UPDATED, 7:09 PM: Looks like Roberto Orci indeed is set to direct the next Star Trek pic — as we reported exclusively last week.
PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, May 9: After an aggressive lobbying campaign, Roberto Orci has emerged as the clear frontrunner to replace JJ Abrams and direct Paramount‘s third installment of the Star Trek series. I’m hearing they’re in talks. This comes after Orci parted company with longtime partner Alex Kurtzman (though they continue on TV projects). This would amount to another first-time director taking on a massive project, which has been hit (Snow White And The Huntsman) and miss (Transcendence, John Carter, 47 Ronin).
Orci could be an exception on the positive side of the ledger because he has been involved for so long as writer and producer in shaping such big scale films as the Star Trek films as well as the Transformers and Amazing Spider-Man movies. I’m told that Paramount’s partner, Skydance Productions, has been in Orci’s corner, but Paramount needed convincing. Now it all could happen at warp speed. Abrams helmed the first two films from his home base at Paramount, but surprised the studio by agreeing to relaunch the Star Wars franchise and direct the first film, at Disney. Stay tuned. Orci is repped by CAA.