We've been hearing speculation for weeks now, and it was recently revealed that he was the frontrunner in the race, but now it has reportedly been made official: Roberto Orci will be making his directorial debut helming the untitled sequel to Star Trek Into Darkness, which is for now simply being called Star Trek 3.
The news comes from Variety, which says that Skydance and Paramount have agreed to have Orci helm the blockbuster sequel, but it doesn't mention who else was being considered for the job.
While J.J. Abrams directed the first two installments of the rebooted franchise, he is now too busy working on Star Wars: Episode VII and will instead will simply be serving as a producer. As we learned back in December, Orci will not be penning the sequel himself, instead leaving those duties up to newcomers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (who are also in the midst of working on a Flash Gordon reboot).
Despite his many, many producing and writing credits, Orci has never worked as a director - never even helming an episode of one of the television shows he helped bring to the small screen. That said, his career has given him the opportunity to work alongside some notable directors, including Michael Bay, J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau and Marc Webb. I wouldn't be too surprised if his aesthetic as a filmmaker will be finding a middle ground between all of those various styles.
You may have also noticed that I've gone this entire article without mentioning Alex Kurtzman, who has been Roberto Orci's writing and producing partner for years. The two will continue to work together on the small screen, but last month it was revealed that they will no longer be partnering up on feature projects. It would appear that this split can be found in dividing franchises, with Kurtzman moving forward with theAmazing Spider-Man franchise and directing Venom while Orci will journey to the final frontier with Star Trek 3.
At this time all plot details for the next Star Trek movie remain unknown (big surprise there), but it's expected that all of the principal castmembers from the last two movies - including Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Jon Cho and Anton Yelchin - will be coming back. It is currently unknown exactly when Star Trek 3 will actually be getting off the ground, but given the stage of development and how crowded the 2015 season is, I wouldn't expect to see the film before 2016.