An exclusive from Variety indicates that Paramount has chosen Roberto Orci to direct Star Trek 3, the sequel to 2013’s Into Darkness. This appointment solidifies the recently announced professional split between him and longtime collaborator Alex Kurtzman, as he will direct Venom, a spinoff for Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man films. Star Trek 3 will be Orci’s first time in the director’s chair. As a team, Orci and Kurtzman have written some of the biggest blockbusters in recent years including the first two Transformers films, both of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek films, and Amazing Spider-Man 2. They also have several TV credits including Lost and Alias. Despite their success, Orci in particular has his share of detractors. Last year Orci deleted his twitter account after picking a fight on a forum with some fans who did not think highly of Star Trek Into Darknes. Then there are his theories about 9/11 – they involve conspiracies.
Despite his lack of experience, and controversial views, Orci’s promotion to director isn’t too unsurprising, with Kurtzman busy alongside Abrams focusing on Star Wars. Even if he is the safe option though, the move could potentially turn into a PR nightmare for Paramount if Orci’s eccentricities attract unwanted media attention.