Orci: Currently ‘In Middle’ Of Writing Star Trek 2016 Script + Directing Deal Not ‘Final’ Until Script Finished


According to Roberto Orci he and his co-writers are in the middle of writing the script for the next Star Trek film, and even though it has been reported in the trades, he hasn’t officially signed a deal to direct the next film. More details below.

Orci Talks Star Trek 2016 Developments

In an interview with Collider promoting his upcoming new show Matador on the El Rey Network, Roberto Orci gave an update on the next Star Trek film, which Paramount officially announced would be part of the 2016 line-up. While both  Variety and Deadline have reported Orci will be directing the next Star Trek, Bob pointed out that until the script is done, the studio has not technically ‘greenlit’ the film (or his deal to direct)… 

Well, I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch. The studio has yet to even read the script. I’m in the middle of writing it, with the talented team of [John D.] Payne and [Patrick] McKay. They are true Star Trek fans, as well. So, I can’t even think anything about the future until I give them a script and they greenlight it. Until that happens, everything else is just a rumor…

If I’m lucky enough that Paramount loves the script and that we go forward, it’ll be because I have loved Star Trek for so long and the idea of having seen one of the best guys in the business direct two of them already, and to have seen it from the vantage point of a producer too, I know where a lot of the challenges are and where a lot of the fun is.

It is not unusual for a film to not be technically ‘greenlit’ nor to have a director assigned until there is an approved script. Regular readers of TrekMovie will remember in the run-up to the last two Trek films that there was always a ‘will he or wont he?’ question with JJ Abrams over whether or not he will direct the films in addition to producing them. Abrams would always say that the decision would not be made until there was a script.

While Orci isn’t ‘counting his chickens’ regarding the final ink on his deal to direct the next Star Trek, he is already prepping for the job. In the recently reported podcast interview Bob talked about how he just flew to the UK to observe JJ Abrams on the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, noting:

That is why I am going [to visit with JJ Abrams the set of Star Wars Episode VII]. I am going to steal as much wisdom as I can. I am fortunate to have seen a lot of directors direct and I plan on picking all of their brains. Every one of them has a different style and different tricks. And they also have – one of them just sent me ‘Directing for Dummies [laughs]. So that is what you do. This is not a time to not ask for help and not get the cumulative wisdom of all the people I have been lucky enough to see and work with.

Orci talks Spock and Matador

Speaking of Orci, Star Trek and his new show Matador, here is another interview he did with Latino Post where he talked about the new series and about how he has always related to the character Spock because of his immigrant roots.

Matador, which has yet to air its first episode, has just been picked up for a second season. The series premieres on the new El Rey Network on July 15th at 9PM and is also available on iTunes.  More info on where to watch elreynetwork.com.

Trailer for Matador

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Well, what can I say? Good luck, Bob!

Story. Characters.
Go light on the fistfights and lens flares, please.
Also… Rand in a sonic shower. Just sayin…

Bob: “So, I can’t even think anything about the future until I give them a script and they greenlight it. Until that happens, everything else is just a rumor…”

Lovely! So we were lead to believe in the past two months that it was a done deal & we were just waiting for the Spring shooting, while in reality they didn’t even finish the script & Paramount didn’t greenlight the movie yet!!

new star ship model for uss enterprise make it more like tmp, what better way to put ur stamp on the movie than to upgrade the ship!

Original story and no lens flares, thanks.

3. Ahmed

Maybe they have dates penciled in for production and release date. It’s just up to Bob’s team to deliver a script to Paramount for everything to be official (assuming the script is accepted).

So with any luck Paramount will reject the story and go with new writers and find some one with director skills?

Excellent news!

@5. Mike Barnett

Perhaps, I just don’t want them to delay the movie to 2017.

Story. Characters. Drama. Sex. Weakness. Triumph. Vindication.

Slow cutting, long takes.
Don’t stage the dialogue.

Disappointed to hear script is incomplete. Please don’t let it get pushed to 2017 for cryin out loud! Either that or be bold and write a script that will blow Star Wars out of the water. Star Trek deserves no less.

Yes, we need a new Enterprise model that is on a par with the exquisite Enterprise A Refit.


that would be delicious



The corporate mentality is the one constant in the universe. No commitments until “the suits” greenlight the thing.

