Although Paramount Pictures has yet to make Star Trek 3 official, it seems like a foregone conclusion that there will be a sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness. There has been some speculation that Paramount and Bad Robot may try to release the third film in the rebooted franchise in 2016, which just so happens to be the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Regardless of J.J. Abrams leaving the director’s chair, all of the key pieces are still in place to hit this hypothetical. While we speculate and wonder, one of the icons of the Trek universe may have given an oblique hint at a release date.
How many days till Sept. 8, 2016 ? LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) July 26, 2013
Leonard Nimoy, who, it should be obvious at this point, played Spock on the original incarnation of Star Trek, tweeted out the curious date September 8th 2016, which could mean one of two things. First, we could be talking about the release date for the Star Trek 3. It would be strange to release a big movie like this in September, usually a dead zone as far as box office goes, but it is not unheard of. There certainly wouldn’t be a lot of competition.
Second, and most likely, the date refers to the 50th anniversary of Star Trek first appearing on television. The first episode, “The Man Trap,” did air on September 8, 1966. Last year, Google released a Star Trek Google Doodle to commemorate the anniversary. Given that 50 years is one hell of a milestone, you can bet there are some big celebrations in store for 2016.
This doesn’t necessarily rule out a 2016 release for Star Trek 3. September 8, 2016 falls on a Thursday, so there is a chance that this is a targeted release date. A few months ago, producer Bryan Burk also said that we won’t have to wait four years between Star Trek movies like we did between Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s entirely possible that they intend to speed up the timeline for the anniversary.
Bad Robot is looking to add screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, the duo behind Thor, to help Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci with the third script. Miller and Stentz also worked on the screenplays for X-Men: First Class. This new blood would be a welcom addition to the Trek universe, especially considering Star Trek Into Darkness verges on being very derivative.
In the meantime, Zackery Quinto (new Spock) also acknowledges that there will be less lag time between the two films. The 36-year-old actor revealed that production on Star Trek 3 could begin as soon as 2014. If this is true, then a 2016 release date is certainly possible.
If this production schedule holds true, Paramount could realistically release Star Trek 3 three years from now. As for Nimoy’s tweet, it is most likely an acknowledgement of the legendary franchise reaching the half-century mark. That seems like the most logical choice, and we know how the pointy-eared hobgoblin adores logic.
Star Trek Into Darkness hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 10. Fascinating.