George Huertas ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Well, Star Trek, it’s been fun. This reboot trilogy has had one great film, and one okay film that was largely saved by Benedict Cumberbatch’s superlative performance. But it looks like it’s time to throw in the towel, for Roberto Orci has been officially announced as the director for Star Trek 3.
It has been obvious for a while that J.J. Abrams was not going to direct Star Trek 3. The precedence of Star Wars Episode VII could not have been more pronounced, but it looked as if Paramount would have its pick of promising directors. Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) were among the most buzzed about. But after Rupert Wyatt turned it down in favor of The Gambler, and after Cornish decided to direct Section 6 (which is now in legal limbo due to an impending lawsuit from MGM), people were wondering who could possibly step up to the plate to replace Abrams. It would be a tall order to fill. After all, the previous two Star Trek films were both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, so the next director would have to be a proven director who could gracefully guide Star Trek into its fiftieth anniversary.
This is what makes the choice of Roberto Orci so troublesome. Firstly, he’s untested. The list of untested directors turning would-be tentpole films into deeply troubled productions is long and disconcerting, the most recent and high-profile including John Carter and 47 Ronin. Secondly, the modern Star Trek films (the first one, at least) succeeded in spite of the screenplays, not because of them. J.J. Abrams was able to bring an infectious sense of energy to the films that allowed the viewers to zing through the films with vim and vigor. And, finally, if The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Cowboys & Aliens are any indication, blandness is inherent in Orci’s (and his co-writer Kurtzman’s) storytelling.
The silver lining of this news is the fact that Orci himself is a fan of the Star Trek series. However, Joel Schumacher was reportedly a fan of Batman as well. So take that as you will.