Roberto Orci, co-writer and producer of the last two Star Trek movies, is no longer signed on to direct Star Trek 3.
Orci was hired to direct Star Trek 3 after J.J. Abrams moved on to the Star Wars franchise, but Deadline is now reporting that Orci will only be staying on as producer. Edgar Wright, fresh from a bad experience with Marvel’s Ant-Man, is apparently one of the frontrunners to replace Orci as director.
Along with his former writing partner Alex Kurtzman, Orci has worked on numerous financially successful Hollywood movies, including the Transformers franchise and Spider-Man 2. The pair co-wrote the last two Star Trek movies with J.J. Abrams, but dissolved their professional partnership earlier this year.
Orci’s departure may sound like worrying news for a film that’s aiming for a 2016 release, but many fans will be glad to see him go. In one incident following the mixed reception to Star Trek Into Darkness, he logged onto a fandom message board to post expletive-laden comments against his critics. And even outside of Star Trek, his Internet presence has caused problems due to his love of 9/11 conspiracy theories—a mindset that some believe influenced the screenplay for Into Darkness. To describe him as a controversial figure would be an understatement.
The situation with Star Trek 3′s screenplay is somewhat unclear. Orci was working on it with two little-known screenwriters named Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne, but current reports only mention Orci as a producer rather than co-writer. All we know for sure is that if a director like Edgar Wright is hired, many fans will view it as a great improvement on the original plan to have Orci at the helm.
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