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Quinto: Studio Still Eyes Early 2015 Filming Date For 'Star Trek 3'

Plus, Simon Pegg says J.J. Abrams remains a key part of the franchise

Zachary Quinto remains confident that "Star Trek 3" is on course to begin filming early next year.

The sequel is expected to premiere in 2016 in time for the franchise's 50th anniversary, and an initial draft of its script -- penned by Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay and John D. Payne -- was recently submitted to the studio.

"Things are rumbling," Quinto told NBC’s "The Today Show" on Monday, "so I have a feeling that we will be in production sometime in the next six months."

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions have reportedly placed Orci in the director's chair, which would mark his directorial debut. He is replacing J.J. Abrams, who surrendered the chair to helm "Star Wars Episode VII."

Plot details for "Star Trek 3" remain unknown, but it is expected to involve exploration as the Enterprise warps off to discover strange new worlds like in Gene Roddenberry's original vision.

"In this movie, they are closer than they are to the original series' characters that you have ever seen," Orci told the "Humans From Earth" podcast earlier this year. "They have set off on their five-year mission. So their adventure is going to be in deep space."

Although Abrams will not direct, he will remain aboard to produce along with Bryan Burke ("Lost"), and according to actor Simon Pegg, Abrams has no intention of discarding the franchise for Star Wars.

"I was worried at first," Pegg told ComingSoon.net. "I was in a movie theater and I got an email that he was doing it and I immediately called him and said: 'You're not doing Star Wars now? You're going to abandon us like the older, slightly less-cool sibling?' And he was like, 'Of course not.'

"That was just sort of the knee-jerk reaction, because we all felt like, 'Oh, no! Daddy!' But J.J. is incapable of doing that. He will be very present even if he's not directing 'Star Trek'; his voice and his stamp will be all over it."

Abrams' "Star Trek" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness" -- which starred Quinto as Spock and Pegg as Scotty -- have grossed $853 million in box office tickets worldwide.

Source: ComingSoon.net

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