Some 15 months after he stopped interacting online following a dust-up with Star Trek fans, Roberto Orci has briefly re-appeared to address his exit as Star Trek 3 director.
The news broke on Friday that Orci was no longer going to make his directorial debut on the movie, which is due out in 2016 and will follow the two Trek reboots directed by J.J. Abrams. No official reason for his stepping down was given, but there was speculation that it had to do with the script, which supposedly featured the Vulcans trying to use a time-travel device to stop the destruction of their home planet.
In a comment thread at TrekMovie's story reporting on the news, Orci showed up briefly (check around comments 203-209) to issue a few short responses to the news and fans' questions about it. Orci famously sparred with fans at the same site in September 2013 over criticisms leveled at Star Trek Into Darkness. He later apologized, but soon retreated from all fan interaction and deactivated his Twitter account.
In his new posts, he first says that he will still be "very involved" in the movie. He insists in his next comment that he is "still excited to make Trek 3," adding that the movie will come out on time and that "we’ll find the right director" (some fans have a suggestion for you, Bob).
Finally, alluding to the rumored plot, he says, "No time travel was ever considered, fyi."
It's sad to say, but I would take all his comments with a grain of salt -- after all, he was part of the consortium that straight-up lied about the identity of Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, so he hasn't had a problem with prevarication in the past. And to be fair, he's not going to come online to say, "Yeah, guys, it's true, I was blown out because the studio said the script sucked."
But would just staying silent be the better option until more information officially comes to light? I suspect that Orci will participate in the movie in some way, but perhaps not as the keeper of the Star Trek flame that he might have once seen himself as.
Do you think he's trying to save face, or did he willingly step down as director?