While the incredible teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens has fans of the series forgetting all about the prequels, the other outer space film franchise that Abrams departed to take over Episode VII was hit with a major blow: Deadline reports that Roberto Orci is "beaming off" the third film in the rebooted Star Trek series, leaving the film without a director.
Orci will remain onboard as producer while the follow-up to Star Trek Into Darkness quickly seeks out a new director in order to reach its scheduled 2016 release date. Badass Journal writes that a disagreement over the third installment's script triggered the fallout. According to Deadline, among those on the shortlist to helm the movie is Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright, who in May stepped away from Marvel's Ant-Man film, citing creative differences with the comic company's overall vision.
Wright is a longtime admirer of the sci-fi series, and his good friend and frequent collaborator Simon Pegg currently stars in the Star Trek reboot as the engineer Scotty. As Variety points out, Wright also guest-directed one of the 2120 shots in Star Trek Into Darkness during a visit to the film's set. However, given Wright's Marvel troubles, it's unclear whether the director would want to be restrained by the rules mapped out by a preexisting franchise.
Star Trek 3 would have been the directorial debut for Orci, who along with his former co-writer Alex Kurtzman formed one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriting teams thanks to Mission: Impossible III and both the Star Trek and Transformers series. It was announced in April 2014 that Orci and Kurtzman had ended their film partnership, with Orci taking the reins of the Star Trek franchise from Abrams, who moved on to continuing the Star Wars saga.