New writers added to Trek 3 UPDATE: Variety says Cornish is out

While this isn’t 100% official, The Hollywood Reporter just broke a story that says two new writers will be joining Roberto Orci in writing the 3rd Star Trek movie script. Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof are out.

The new blood comes in the form of J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. These relatively unknowns do have a relationship with Bad Robot. The pair were tapped to write the script adapting the graphic novel Boilerplate in 2011 (as yet unreleased) for Bad Robot.


That’s it though, there’s no other news on Trek 3 in the article, other than the common assumption that it’s supposed to be out in 2016 to coincide the 50th anniversary of the franchise.

The next Star Trek film is untitled and unscheduled, but Paramount and Skydance are hoping to have a film in time for the franchise to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016

Source: THR

UPDATE: In a throw-away line in Variety’s coverage about Payne and McKay they buried a pretty big detail. Variety now reports Joe Cornish will NOT be the next director.

Paramount and Skydance were at one point in talks with “Attack the Block” helmer Joe Cornish, but he is no longer involved.

Source: Variety

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December 6, 2013 6:22 pm

There is nothing about them on imdb. This is kind of weird.

December 6, 2013 6:25 pm

Let me be the first to say “Welcome aboard!”

Please try your best to learn from the mistakes made for STID and be sure that #3 stays true to the core ideas that make Star Trek so special for so many of us including, but not limited to…statements on the human condition, a good moral conundrum, moving character moments, exploration of the truly unknown, and please, please, please do not borrow so heavily from previous films :).

My 2 cents…your mileage may vary…

December 6, 2013 6:29 pm


Here’s to hoping they enjoyed the many subtleties present in the original series.

Danny Boy
December 6, 2013 6:30 pm

“These relatively unknowns do have a relationship with Bad Robot, the pair were tapped to write the script adapting the graphic novel Boilerplate in 2011 (as yet unreleased).”

Come on, guys. Editing–i’s not optional when it comes to articles. That’s a run-on, which is a pretty basic no-no.

December 6, 2013 6:37 pm

New blood can certainly be a good thing….here’s hoping!

While I enjoyed both “Star Trek” in 2009 and “Into Darkness” in 2013, I can admit that there were problems with both. Hopefully some new writing talent can help out.

Also, I hope more hands on deck will get it ready for shooting and release in time for 2016.

December 6, 2013 6:38 pm

JJ Abrams actually mentions them and that they’re working with Bob Orci at the end of the MTV video clip posted a few days ago.

December 6, 2013 6:43 pm

Yeah, finally some news

December 6, 2013 7:16 pm

Hopefully an official statement from Paramount on the third film will be coming soon!

@3 – I agree with all three of your statements :)

December 6, 2013 7:53 pm

Wellcome and go to an avatar like planet on #3, make all the action there, stay away from earth.

Its a suggestion you can do whatever you like, as for me I know I’m going to love it, cuz Into was good in this timeline that is.

And guys in your spare time lol write a pilot for TV, will yah!

December 6, 2013 7:53 pm

Without knowing exactly who brought what to the table, I don’t want to take a random pot shot… but, I can’t help but be gladdened by the back of Lindelof.

December 6, 2013 8:21 pm

@ 8. CmdrR – December 6, 2013

“Without knowing exactly who brought what to the table, I don’t want to take a random pot shot… but, I can’t help but be gladdened by the back of Lindelof.”

Me too, they should keep Lindelof as far as possible from ST XIII or any future Trek projects

December 6, 2013 8:27 pm

So do writers come with ‘buy one get one free’ deal now?

Mr. Anonymous
December 6, 2013 8:28 pm

Right on! Some new blood to shake things up a bit.

December 6, 2013 8:36 pm

It is interesting that these new guys are really new, their IMDB pages are blank. Whoever hired them must saw something in their unproduced scripts.

