It’s unlikely that J.J. Abrams will return to the director’s chair for Star Trek 3, especially if Paramount wants the sequel film in 2016 to tie in with the Star Trek 50th anniversary. Abrams will be far too busy with directing Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015 to handle two high-profile science fiction series at the same time. All movies start with the screenplay, and it looks like Paramount is sticking with the familiar, bringing back Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to pen the script for Star Trek 3.
A few weeks ago, there were rumors that Paramount was looking for new writing teams to take over writing duties for the next Star Trek sequel. Screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class) were said to be in consideration for the job, but now it looks like Paramount is keeping their franchise consistent on the writing front. While Damon Lindelof (Lost, Prometheus co-wrote Star Trek Into Darkness with Kurtzman and Orci, THR says it’s unlikely he will return for Trek 3.
It also seems that J.J. Abrams is in negotiations to produce Star Trek 3 for Bad Robot Productions, instead of directing. Considering he’ll be very busy with Disney, Lucasfilm, and Episode VII, will Abrams have enough time to properly produce Star Trek 3? The hunt is on for the new Star Trek director.
As for Kurtzman and Orci, they will have a lot on their plate with the addition of writing Star Trek 3. The pair has a two-year, first-look deal with Universal to reboot The Mummy and Van Helsing, as well as TV commitments with Hawaii Five-0, Transformers Prime, and the upcoming Sleepy Hollow Fox TV series. Kurtzman and Orci have also written Mission: Impossible III, the Transformers film series, and the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow (formerly known as All You Need Is Kill), starring Tom Cruise.
Surprisingly, Star Trek Into Darkness has not been profitable (yet) for Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot Productions. The Star Trek sequel film has grossed $451.6 million worldwide, with $226.3 million of that coming from domestic box office receipts, against a $190 million production budget, not to mention an additional prints and advertising budget. It seems like Paramount is confident that Star Trek Into Darkness will turn a profit if the movie studio is looking to make a sequel film with Star Trek 3.
Meanwhile, directors Jon Chu and Rupert Wyatt are rumored to be at the top of Paramount’s list of directors to replace J.J. Abrams on Star Trek 3. Although Jon Chu’s representatives are saying that Paramount has not contacted Chu for Star Trek 3, Latino Review’s inside sources claim that Chu may be the man for the Star Trek job. Rumors also suggest that directors Justin Lin, Joe Cornish, and Brad Bird are also on the alleged director’s list for Star Trek 3.
Star Trek Into Darkness will be released on Blu-ray/DVD on September 10. Star Trek 3 is believed to be set for release sometime in 2016, in time for the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series.