Only two short months until the release of Star Trek Into Darkness and it really seems like May 17th can’t get here fast enough. The Star Trek sequel has been four years in the making, but it looks like we might not have to wait another four years for the next one. In fact, Star Trek 3 could be out in theaters as early as 2016.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Star Trek Into Darkness J.J. Abrams’ producing partner, Bryan Burk, talked about getting Star Trek 3 into theaters faster than Star Trek Into Darkness. Considering the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series is coming up in 2016, that would be the perfect time to “boldly go where no man has gone before.” Burk says:
We’re definitely talking about the next one, but we haven’t talked about a release date. We don’t want to wait four years, the same amount of time between the last one and this one, but  is going to be a big year to celebrate, hopefully.
With J.J. Abrams directing the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, it’s unlikely he will return to direct the third Star Trek movie, but he will continue to stay on the production as the film’s producer. While Star Wars: Episode VII is slated for a 2015 (or possibly 2016) release date, it seems like the perfect opportunity for Bad Robot to deliver a one-two punch with Star Trek 3 in 2016.
Burk also talked about what Star Trek fans will expect in Star Trek Into Darkness. Much like the reboot film, Star Trek Into Darkness will have plenty of nods to Star Trek‘s long history. Burk continues:
One of the things is that the movie will always be for Star Trek fans. In the process of all us five producers working together, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof, to a slightly lesser extent, are crazy-hardcore Trekkies. They understand the world so we had long conversations where they put things in and would be laughing hysterically. I had no clue why they were! There are tons of references and nods.
Star Trek Into Darkness will hit theaters everywhere on May 17th, in 3D and IMAX.