Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions are looking for a new director for Star Trek 3 to fill the void after J.J. Abrams jumped ship for Star Wars: Episode VII. The third installment in the rebooted Trek series recently welcomed two new writers and booted out two others out the door. It comes to no surprise that Roberto Orci will continue with the franchise, but in a shocking move, he will not be working with his long-time collaborator and writing partner Alex Kurtzman.
According to THR, Star Trek 3 has added J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to work with Orci on the script. Payne and McKay replace Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof, who worked on Star Trek Into Darkness. No doubt many fans will consider it good news to have some new blood. Paramount is aiming for a 2016 release date for Star Trek 3. For months there have been rumors that Paramount wants to release the new film to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series, released in 1966.
In 2011, Bad Robot tapped Payne and McKay to write the screenplay for the adaptation of Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel,, a graphic novel from husband-and-wife comics team Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. THe story takes place in the late 19th and early 20th century and follows the world’s first robot who “fought alongside Terry Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia, journeyed to the South Pole and was involved in the silent movie business before disappearing on the battlefields of World War I.” The two have also worked on the screenplays for the long-gestating Goliath for Relativity Media, as well as a film adaptation of the Spike TV series Deadliest Warrior.
British writer/director Joe Cornish is believed to be the frontrunner to helm Trek 3, in spite of only having one movie, Attack the Block, on his resume. Cornish also co-wrote Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn with Edgar Wright and Steven Moffat. Abrams’ choice to take over his seat is Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, about whom Abrams said, “He’s incredibly talented and we’d be lucky to have someone as talented as Rupert.” There were also reports that director Jon Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up) was in consideration as well.
There are no plot details for Star Trek 3 available, but Lindelof teased that it could involve a conflict between the Federation and the Klingons.