Klingons.
What director would you like to see working on Star Trek 3?