As a corollary, when JJ is involved, he’ll always rally for a delay as he did successfully with the last 2 “Trek” films, and is in the midst of doing presently with his “The Star Wars, Part 7” side project.

Since “Trek” is having an important anniversary in 2016 the importance of timing is critical. Trek is a beautiful lady and we love her, and the timing, the restaurant and the gift must all be just perfect this time.

No excuses.

#3 wrote: “So we were lead to believe”

You were “lead” to believe?

@13. AJ

“As a corollary, when JJ is involved, he’ll always rally for a delay as he did successfully with the last 2 “Trek” films, and is in the midst of doing presently with his “The Star Wars, Part 7″ side project.”

And he did that with his directorial debut ‘Mission: Impossible III’ when he delayed the production for a full year.

I guess lens flares & delaying productions in every single movie that he works on are his trademarks!!

Well, this is disappointing news.

borg cameo bob heheh one borg ship is seen within the ancient ruins of ships, the holy grail graveyard of ships is seen from one end to the other with no end in sight, in the ruins is also a millenium falcon as easter egg. Spock continues reading with his tricorder muthering under his breath, fascinating…


…the usual B.S…. and cluster-trek… yawn… =P

…he’s making room for JJ to come back from getting fired from Star Wars…

9 bjdCharlie, couldn’t agree more on all your points. Especially slowing things down and long takes. I think Orci writes great dialogue with wit, humor, and deep feeling [except all the metaphors given McCoy in STiD, boy, those got old, even when they “hung a lantern on it” by having Kirk ask him to knock it off]. One exception re: your point of view on Trek3, I like the NuEnterprise just fine, thank you. She’s beautiful. OK, get rid of the fins on the aftward ends of the nacelles, but otherwise she’s a fine lady.

15, Ahmed, Y’know, you’d think for all the delays in JJ’s films he’d put out better movies. Maybe it’s a major ego-trip for him? Cripes, I hope #19 Herbert, is wrong. Not even in joke do I want JJ back to do Trek as a “side project.” That would be an insult indeed.

It’s my hope that Paramount doesn’t say, “put more whiz-bang-BOOM! in the script” but that they do give it a good critical read give Orci input re: any plot holes. I am trying to keep faith that Orci & co. will write a good, not just serviceable, script.

However, since Paramount is there to make money, I imagine they will ensure that Trek3 is another “summer blockbuster,” with all the depth, emotion, character development and moral philosophy thereunto pertaining. [Yes, my sarcasm meter is turned up.]

Very hopefully, and somewhat cynically yours,

all we can say it good luck orci, regardless of if we disagree with him or not, our goals are the same. we want trek 2016 to be successful and all we can do is wish him the best.


#9 I seriously hope you are right.

So you’re saying there’s still a chance we could get Matt Reeves.


He’ s writting the plot? Beh, I think he is copypasting some old good stories. He is not a creator, but a copycat…
Fringe…X files
Sleepey hollow….Supernatural
Alias…Nikita la femme…

Etc, etc, etc…
And his cavalier attitude about fans…

I am just hoping that while polishing the script that he can bring back the characters closer to their TOS counterparts and show some maturation and character development. I expect this to be the case. This can be an opportunity to transition all of the “newbies” who came in to fandom in 09 into an appreciation for the original characters and stories. There is so much more to these characters than what has been portrayed thus far in the 2 JJverse films. The cast is great. That is something to credit JJ for. I wonder if this film could be a transition to a TV series? It would be nice to have a Star Trek fix every week rather than every 3 years.

3. Ahmed – July 10, 2014

The “news” as it were was first reported by Variety two months ago:

Paramount and Orci had no comment for Variety at the time.

He appears to have a handshake deal contingent upon Paramount liking the script. Being that they liked Orci’s last two scripts, it seems likely they’ll like this one as well and greenlight it.

Phony controversy.

Bob can’t direct any Star Trek movie unless and until the movie he wants to make is approved.

There’s nothing strange about the deal.

24. Oscar
“He’ s writting the plot? Beh, I think he is copypasting some old good stories. He is not a creator, but a copycat…
Fringe…X files
Sleepey hollow….Supernatural
Alias…Nikita la femme…”

Don’t be ridiculous. That’s a weak argument. There has been tens of THOUSANDS TV shows and theatrical movies. Every TV show or movie has elements from some previous TV shows and movies. So what? Who cares? In real-life, there’s a lot of copy/paste – doing the same-old, same-old. Deal with it and movie on.

