Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman Split, One Wants to Direct 'Star Trek 3'
After working together for nearly a decade as the writing and producing duo behind films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the first two Transformers films, Mission Impossible III, the Star Trek reboot franchise and more, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci are splitting up as a filmmaking team. Though the two will remain collaborators with TV projects, Kurtzman and Orci each want to pursue their own directing careers. At this time, it's not clear how the several projects that these two have in development, which include the next two Amazing Spider-Man films, will be handled, but there's at least one project that Orci has eyes on to direct.
Variety reports that Orci is currently lobbying hard to take over the director's chair for Star Trek 3, with previous franchise director J.J. Abrams busy getting Star Wars: Episode VII together. Orci is already working on the script with Patrick McKay & John D. Payne, but not he wants to get behind the camera for his directorial debut. Apparently Bad Robot and Skydance Productions are on board with his desire, but Paramount Pictures isn't sold on letting Orci take on their valuable franchise for his directing debut. And considering how much the script for Star Trek Into Darkness missed the mark, I'm not surprised.
Meanwhile, Kurtzman's directing career on the big screen kicked off with the lower profile drama People Like Us, a middling but not terrible intimate story that featured Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde. But Kurtzman is looking to jump into big budget films too since he's already on board to direct Venom, the villain spin-off from The Amazing Spider-Man franchise which he also wrote with Orci and Ed Solomon (they all worked on Now You See Me before this). Kurtzman also has an interesting future overseeing the restart of potential franchises at Universal with their classic movie monster films The Mummy and Van Helsing.
Frankly, this split probably won't have too big of an impact on any of their developing projects. If anything, it might help, since Kurtzman and Orci have a flare for writing big budget fare with a lot of fun, but not with very much substance. Star Trek Into Darkness had plenty of great action and moments, but that story was weak, and totally underutilized the character of Khan, not to mention the talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, who probably would have been better served with a villain role in Star Wars: Episode VII. Anyway, stay tuned to see how the directing careers of Kurztman & Orci on the big screen develop. Any thoughts?