It probably comes as no surprise that Roberto Orci, after being separated from the other triplets, J.J. Abrams and Alex Kurtzman, was the frontrunner to direct the next Star Trek movie, while J.J. directs the next Star Wars movie. Turns out his vigorous campaigning to Paramount to let him transition from writing and producing everything to directing their biggest franchise worked out for him.
He’s writing the screenplay (he’s responsible for the last two) with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. One can only guess the same rebooted cast will return — especially Karl Urban, now that he doesn’t have a robot cop show to do, goddammit. Maybe Shatner will take Orci out back and demand he get a better haircut.
I have no idea why it took Paramount weeks to decide to hire him to direct. Apparently being wildly successful at mediocre sci-fi doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job you want. Maybe they thought he was busy. In addition to writing and producing the last two Star Trek movies, he writes and produces Sleepy Hollow and the Hawaii 5-0 reboot. There are no less than half a dozen upcoming film projects listed on his IMDb page. (That’s right, I do research, kids.)
What’s troubling is I don’t really like the Star Trek reboots, and I’m not the biggest fan of Sleepy Hollow (which is Fringe but with fun time-traveling historical elements that are incredibly wrong), so while I guess it makes sense financially to stick with the same old crew, what Hollywood needs a little less of these days is sticking with the same old crew. I mean Kenneth Branagh directed a Thor movie, for God’s sake. Use your tiny midgardian brains and think outside the box, Paramount.
Disclosure: I’m still pushing for Jane Campion to direct the next whatever action sci-fi movie.