Paramount needs to get serious. Disney has announced slates of movies but Paramount can’t formally commit to a single film?!

25. Timncc1701
” I wonder if this film could be a transition to a TV series?”

The Orci-haters won’t like this but I think it would be terrific if they could convince this cast to do Trek for TV after the next film…with Bob Orci as the showrunner. How about using the cable TV model and only produce 8 to 16 episodes per year? That way the cast can have time between seasons to do theatrical features or Broadway plays. They also can save some money by using the existing sets, costumes and CGI models.

There’s nothing concerning at all about this news. It isn’t even news really. J.D. Payne said that they had to finish the first draft of the script around mid-May, but as writers always say never let anyone read your first draft. It’s usually just a very rough version for no one but the core creative team and in ST09’s case for Leonard Nimoy as well.

STID wasn’t greenlit until about a year and a half before it came out so there’s still plenty of time to finish the script. So there’s nothing to panic about. This is all normal.

@ 30 Mike Barnett

What about the Sherlock model of three 90-minute episodes a season? That way you could make each episode like a mini movie but without the need to have a blockbuster type story all the time.

Roberto Orci should NOT direct any ST movies ever.
Because he is not a director. ST deserves a true director.
And he insulted fans. Paramount should not insulted fans, too.
If he is the next director, a vast number of trekkers could boycott ST…
Because they do not want more humiliation…actors insult fans, writers insult fans, Abrams despises ST and fans…STID. and fans must buy more tickets…?c’mon…
A vast number of Trekkers are sicks of this humiliation and they could boycott star trek 2016.
It is time to say this truth…
We are Star Trek fans, not a bunch of idiots…we pay, we choose, we are the boss…
Do you understand, Paramount?
Our money, our, call.

33. Oscar

Orci had a couple very bad days last year and he has apologized. The moron from DumbA$$ may have been the trigger – who knows. Don’t forget that the DumbA$$ did a kind of bait-and-switch on Orci at the Con.
Orci didn’t insult ALL fans. I’ll bet most of the casual fans don’t even know about what happened last year on Twitter/Trekmovie. Those same casual fans probably don’t know who Roberto Orci is!

32. Captain Slow
I like that idea better. It leaves the audience wanting more!! Made for TV movie events for Trek – – Columbo did that starting in the late 60’s and they kept that going into the early 2000’s.
Make it so! We’d get our character-driven stories that we crave.

@ 33 Oscar

He’s been far more patient and understanding with the fans than most of the people on this site are with him and each other. Also, provide evidence that J.J. despises Star Trek and the fans. Maybe he was never a big fan, but there are stages between worshiping it and hating it.

@Bob Orci – Wow. Visiting Star Wars Episode VII? So envious. Then you must be over here in England from time to time. Hope you get chance to enjoy some nice weather while you’re honing the script.

@30. Mike Barnett,
” it would be terrific if they could convince this cast to do Trek for TV after the next film…with Bob Orci as the showrunner.”

I think Orci as a show runner for a series would be a terrific idea. But the problems I see here are:

I don’t believe Pine would ever allow himself to become Capt. Kirk in a TV series. It’s one thing to play him every 4 years in a blockbuster feature film, it’s quite another to do it weekly on TV and risk becoming William Shatner.

Saldana is not going to ever play supporting role in a TV series. Now if they give her her own ship …

I doubt Paramount would be interested in any film that compromises itself to serve as a vehicle to launch a TV series, unless they own the series, which is not likely to happen where CBS is concerned.

If a TV series happens, they might be able to convince this cast to make a transition cameo, but it will be set around a new ship with a young captain who sees Kirk as his role model. Perhaps even a recurring role for Nimoy as they service New Vulcan’s needs. Who knows, perhaps it’s Jim Kirk’s brother’s ship, inspired to join Starfleet himself after Jim’s success, so we even have a captain named Kirk.

30 Mike B, Agreed! I’ve been harping on this for a year or so, but I’d be thrilled if this cast transitioned to TV, in a “Mad Men”-length season/year. And I’m sure Bob Orci would love to be the showrunner. But I hope that Trek wouldn’t just be “one of many” of the projects he has, he’s got more TV shows than Granny Smith has apples!

