Just hours ago Roberto Orci talked about having a 70-page outline for the Star Trek sequel which has been dated by Paramount for release on June 29, 2012, and that once J.J. Abrams agrees to direct the film, they’ll move forward into the script stage with all speed. That knowledge leads to a lot more questions than it answers. Germain asked some of them when he covered Roberto Orci’s statement, including one of the biggies: will the film be pushed back to allow for a longer production schedule?

We don’t have definitive word on that, but one report says that J.J. Abrams is finally about to announce that he’ll direct the sequel, even as opinions are starting to mount that Paramount will have to delay the film. Why might it be pushed back? Because finishing the script and pulling together the effects-heavy picture in time for the end of June next year could be detrimental to the result. No one wants another Revenge of the Fallen.

Deadline says with some authority what everyone is thinking: J.J. Abrams will soon say, “yes, I’m directing Star Trek 2.” But then there is the matter of the script: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are writing, but all have had other stuff to deal with in the past few months. (Those being Cowboys & Aliens, Welcome to People and Prometheus, respectively.) So once a director to sign once and for all, there’s a script to finish and then all the work that follows from there.

That’s where the question of a delay comes in. It seems likely that J.J. Abrams won’t officially sign for Trek 2 until right before or after the June 10 release of Super 8. (I won’t presume to know the backstage dealmaking that is going on, but the first ecstatic reviews for Super 8 can’t be weakening his negotiating position.) That leaves just 13 months to make Star Trek 2 happen.

It can be done — Matthew Vaughn made X-Men: First Class in eleven months despite many concerns from all corners, including ours — but turning that outline into a script seems like the bottleneck. The script for Star Trek was far from the strongest point of that film. Rather, the last outing was a wild success because it was skillfully cast and captured just the right tone. I’m hoping for a delay into the holiday 2012 season so that the script can be given the time it needs. But release dates are everything these days, especially for big movies, and so will Paramount agree?

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