Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
Over the past decade, the name pairing “Kurtzman and Orci” has become a loaded phrase: it connotes blockbuster-sized sci-fi and superhero properties which often make loads of dough, but which aren’t always realized in a manner that fans love. Now Kurtzman and Orci are breaking up their big-screen writing and producing partnership so that each can focus on directing. More important, however, is that Roberto Orci is now working hard to take the director’s chair of Star Trek 3.
Update: Word has hit that Orci has progressed a bit further in the process, and is now in early talks to direct. More below.
Variety has a big piece on Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci breaking up their big-screen partnership.
The real news, however, is that Orci has been lobbying to direct Star Trek 3, which he is also writing with with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne. The report is that JJ Abrams and Bad Robot are in favor of him getting the job, as are David Ellison and Skydance Productions, the chief financiers.
Paramount, however, evidently isn’t ready to take the plunge just yet. And no wonder, as Orci doesn’t have a feature under his belt as a director. Hard to blame the studio, too, as fans don’t like Orci’s contributions to Trek. He’s not going to be a popular choice to direct, especially given that the release of Star Trek 3 will be timed to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
Borys Kit of THR, meanwhile, paints Orci as being just a bit further along in the process to get the job:
Yes, Kurtzman and Orci are splitting up. But more interestingly, Orci is in early talks to direct STAR TREK 3. No negotiations yet but…
— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) April 22, 2014
Kurtzman and Orci will continue to work together for television, and some of the projects the two already have in development together, such as Spider-Man 3, will continue.
But Kurtzman is already set to direct Venom for Sony, and at Universal he’s working on revivals of monster franchises such as The Mummy and Van Helsing. With all that, and Orci lobbying for Star Trek 3, both of the guys could be busy for a long time on those projects. That’s good news for those who, let’s put this nicely, don’t love their approach to fan properties. At this point I’m willing to cut loose my interest in this incarnation of Star Trek if it means the duo split up and step aside as screenwriters for future series.
Update: Deadline says that Skydance Productions and Orci have made serious headway in their attempts to convince Paramount that he’s the guy to make the third Trek. They’re now in talks, and the site reports “it all could happen at warp speed.”