Although Paramount Pictures has yet to officially announce Star Trek 3, the sequel film’s producers are looking to put a budget together with the movie studio. The scale of Star Trek 3 was dependent on the success of its predecessor Star Trek Into Darkness. While Into Darkness was a big hit, it wasn’t nearly as successful as Paramount expected the second Star Trek reboot to be. Into Darkness took in $467.3 million worldwide against a $190 million production budget.
In an article from THR, the movie studio is possibly looking to cut Star Trek 3’s budget by at least $20 million against Star Trek Into Darkness’ budget. Into Darkness was more successful than the first reboot, but its final box office gross was not enough for Paramount or Bad Robot Productions to justify a larger scaled Star Trek 3. While the first reboot made $257.7 million domestically, Into Darkness only took in $228.7 million this time around.
To get the cost of production down, Paramount is looking to possibly shoot Star Trek 3 outside of Los Angeles to get a better tax-credit than what the state of California is offering. “We’re making [‘Star Trek 3’] for what it should have been shot for last time if we had made it outside of L.A., which we would have done except that [director J.J. Abrams] didn’t want to,” stated a studio source. Here we come Canada!
A small budget could serve for a better Star Trek 3 movie going experience. It could motivate the writers and director to simplify the film’s story. Star Trek 3 could be more character driven than action packed.
It’s believed that the lack of interest for Star Trek Into Darkness in the States was due to its ambiguous marketing campaign. General audiences were uncertain on the film’s premise or who its main villain would be. J.J. Abrams has a penchant for mysteries, so he intentionally kept the identity of Into Darkness’ main villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, a secret until audiences watch the sequel film to find out for themselves. Apparently, the strategy didn’t work because audiences didn’t show up to their theaters to open the mystery box Abrams presented them.
At the moment, J.J. Abrams will be too busy with the Star Wars film franchise to return to direct Star Trek 3. British writer/director Joe Cornish is believed to be the frontrunner for the directing job with only one movie, Attack The Block, on his resume. Cornish also co-wrote the Steven Spielberg film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn with Edgar Wright and Steven Moffat. Abrams’ choice for taking over the franchise is Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt, saying, “He’s incredibly talented and we’d be lucky to have someone as talented as Rupert.”
A few months ago, there were reports that director Jon Chu was in consideration for the Star Trek 3 job. Chu directed G.I. Joe: Retaliation for Paramount Pictures and helmed a few movies in the Step Up film series. Other directors on Paramount’s shortlist were allegedly Brad Bird (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise), while Paramount has yet to pick a replacement for J.J. Abrams.
There are no plot details about Star Trek 3, but Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman will return to write its screenplay. Into Darkness co-writer Damon Lindelof has teased that Star Trek 3 could involve a conflict between the Federation and the Klingons.