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It's Official: Screenwriter Roberto Orci Will Direct ‘Star Trek 3’

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by Edward Davis
May 13, 2014 9:36 PM
12 Comments
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Star Trek 3, Roberto Orci

05.13.2014 Update: Yep, looks like it's happening. Orci is now in negotiations to direct.

“We always try to approach these big action movies from a place of: Could you remove the robots and the spaceships and aliens and whatever it is and take that character story and make an independent film out of that little story?” Roberto Orci told The Los Angeles Times in 2009. “If you can and then you sprinkle back in the giant robots, you have something very unique.”

Orci and his writing partner Alex Kurtzman have co-written some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters in recent years, including “The Legend Of Zorro,” “Mission: Impossible III," “Cowboys & Aliens,” two of the “Transformers” movies, both of the “Star Trek” films directed by J.J. Abrams, and most recently, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” And it’s very debatable whether they’ve achieved that indie film principal in any of the aforementioned blockbusters.

In fact, fans have been calling for their heads in recent years. Fanboys lashed out hard after “Star Trek Into Darkness” and they’ve been doing the same after the release of the extremely story-hampered 'Spider-Man' sequel. Orci, has been getting the brunt of the heat, in part because he’s more vocal and also because he’s an avowed and public 9/11 truther (he deleted his Twitter account last year after some very strange and vulgar comments at fans).

In the meantime, Orci and Kurtzman have ended their screenwriting relationship because they both want to direct. Kurtzman already made the small indie “Welcome To People,” and he’s being tapped to write and direct the next Spider-Man villain film “Venom.” Orci has already been vocal about wanting to direct the next “Star Trek.”

Many pundits it out there see Orci as a questionable wild card. But apparently Paramount Pictures doesn’t and the bad buzz surrounding the screenwriter hasn’t hurt him, and has arguably even elevated his status (if you strike him down he’ll only become more powerful, right?), because it seems like he’s gotten his wish. Deadline is reporting that Orci—who has never directed a film before, let alone a gigantic tentpole—is the frontrunner to direct “Star Trek 3.”

It’s a bold move for all the aforementioned reasons. He’s never actually made a film before, and publicly, Orci is a bit of a loose cannon, but apparently he’s convinced someone out there, and probably one of them is J.J. Abrams, who is moving to more of a producer or exec-producer role now that he’s moving on to the “Star Wars” franchise instead.

It’s a risky move, but it’s also a testament to the way teams are building around filmmakers. Marvel has been doing much the same, hiring directors who know character, comedy and tone, but aren’t known for big blockbuster filmmaking (Shane Black, James Gunn, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo), and never once have they looked like they had no clue what they were doing. The difference, of course, is that all of these filmmakers had at least a few indie films under their belts and Orci would be going from 0 to 60 with what amounts to a mega-franchise.

He’s been involved in the series since its reboot inception, but knowing it front to back and being able to manage a huge ship like that is something different. We’ll see, I guess. Hat tip to the Dissolve for the above quote. Matt Singer recently put a long piece together about the Orci/Kurtzman writing relationship and you should probably give it a read.

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12 Comments

  • Greg Nice | May 14, 2014 8:33 PMReply

    The Legend of Zorro? Blockbuster? How is a 75 million dollar film with under 50 million dollars in domestic ticket sales a blockbuster? Even if The Zeta had blessed us with full-frontal throughout the entire film, I still wouldn't be able to recall single plot point.

  • Rob | May 14, 2014 8:48 AMReply

    Well, after what was proper raping of the Star Trek franchise with that steaming pile of shit Into Darkness, I'm bowing out. I'll wait for Star Trek to go back to TV, where it thrived. Screw you, Orci, you rat-face.

  • intrepid.infj | May 14, 2014 3:27 AMReply

    I have concerns that a novice director and two unknown amateur writers can do Star Trek justice. I am also concerned about the sexism, lack of diversity and ignorance of the Star Trek universe displayed in 2009 and STID. This choice of director is very odd. Maybe the 50th Anniversary celebration Star Trek will be a wake. I sincerely hope to be proven wrong.

  • bohmer | May 14, 2014 1:12 AMReply

    That's surprising since he's a hack writer, never did a movie in his life and this is supposed to be a blockbustery thing. And the internet was pretty vocal about not liking the guy. I will not pay to see this.

  • Javier | May 13, 2014 11:45 PMReply

    Uwe Boll > Roberto Orci

  • Daniel | May 13, 2014 11:17 PMReply

    I'm sure there's no way this can possibly go wrong.

  • Jowana | May 12, 2014 1:37 AMReply

    I'll just sit here and watch my Trekkie friends explode in anger.

  • Jen | May 9, 2014 7:00 PMReply

    Aaaand that's $10 bucks I've saved.

  • J.J. | May 9, 2014 5:52 PMReply

    So... Orci (co-)wrote all of this masterpieces: “The Legend Of Zorro,” “Mission: Impossible III," “Cowboys & Aliens,” two of the “Transformers” movies, both of the “Star Trek” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2" ????
    Why hasn't he been pursued to direct anything else before? I mean, come on, he's clearly very talented.

  • Dan S | May 9, 2014 5:20 PMReply

    Let him do it. He'll most likely Joel Schumacher the series.

  • Travis | May 9, 2014 3:21 PMReply

    Is there anything about Orci being in talks to direct Star Trek 3? Oh wait, there it is. Had to wade through a ton to get there, but there it is. Sheesh.

  • ED | May 9, 2014 3:49 PM

    Thanks for reading every single day, Travis. I'm sure your blog readers appreciate it.

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