Roberto Orci is lobbying to direct “Star Trek 3,” while Paramount Pictures eyes him with caution, according to Variety.
Signed to script the film with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne (“Boilerplate”), Orci would make his directorial debut if a deal materializes.
The sequel’s co-producers, Bad Robot‘s J.J. Abrams and Skydance Productions’ David Ellison, appear to support Orci’s bid for the director’s chair, which was left vacant after Abrams exited to direct Disney’s “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
Meanwhile, Orci is concluding his longtime writing partnership with Alex Kurtzman. The duo, who launched their career working on the ’90s television series “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” co-wrote 2009’s “Star Trek” and 2013’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”
They also share such credits as “Transformers,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “Sleepy Hollow.” Their next film, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” opens in theaters May 2.
The parting is described as amicable, according to sources, and they will continue their production house K/O Paper Products and juggling more than a dozen projects in development.
Orci is the second candidate to receive the spotlight as a potential “Star Trek 3″ director. Joe Cornish, who directed 2011’s “Attack the Block” and co-wrote Marvel’s upcoming “Ant-Man,” was an early favorite for the job before a deal stalled.
“Star Trek 3” is expected to lens this summer. Paramount and Skydance are eyeing a 2016 release in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary.