Roberto Orci

Roberto Orci no longer directing Star Trek 3 (UPDATED)

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Dec 6, 2014, 3:22 AM EST (Updated)

Just months after getting the job, Roberto Orci is leaving the captain's chair on Star Trek 3 behind.

Deadline reports that Orci has stepped down as the director of Star Trek 3. Orci, a writer and producer on 2009's Star Trek and last year's Star Trek Into Darkness, got the gig after J.J. Abrams flew away to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Word on the street said that Orci had lobbied hard to take over the franchise, so this news comes as a surprise.

There's no official reason given at press time for his exit, although he's still going be listed as a producer on the film. Star Trek 3 was meant to be Orci's directorial debut after years of writing and producing with former partner Alex Kurtzman, with whom he parted ways earlier this year.

UPDATE: Sources have told Badass Digest that production was shut down last month due to disagreements over the direction of the script, which Orci was writing with Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne. The story allegedly followed the Enterprise, the Vulcans and an unnamed new alien race as they all raced to get their hands on a time travel device. The Vulcans want the device so that they can go back and stop the destruction of their home planet (as shown in the 2009 movie) and presumably the time travel conceit is what would allow young and old Kirk (Chris Pine and William Shatner) to come face to face. That script -- which would essentially cancel out the two previous pictures and reset the Trek universe again -- may have been jettisoned along with Orci.

Now the question is: Who will take over? Paramount Pictures reportedly has a short list of directors it's reaching out to, and one name allegedly on that list is none other than Edgar Wright. Star Trek 3 is scheduled to come out in 2016, just in time to celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary, so the studio wants to get this right.

Do you think it was the script or the fact that Orci had never directed a single piece of film before that led to his departure? Are you glad or disappointed that he's no longer at the helm of Star Trek 3? And finally, who should direct the movie now?

(via Slashfilm)