Roberto Orci to helm ‘Star Trek 3’ in directing debut, report says

Roberto Orci will direct "Star Trek 3," marking his first time as a director, according to a report. Above, Orci at Universal Studios in 2009.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Roberto Orci will boldly go where he has never gone before: The veteran Hollywood screenwriter and producer is set to make his directorial debut on Paramount’s “Star Trek 3,” according to a Variety report.

Orci is writing the story for the new film with newcomers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay and for some time had been considered a front-runner to replace J.J. Abrams, who directed “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” At the moment, Abrams has his hands full directing “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

Plot details for the new “Star Trek” movie are unknown. Main cast members including Chris Pine (Capt. Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Mr. Spock) are expected to return. Abrams will produce with Bryan Burke and Skydance’s David Ellison.


Orci, 40, is no stranger to the franchise, having co-written the first two films his with longtime collaborator Alex Kurtzman. The two recently went their separate ways to focus on solo filmmaking endeavors; prior to that, they co-wrote “Mission: Impossible III,” “Cowboys and Aliens,” the first two “Transformers” movies, and both “Amazing Spider-Man” movies.

While Orci has worked on numerous blockbusters as a writer and producer, he represents a bit of a dice-roll for Paramount as a first-time director taking on such a massive film.

Other recent large-scale movies helmed by first-timers have had mixed results: “Snow White and the Huntsman,” directed by Rupert Sanders, was a solid box-office performer, while Carl Rinsch’s “47 Ronin” and Wally Pfister’s “Transcendence” both flopped.