Roberto Orci is now a frontrunner for the “Star Trek 3” director’s chair, according to Deadline.
After launching an aggressive campaign for the job, Orci is in talks to replace director J.J. Abrams, who departed to helm Disney’s “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
Orci would make his directorial debut if a deal is finalized. As a result, his inexperience has prompted Paramount Pictures to approach an agreement with caution, but Abrams and Skydance Productions’ support for his bid is apparently paying off.
One key strength for him is his long career as a producer and writer, especially on such large-scale films as “Star Trek,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness, “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Transformers.”
Regardless of winning the director’s chair, Orci is already set as a writer for the third installment; he is penning the sequel’s script with co-writers Patrick McKay and John D. Payne (“Boilerplate”).
Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote “Star Trek” and “Into Darkness,” is not returning, and he and Orci recently concluded their long-running writing partnership.
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 later this year. Paramount and Skydance are eyeing a 2016 release in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary.