Star Trek Sequel Announced

Paramount Pictures is moving forward with development on a Star Trek sequel, hiring Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof to pen the screenplay. Lindelof produced the first film but has been brought on to reteam with Kurtzman and Orci, with whom he is currently co-scripting DreamWorks' Cowboys and Aliens.  Kurtzman told Variety that they will wait to see what fan reaction is to the first film, which hits theaters on May 8th, before proceeding.

"Obviously we discussed ideas, but we are waiting to see how audiences respond next month," he said. "With a franchise rebirth, the first movie has to be about origin. But with a second, you have the opportunity to explore incredibly exciting things. We'll be ambitious about what we'll do."

They are hoping to have a completed script by Christmas, which would likely mean a summer 2011 release. No decision has been made yet on whether JJ Abrams will return to direct, but he will at least produce.

Of course, the writing deal announcement doesn't guarantee a green light. If the film somehow underperforms, the sequel won't happen. It seems like Paramount thinks they have a huge hit in their hands. The studio is holding the film's premiere more than a month before the film's domestic release, which is certainly a vote of confidence.

(Thanks to /Film reader Brandon for the tip)