Saturday, 6 December 2014

Trek Three Seeks Alternative Direction


Orci Out.

According to a few sites (Entertainment Weekly, Deadline, Slashfilm, TrekMovie....etc etc etc) he has left the building and that this is music to fans ears but I'm not so sure.

Orci's career has had a fair few twists over the last few years; helping to revitalise the Star Trek franchise being (to us) the most important, turned down the high profile Mighty Morphin Power Rangers reboot to stay with the USS Enterprise and stopped working with Alec Kurtzman on movie projects which made it clear he had very easily made his bed.

At the moment there hasn't been any reason forthcoming for his lightning-quick departure from the project slated for a 2016 release but why would fans, as suggested elsewhere,  be rejoicing at this news?

It might be through dissatisfaction with the way in which Abrams and those associated have taken the franchise since it's 2009 return to cinemas, choosing to slide into an alternative universe and take some, erm, liberties with the source material. The 2013 sequel wasn't exactly what a lot of people were hoping for with its retreading of the Khan story but having Orci step down might initially seem great news but it does suggest there's more going on behind the scenes than we are being told. From what we can gather it appears that the production is in some of Development Hell with the team working on it being let go last month as issues over the screenplay continued to rage (more on that in a bit).

Loosing a director and someone who has been onboard since the reboot launched under Abrams  throws everything into the air once again since it can't be too long until shooting is due to begin. It doesn't fill me with faith that the vision for the third movie is in steady hands ar any level. Orci had, at the least, some idea of where the new take on the franchise was going and that could (for better or worse) be lost in the ether. Is it that perhaps with Abrams departure/defection over to the Dark Side activate alarms that Star Trek isn't the hot property that it was seen as five years ago? One to step away from now it's lost it's figurehead and chosen another path because he openly admits he prefers Star Wars? All I can say is that I hope it's his own choice and not a big kick out of the door.

Doesn't fill you with hope for the future of the movie series though and I seem to recall Robert Orci wanted the director's chair for Star Trek 3 when JJ vacated it so either he's been forced to go or there's greener grass somewhere else (the Dark Side perhaps with his former master?). Rumour is that there would have been some time travel element to Orci's third take in order to bring Shatner and Pine together (possibly) as the Vulcans attempt to change history and restore Vulcan to the timeline (Dark Horizons) however I was more inclined to believe stories of the Klingon war. If it is the case that they are looking to edge into temporal territory is this some sort of admission that blowing up Vulcan, while visually stunning and a proper mid-digit salute to the Prime Universe - was something of a short-sighted error?

For now we can only speculate over the news which broke yesterday. Edgar Wright, who visited the set of Star Trek Into Darkness and got to direct a teeny tiny piece of it is being touted as the potential replacement. When I heard this I was filled with excitement but then does he have a good enough understanding of the franchise? His directorial credits are immense including the brilliant series Spaced as well as turns with reboot Scotty actor Simon Pegg in the Cornetto trilogy (most recently The World's End). You can't deny he has the talent but would he be a good fit for such a high profile movie. I remain unsure even though I was impressed with Scott Pilgrim Versus the World however that's not even in the same high stakes league in my eyes.

If Orci has been forced out it's a shame for the writer/director although in a few weeks or months we'll be rejoicing or berating the choice of his replacement and in a year and a bit we'll get to see just what their labours have produced - and rejoice or berate that as well.

For now there's a vacant chair and a ticking clock. Star Trek 3 has to - HAS TO - be ready for 2016. I suspect a replacement will be rapidly placed to ensure this happens.

Which side do you ally to? Happy he's gone or concerned where the franchise could now go? Let us know below.