Star Trek 3 gains some intriguing new writers (but still needs a director)

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Dec 9, 2013, 4:48 PM EST

The next big-screen installment in the Star Trek franchise has beamed up some new writers ... but may have lost a potential director.

Variety reports that J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will join Roberto Orci in penning the script for Star Trek 3 (or Star Trek 13, if you prefer it that way). 


That's exactly what we said. Payne and McKay have yet to see a script of theirs actually get made into a movie -- not an uncommon occurrence in Hollywood. The thing is, they're well liked over at Bad Robot Productions, which is still producing Star Trek 3, and even wrote a script for the company based on the graphic novel Boilerplate.

Interestingly, Orci's longtime writing partner Alex Kurtzman won't be joining the team this time, and neither will Damon Lindelof, both of whom wrote Star Trek Into Darkness with Orci. It looks like Orci will be supervising the new pair and lending his expertise to whatever they come up with.

Meanwhile, Variety also stated that director Joe Cornish, who was in talks to direct Star Trek 3, is "no longer involved" with the project. 

No reason was given for his exit, but Cornish -- who directed Attack the Block and is Edgar Wright's co-writer on Ant-Man -- was perceived as the favorite to take the gig. There's no word yet on who might now replace J.J. Abrams in the captain's chair.

Whatever happens, Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures have a little bit of time to get a new guy on board: The studio wants the new movie out in 2016 to tie into the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek's premiere on NBC-TV (which was Sept. 8, 1966).

Who do you think should be the next director considered for Star Trek?