Gary 8.5
December 6, 2013 8:43 pm

JD and Patrick,
Welcome to the Party and GOOD LUCK!
I hope you stop by some time.

December 6, 2013 9:06 pm

I love how these guys are announced, and the comments are already rife with unsolicited advice from professional commenters.

December 6, 2013 9:55 pm

ST09 and STID left a lot to be desired in the writing department, so I’m glad there will be new blood for the next Trek film. The reboot has helped keep Trek alive, but at the cost of the depth of the storytelling. I REALLY hope that the next movie will be Trek’s version of the latest Bond movie, Skyfall: Getting back to basics for the 50th anniversary, reminding people why they loved it in the first place.

Duane Boda
December 6, 2013 11:27 pm

Would be welcome to have a film that deals with actual exploration of new aliens –

unexplored worlds and the interaction of the primary characters aboard the ship.

No more old stories of aliens bent on vengeance or those involving time travel. A

new ship design would be welcome also. Don’t borrow from prior ST series with.

December 7, 2013 12:09 am

Why the separation of Orci and Kurtzman? Don’t they essentially write everything together?

Bill Peters
December 7, 2013 12:10 am

#18, it is the 50th it will have to have nods to the past, that is what both Bond and Doctor Who did for there 50th Anniversaries, nether was that bad, good story telling in both, I think we will get the same for Trek’s 50th.

Hat Rick
December 7, 2013 12:42 am

This seems either highly promising or highly unusual, or both. One does not usually entrust a multibillion-dollar franchise to a couple of newcomers (even if they’re associated with veterans).

However, being an optimist about Trek, I prefer to think the best of this development.

Also, all hail Matt Wright, frequent contributor to TrekMovie, and apparently the new Anthony Pascale. (Or AP 2.0.) :)

December 7, 2013 2:04 am

I am encouraged by this news. Of course new blood doesn’t automatically mean good blood but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I like that they’ve given the job to complete unknowns. Hooray for the little guy.

December 7, 2013 2:14 am

Young and seemingly untried. That’s in line with the reduced budget. Hopefully these guys are smart, talented and hungry to impress. That could make for some good storytelling. Fingers crossed.

December 7, 2013 2:20 am


crazydaystrom where did you hear about the reduced budget? I must have missed that one

December 7, 2013 2:26 am

well i don’t know these guys but anything different from the last installations is good for me!

December 7, 2013 2:53 am

Does anyone know if they’re Star Trek fans?

Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire
December 7, 2013 3:22 am

Young minds fresh ideas be tolerant.

The Keeper
December 7, 2013 3:52 am

This is the best possible news ever from the Star Trek camp.
Fresh new writers, while unknown could be just what the audience of old and new fans wants.
Now just let go Roberto Orci and we’re in business again.

December 7, 2013 4:41 am

thumbs up! Good luck, guys!

December 7, 2013 4:46 am

Cornish, Payne and Mckay, a Jonh Doe team for a cheap movie…
STAR TREK deserves more in his 50th annyversary. There are a lot of good directors and good writers, people who know and love Star TREK.
Cornish, Mckay and Payne? This is a bad joke.
Marvel cinematic universe has Whedon.
DC has Nolan
Star wars has Abrams…
And Star Trek in his 50Th anniversary has a John Doe team ? Seriously?

December 7, 2013 4:50 am

Gentlemen, welcome aboard the Enterprise..!

December 7, 2013 5:04 am

Bob Orci, if you’re reading this, get them to visit and comment here. People have been surprisingly positive so far.

I’m guessing based on what’s been said so far that there is an actual script in the works. Which would put them on track to shoot next year and disprove Phil’s predictions of the movie only coming out in 2018.

