The search for a filmmaker to direct the third chapter of the modern Star Trek movie franchise has ended close to home, with series writer Roberto Orci confirmed as director of the sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness.
The previously announced frontrunner for the role, Variety has confirmed that Orci now fills the seat vacated by J.J. Abrams when he left the Star Trek franchise to direct the next installment of Star Wars. Orci co-wrote and co-produced the first two chapters of the rebooted Star Trek franchise (as well as the tie-in video game) with his longtime collaborator Alex Kurtzman, but this will be his first time behind the camera as director.
Orci campaigned intensely to direct the third Star Trek (the 13th film in the franchise), and has already agreed to write the film with screenwriters Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne after parting ways with Kurtzman for this and future big-screen projects. (The pair continue to collaborate on television projects.)
In addition to his work on the Star Trek films, Orci has been instrumental in shaping the modern Transformers and The Amazing Spider-Man franchises as both a producer and writer, so he’s no stranger to world-building. There’s no official word yet on when the third Star Trek will arrive in theaters, but with the 50th anniversary of the franchise in 2016, it’s reasonable to expect things will move along quickly if the next film hopes to share in the celebration.
Update at 11:28 a.m. 5-14-2014 by Rick: The previous report on rumors that Orci will direct the third Star Trek has been updated to reflect official confirmation of his role on the upcoming movie.
Originally published 5-10-2014.