Less than seven months after he was tapped to replace J.J. Abrams at the helm of Star Trek 3, Roberto Orci has backed away from the project. If he would have stayed on board, it would have marked his directorial debut, after co-writing the scripts for Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness and several other big-budget tentpoles such as Mission: Impossible III, Transformers and this summer's The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Deadline also reports that Edgar Wright is being eyed as a possible replacement, but he is just one of several unidentified filmmaker's on Paramount's short list. Roberto Orci is still remaining on board the sequel as a producer.
It isn't known why Roberto Orci is no longer directing, but his commitment to the project forced him to back out of yet another directorial effort in September, Lionsgate's Power Rangers reboot. We reported in August that the director had completed the first draft of the screenplay with new writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, with production scheduled to begin in Seoul, South Korea in the first half of 2015. It isn't clear yet if Roberto Orci's departure will affect the production schedule, or the planned 2016 release date.
Edgar Wright was previously set to direct Marvel's Ant-Man before he bowed out back in May. Since then, the filmmaker has been attached to a number of projects, including Grasshopper Jungle, Baby Driver and an untitled project that he is developing with longtime collaborator Simon Pegg, who, coincidentally is expected to his role as Scotty in Star Trek 3. Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Karl Urban (Bones), Zoe Saldana (Uhura), John Cho (Sulu) and Anton Yelchin (Chekov) are also expected to reprise their roles.