December 7, 2013 5:14 am

Cornish, Payne and Mckay team means this is the last trek movie and Paramount wants a cheap movie.
Nemesis recipe again,
Critics usually destroy greenies…

December 7, 2013 5:22 am

Would be good to know if they are fans or at least ‘understand’ Trek (what it should be and what not)…

December 7, 2013 5:41 am

Bob Orci,
If you are reading this… I for one will be looking for signs that #3 is your baby. Not a rehash of points that sell. Just go for it. We know you can handle the technical craft. Now do the story YOU have wanted to do. Make Trek 3 a tribble-Khan-free zone and let’s see where it goes.

Let’s see what’s out there!

Welcome to the new kids. Have fun. Tell a story.


December 7, 2013 6:10 am

All I can say is, I hope they a just a bit more true to “… Exploring strange new worlds, and seeking out new life, and new civilizations…”

December 7, 2013 6:10 am

…that should be ” they are just a bit…”

Jay Ley
December 7, 2013 6:13 am
Excellent decision for me. So what if they have limited experience, that could be a bonus as their writing will be fresh. For me, the previous installments have suffered from trying too hard to be different, whilst insisting on paying fan service. Not unlike the Star Wars prequels in many ways; The prequels could have been fresh, modern and exciting, whilst giving little nods to the original trilogy, whilst presenting a brand new story. Instead we were presented with Yoda, Tattoine and Sidious in the first movie! Similarly, whilst having Ambassador Spock playing a key role in the first movie was needed, I personally felt that an academy movie, with no need for time travel gimmicks and any previous characters would have been great if a ‘reboot’ was really needed. Clearly the writers of both franchises felt that creating a stand alone series of movies that could compare to the originals was an almost impossible task, without clinging to original themes and characters. Ironically this belief has been the biggest let down of both ‘revisions’ as it has felt forced and gimmicky… I’ve accepted the 2009 installment for what it is, as I did with Phantom Menace and believe it to be a good movie, with some flaws. However I have the same contempt for Into Darkness that I had for Attack of the Clones and a profound feeling of disappointment and frustration that opportunities had been missed to move on and make the new series of movies truly outstanding… Read more »
December 7, 2013 6:34 am

22. Nemesis4909
crazydaystrom where did you hear about the reduced budget? I must have missed that one

First heard about on this site, Nemesis. The article “Summer Box Office budget reduction – Trek 3 tidbits” November 11, 2013

The article quoted The Hollywood Reporter

“Paramount also will look to save money on another Star Trek — a franchise, but not quite in the top tier. This summer’s $190 million production Star Trek Into Darkness has earned over $462 million worldwide; its international haul has exceeded expectations at $234 million, but domestically, its $228.5 million hasn’t matched the first film…”

As I’ve said before, a reduced budget doesn’t bother me. It’s not how much money’s spent but how the money’s spent. As ever and always I have high hopes for upcoming Trek projects. And hopefully the 50th will be STELLAR!

December 7, 2013 6:39 am

Remember my words, Nemesis 2 begins
A star trek movie with a John doe team is a recipe for a economic disaster.
And if next trek movie is a disaster, it will be the last trek film.
If you want to avoid a disaster, you need gamble, you need a super team, not a John Doe team.
You can not sustitute a super director for a Jonh Doe director
And you can not sustitute two expert writers for a couple of greenies…
This is a bad thing for business. Non trekers moviegoers will say:
A new star trek movie? And directed by John…who? And who are Mckay and Payne ? Two Bad Robot`s scholarship holders?
Remember my words, Paramount wants a low profile film.

December 7, 2013 6:58 am

32. CmdrR
Bob Orci,
…do the story YOU have wanted to do. Make Trek 3 a tribble-Khan-free zone and let’s see where it goes.
Let’s see what’s out there!
Welcome to the new kids. Have fun. Tell a story.


Yes. YES. And YES!!

