A few weeks ago there were some rumours flying around that Paramount was looking to take a risk, and bring in new writers for their upcoming sequel, Star Trek 3. Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz, writers of Thor and X-Men: First Class, were said to be taking over from regular Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. A huge risk considering they wrote two exceptional movies for JJ Abrams to direct, and an even bigger risk considering Abrams will unlikely be directing the third film (although he will be producing).
Now it would appear that Paramount have decided to play it safe, and a gap in their hugely busy schedules has meant that both Orci and Kurtzman can return for Star Trek 3. However, Damon Lindelof, who co-wrote Star Trek Into Darkness, will not be returning.
Orci and Kurtzman can now begin work on the third film, and it is expected that Paramount will be looking to release the third film in 2016. While 2015 is already jam packed with massive films (Star Wars: Episode VII, Jurassic Park 4, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Batman vs Superman, The Terminator reboot, Bond 24, Pirates 5, Independence Day 2), the reason for Paramount aiming for 2016 is not fear of the competition, but instead it is likely they will aim for 2016 as this will mark the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise.
Orci and Kurtzman wrote both Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, and both films were very successful under the guidance of Abrams. The director won over the Trek fans, and opened up Star Trek to a whole new legion of fans. However, Paramount are still unwilling to take a gamble by not only have a new director for the third film, but also new writers. Considering Star Trek Into Darkness only just broke even of its budget, Paramount understand that their franchise is not quite the guaranteed money spinner they were hoping for.
Star Trek was released in 2009, and went on the achieve a respectful $386 million worldwide, and Star Trek Into Darkness performed better (although with mixed reviews) by achieving $451 million worldwide. Take way budget costs ($190 million) and advertising, and Into Darkness is thought to have only just broke even, so changing the third film completely would be a huge gamble for Paramount, who clearly aren’t wanting to do that. Keeping Orci and Kurtzman, in my opinion, is a smart move.
Star Trek star Karl Urban recently spoke of how he would like to see the next film move forward:
“What I really believe we should do now is strive for originality. Because in Star Trek Into Darkness we took one of the most revered and loved adversaries of the Enterprise and put him in there, and did a story that had all of these wonderful nods to films from the past, and episodes from the past. I really think that what we should do from here, in my personal opinion, is strive to be original. Strive to be something different and new. You know, let’s not forget that Star Trek as envisioned was about space exploration. And it would be really wonderful to harness the spirit of that and apply it to the next film, so that we do something different than a revenge-based picture.”