Directing Star Trek 3 seems like a pretty plush gig, but they’re having problems getting anyone to take the job. Roberto Orci was originally going to make his debut at the helm with the next installment of the rebooted franchise, but differences with the studio led to his ouster (we think?). Edgar Wright was reportedly offered the job, but turned it down. Paramount then unveiled five names that were are the top of their wish list, but almost immediately one of them, Duncan Jones (Moon), said he wasn’t interested. Still, the studio soldiered on, and now they’ve apparently tapped one of their top choices. Justin Lin will now direct the crew of the USS Enterprise.
According to Deadline, Paramount, Bad Robot, and Skydance Productions all got together and handed the reins of the franchise over to Lin, who steps in to take over in the wake of J.J. Abrams jumping franchises to Star Wars.
Lin is most known for his work in another series, that, while full of unrealistic action, is hardly science fiction. He is largely credited for reviving the Fast and the Furious movies, as he directed the last three in the family, 2009’s Fast & Furious, Fast Five in 2011, and Furious 6 last year. (For my money, 5 is by far the best.) So he definitely has some action chops, but we will have to wait and see how he does now that he’s trading in hot rods for starships. He will reportedly continue working from a script by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
In addition to Lin and Jones, the other names on Paramount’s list were Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game), and Daniel Espinosa (Safe House). Orci served as a writer and producer on the first two Trek films, and this would have been his first time directing, anything, something many fans were up in arms about. (He shoulders a fair amount of the blame for the less-than-stellar Star Trek Into Darkness, right or wrong.)
It’s not entirely clear why Paramount and Orci parted ways, though he is still reportedly going to stay on in a producer capacity, as least as far as we know. One of the most prominent rumors indicates that, in the wake of Marvel’s success this past summer with Guardians of the Galaxy, the execs wanted to retool Star Trek to fit more in that mold. What exactly that means isn’t exactly clear, but apparently Orci wasn’t on board.
Star Trek 3 could start filming as early as February of 2015, with an eye on a summer 2016 release, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the franchise. The plot is being kept under wraps, but there have been reports that the story picks up with the crew of the Enterprise out in deep space in the middle of their five-year mission. Hopefully that’s true, because we’ve already had two Star Trek movies that take place primarily on Earth, and that’s enough for now.
Lin is a great choice as an action director, but I feel like this is going to ruffle a lot of feathers, because while there’s action in Star Trek, that’s not what makes the series so great. But that’s apparently where we’re going. What do you think? Are you excited for Justin Lin to take over Star Trek 3?