Since we found out that Roberto Orci was no longer directing Star Trek 3 and that Fast and the Furious film franchise director Justin Lin will take over--Rumors suggested that the suits was unhappy with the script and Orci's plans for the franchise, which is why they kicked him out of the big chair.
Lin was on the shortlist for the gig with Rupert Wyatt ("Rise of the Planet of the Apes"), Morten Tyldum ("The Imitation Game"), and Daniel Espinosa ("Safe House"). Wyatt was reportedly at the top of the list but Lin was the only one actually offered the job.
Abrams commitments to the Star Wars: Episode VII kept him from coming back. Other names like "Attack the Block" filmmaker Joe Cornish and G.I. Joe: Retaliation" director Jon M. Chu were in the mix to call action--before Orci got the gig. Jonathan Frakes, best known to Trekkers as Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, indicated he wanted to sit in the director's chair but knew it was a long shot...Edgar Wright was mentioned as well.
Orci co-wrote and produced J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" '09 and "Star Trek Into Darkness" with longtime partner Alex Kurtzman and is still involved...the question is whether Lin would start over or whether he and Orci would
work together on the existing drafts of the script.
"Thor" and "X-Men: First Class" writers and "Fringe" producers Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz were eyed to script the sequel but opted not to do it.J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay
and Orci were co-writing the next film. Orci confirmed that first
draft of the screenplay was completed and would be closer in tone to
the original 1960s show than the previous two films.
Taking questions on the TrekMovie.com
message boards, Orci answered the screenplay query saying he's "producing,
nothing more or less". The convo continued into other elements of Trek, including the "alternate Star Trek timeline" in the new films
which some Trek fans are against.
Orci says: "Stop blaming
BR (Bad Robot). It was my idea so that you would not know what was gonna
happen next. Nothing more or less. I stand behind it. And it, again, is
the reason why I make movies and you don't."
A bit snarky there eh, Bob...
reports that the studio is gonna go in a new direction with the next
film, albeit one that still retains the "Star Wars" style of storytelling. The report
suggests that one reason that Orci is no longer sitting in the center seat is because the studio wanted to go with a
different tone and style - something more like this year's biggest
domestic box-office film "Guardians of the Galaxy".
Sure original Trek has done light-hearted stories before with eps like I, Mudd, The Trouble with Tribbles,
A Piece of the Action and the feature film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,
but why on earth would the suits want to replicate GotG at all? The
last 2 films-as successful as they were--get knocked for being too much
like "Wars" Why alienate those critics/fans further? I liked the last 2
films a lot but I understand the "too much Star Wars and not enough
Trek" mantra and think that those folks have a point. Now it's gonna be
"too much like GotG"...Hmmm. Lin is a very capable director...
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and John Cho
are all expected to return to the Final Frontier in their
respective roles as Kirk Spock Uhura Dr. McCoy Scotty Chekov and Sulu.
What started as rumors are now all but confirmed that Star Trek-TOS star William Shatner is returning to the franchise
in Trek 3. Shatner has admitted that one of the challenges of
getting him into the rebooted timeline is that Kirk Prime died in 1994's Star Trek: Generations.
Shatner was originally in the script for a cameo in the '09 film but the notion was nixed. According to reports, a sequence in the Trek 3 script reunites Shatner and Leonard Nimoy as Kirk and Spock for their first canon appearance together since 1991's "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country". Kirk Prime's appearance is said to be 'plot-driven' rather than some throwaway cameo which means it will likely stay in the script despite any rewrites.
Abrams Bryan Burke Orci and David Ellison will produce the film
The sequel is seemingly still going to move forward quickly so that it can make a July 8, 2016 bow for Paramount--coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the "Star Trek" franchise. Filming on the next "Star Trek" hopes to begin in the Spring with pre-production aiming to start in very early 2015.