There are some agreements that need to be made between CBS and Paramount, though, and we’ve not heard of any yet.

Make it so, Bob! And Godspeed!

Um, he wrote the last 2 Trek films and you have to assume was on the set while they were being filmed and he has to go to England to watch how JJ films Star Wars to learn? Did he just wake up and decide he wanted to direct or is he a slow learner? The sooner this little Trek experiment is over, the better.

32 Captain Slow, I disagree, and here’s why …

[a] A12-episode season will allow for 4 three-episode story arcs.

[b] There could be a season-long arc as well.

[c] More time to develop background characters … Yeoman Rand, Nurse Chapel, Lt Charlene Masters … [notice these are all females so far?] … the gay couple we’ve never seen in pro Trek … more about Chekov, Sulu and maybe Keenser, and CUPCAKE [if he’s still with us] … and BRING BACK RACHEL NICHOLS AS GAILA! please?

[d] Time for a variety of episodes … emphasizing drama, philosophy, science, action, or humor … I know Pine, Quinto, Urban and Pegg are all funny, and I’m pretty sure the rest of the cast are too … oh yeh, didn’t Cho star in all those pothead movies? ;-) … and I would love to see each of the above qualities explored in Trek again.

I don’t want a “season” like Sherlock’s, cripes, that’d be what, a total of 4.5 hours of Trek/year? Scr-r-r-ew that, I say!

When Bob did the podcast with Geoff Boucher couple weeks ago, he talked about going to London to get advice & tips from JJ on directing as if the deal was a given. And now, in the new interview with Collider, we get a different vibes from him, what changed, if any, between these two interviews ?

@33. Still professing to be the official spokeshole for all of fandom, I see….

God, I miss the days when that was an insta-ban offense around here.

@ 38 Curious Cadet

That’s one of the reasons I suggested the three episode/90-minute model because it would mean that it wouldn’t be a weekly series and the actors could still focus on other projects. An alternative they could have done except that STID made it impossible would have been a Pike series.

@ 41 Ahmed

Most likely Paramount said to him that the job is his if they like the script. So it’s not a done deal yet but the chances are that the script will be approved.

If someone signs a contract with Bad Robot, there must be a ‘double-speak, will he or won’t he’ clause in there that requires a preset minimum of BS speak when it comes to making commitments. Now that he’s met that obligation, hopefully he’ll cut the crap moving forward.

I’m not holding my breath. Paramount has committed to a 2016 release year, and there’s a FREE PR bonanza connected to the 50th anniversary. It’s doubtful there will be a lot more ‘gee, I gotta think about it’ comments from Bob at this point….

@43. Captain Slow,

“Most likely Paramount said to him that the job is his if they like the script. So it’s not a done deal yet but the chances are that the script will be approved.”

I’ve no doubt that they will like his script, after all they approved his last two scripts. But Paramount really needs to move fast & get rolling.

@44. Phil

“Now that he’s met that obligation, hopefully he’ll cut the crap moving forward.”

Agreed. We still have plenty of time before 2016 but that doesn’t mean delaying things & dragging their feet like they did with ST09 & STID.

Oscar, considering the tantrums you throw every time any article is posted regarding Orci or the next Trek movie, I bet you were a real pain in the ass as a kid! You don’t get it YOUR way so you throw a fit. (the same goes to a few more regulars around here as well) Well, I hope your parents didn’t cave into your tantrums as a kid, because you’re most assuredly not going to get your way now( as far as Trek goes anyway). So please don’t hold your breath, blue isn’t your color!!

In all fairness, I seem to recall it was Paramount’s idea to move the release from Xmas 2009 to May 2009. The delay for STID was squarely on BR, but it’s unfair to blame them for the ST 2009 release change.

Overall, I’ve been supportive of BR’s efforts with the franchise – they have had their successes, and hit a few bumps in the road as well, but have been successful in reintroducing the franchise and growing the fan base….

But, yeah, this production crew doublespeak is getting irritating. Bob, there’s a career in politics just waiting for you when you get done in Hollywood. Most of your interviews rival anything that comes out of a Washington press conference – forty five minutes of weighty tone and inflection, and no useful information….yeah, politics would suit you well.

Oops…Xmas 2008.