And you can respect canon without being a mindless slave to it. Just for God’s sake don’t trample all over it. Fine lines, I know, but ‘boldly go…’


December 7, 2013 7:27 am

They look awfully young, hopefully they work fast. I would not want to be in their shoes. However I’d like to emphasize that I’m sick of this endless waiting for movies. I just wish they’d pound out two or three entertaining but also thought provoking Star Trek movies in quick succession, like at the same time, and give us old Trekkies something to live for. On a conceptual level, these movies are supposed to resemble each other, thematically and visually they must be tied together by something more than just the words “Star Trek.” This iteration is J.J. Abrams vision, this third movie is supposed to be his last, I hope he can give it the attention it will need from him for it to be a successful film.

Curious Cadet
December 7, 2013 10:32 am

@ 31. NCC-73515,
“Would be good to know if they are fans or at least ‘understand’ Trek (what it should be and what not)…”

I don’t think this matters at all. The impression I get is that they work for and are controlled by Orci. They will do what he says. Unlike Lindelof and Kurtzman who can reject and gang up on him to get their way. For better or worse, we’re going to find out how good for Star Trek Orci really is. And if you want a preview of what that will look like, I’m thinking you need look no further than the IDW comics.

December 7, 2013 10:50 am

Maybe this means the next movie won’t suck!

December 7, 2013 10:50 am

@37. oscar

True that we don’t know anything about these new guys, but as others pointed out, the fact that they are young & untried might be a good thing since they will do their best to impress people with their work.

I think that we should give them a chance & welcome them.

December 7, 2013 10:50 am

@ Oscar 27, 37. There are others I’d see involved in the third Abramsverse adventure (Abrams and myself — I’m a pro screenwriter and filmmaker) but I must point out, in 1982, Time After Time and the novel The 7th Per Cent Solution notwithstanding, you wouldn’t have known Nick Meyer from Adam. I didn’t and I knew everything when I was in my teens.

December 7, 2013 1:00 pm

Good luck to the writing team! May the wind be at your backs, and may you enjoy every minute of writing this Trek film! LL&P!

December 7, 2013 1:06 pm

Great, maybe they can write a script with a new Captain Picard and turn him into a Sikh Indian from France.

Khan was framed!
December 7, 2013 1:06 pm

Jeez, They should have kept Lindelof & canned Orci with Kurtzman.

Although I enjoyed both movies for what they were, Orci & Kurtzman just aren’t good writers. Their plots are predictable & unoriginal & their dialogue is static & relies on physical action to propel it, a major weakness for any screenwriter.

I can’t understand why they would keep Bob Orci on, with his track record for sequels; his poor understanding of fans has led to disappointing sequels for Trek & Transformers. It’s not enough to talk to fans, you have to understand the franchise though their eyes, which Bob just doesn’t.

If it were me, I’d have offered his job to Manny Coto after 2009.

December 7, 2013 1:16 pm
Regarding below, I agree with DiscoSpock 100%. TOS showed up what an older Captain Kirk in the 23rd century would look like. Now, sure, we can allow for some variability, but in this case, William Shatner – the actor today — does not bear even a slight resemblance to Captain Kirk in The Deadly Years, as we can see for ourselves right here: CANON — An aged Captain James T Kirk in the 23rd Century (from The Deadly Years): NON-CANON — An aged actor with the name of the William Shatner in the early 21st Century: These photos speak for themselves. The actor here obviously does not bear a close enough resemblance to the aged Kirk that we saw in CANON to be able to credibly play an aged Captain James T, Kirk in the late 23rd Century. Again, these photos speak for themselves. ============================================ ============================================ 634. DiscoSpock – December 6, 2013 But, The Deadly Years IS CANON. This is how an aged Captain Kirk would look — IT’S CANON. Fat 83 year old William Shatner the actor today IS NOT CANON. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 604. Ahmed – December 6, 2013 @602. MJ “If you don’t believe me, just go back and watch The Deadly Years again — that older version of Kirk portrayed their looks nothing like Shatner today.” Perhaps you should have provided the makeups guys back then with a time machine, to make sure they get it right !! When they age actors using makeups, they don’t expect the… Read more »