Simon Pegg will co-write “Star Trek 3,” according to Deadline.
Having played engineering officer Scotty in J.J. Abrams’ last two Star Trek films, Pegg will now take on the added duty of scripting the third film with Doug Jung, who created the TNT series “Dark Blue.”
Pegg and Jung replace writers Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay and John D. Payne, whose concept for the sequel was shelved by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions in favor of a new direction.
“Star Trek 3” is in pre-production with David Ellison, Orci and Abrams set to produce. It’s slated to open in theaters on July 8, 2016, in time for the franchise’s 50th anniversary.
Justin Lin will direct. He has helmed four installments of The Fast and the Furious franchise and has television directing credits that include NBC’s “Community,” CBS’ “Scorpion” and the upcoming second season of HBO’s “True Detective,” which stars Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn.
Pegg’s previous writing credits include “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” “The World’s End” and “Run, Fatboy, Run.”
The Star Trek franchise has enjoyed box office success since Abrams directed 2009’s “Star Trek,” which kicked off new tales surrounding a young Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crew of the USS Enterprise. That film earned $380 million worldwide. Abrams also directed its sequel, “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” which took in $467 million worldwide, including $229 million domestically.