Last week, we reported that J.D. Payne, Patrick McKay and Roberto Orci are writing the script for Star Trek 3, with Joe Cornish said to be high on the studio's list of directorial candidates. As it turns out, Joe Cornish is actually out of the running altogether.
Both Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions were in active negotiations with Joe Cornish to direct the sequel at one point, but he has stepped away from the project. No specific reason was given for his departure. We reported last month that he was a top contender to replace Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, who had to back out due to his involvement in Star Wars: Episode VII. J.J. Abrams is still attached as a producer on the sequel, along with Bryan Burk and David Ellison.
Paramount is hoping to have Star Trek 3 in theaters by the year 2016, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek TV series, created by Gene Roddenberry. Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock) and Zoe Saldana (Uhura) and the rest of the main cast members from Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness are expected to return.
Other directors who have been mentioned for as contenders to direct sequel include Rise of the Planet of the Apes' Rupert Wyatt, who was endorsed by J.J. Abrams in September, and G.I. Joe 3's Jon M. Chu.