‘Star Trek 3’ recruits screenwriters Payne, McKay to join Orci

Dec. 06, 2013 | 6:01 p.m.
Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in "Star Trek Into Darkness." (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)

Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” (Zade Rosenthal/Paramount)

Screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been hired to join Roberto Orci in penning the next installment in the “Star Trek” film franchise. The as-yet-untitled sequel has no release date, and no director set, though rumors have suggested the job could go to Joe Cornish (“Attack the Block”).

By this point, Orci is a “Trek” veteran, having written the scripts (with Alex Kurtzman and then Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof) for the previous two movies in Paramount’s rebooted series that were directed by J.J. Abrams, 2009’s “Star Trek” and this past summer’s “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

The recent movie prospered at the box office, earning more than $444 million worldwide after opening to mostly positive reviews in May, though many fans groused about the veil of secrecy that surrounded the villain who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch, a character first identified as John Harrison and later revealed to be the iconic Khan.

Abrams admitted earlier this week that he harbored a few regrets about trying to keep the character’s identity under wraps, lying about Cumberbatch’s role long after the secret was out.

“The truth is, I think it probably would have been smarter just to say up front, ‘This is who it is,'” Abrams told MTV. “It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was.”

Previously, Payne and McKay adapted Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett’s graphic novel “Boilerplate,” about a robot soldier, for Abrams’ production company Bad Robot. That project is still in development.

Abrams, of course, is currently preparing to venture into a galaxy far, far away — he’s set to direct 2015’s “Star Wars: Episode VII” and is now writing the screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan, the duo having recently taken over the scripting job from Oscar winner Michael Arndt.

Earlier this year, Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore told Hero Complex that Abrams will still be involved with a third “Trek” movie, at the minimum as a producer. Moore also pointed out that Abrams will continue to play a role in another of the studio’s most valuable franchises, “Mission: Impossible.”

“J.J. will continue to develop projects for us including a new ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and he is committed to produce another ‘Star Trek,’” Moore said.

— Gina McIntyre and Noelene Clark

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


J.J. Abrams is photographed in Beverly Hills in June 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)J.J. Abrams: ‘Spectacle is irrelevant’

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12 Responses to ‘Star Trek 3’ recruits screenwriters Payne, McKay to join Orci

  1. john says:

    JJ trashed Star Trek, gust let go………………..

  2. Danno45 says:

    What a piece of crap Star Trek into Darkness was. Just let the franchise die.

    • Michael says:

      Really? I was so worried that Star Trek was going to die after Nemesis (Yes, that also wasn't a great movie, but then again you must not be a fan).

      I hope they will make ST 4, 5, 6 …

  3. boricua says:

    I was pissed as well when it was Khan. That should NEVER have been redone. There is only one Khan and THAT is Ricardo Montalban who played him very well.

  4. trg says:

    Both movies where great!!! To the trolls; grow up, its really impossible to please everyone. Its entertainment pure and simple, enjoy it, its just a perspective of a universe you love, we will see 20 more reboots, relax!!!

    Enjoy this vision, give it room to breath, maybe you will be the next masterminds to script the next great adventure. The art is in the experience, the visual desert for the eyes, respect it, absorb it and move forward.

  5. tjevo9 says:

    Star Trek 3? I think you mean Star Trek 13.

  6. Isabelle says:

    Anticipating the third Trek movie! Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine are phenomenal, definitely can’t wait!

  7. lyle says:

    Thought new star trek was really well done

  8. James Kirk says:

    Star Trek will go on and on would love to see deep space movie an original or something like "terror in the dark" Spock mind Mells with some alien mom..

  9. chris says:

    I love the show and sure,a couple movies could have been better written but I'm hoping that "3" comes soon and puts everything back in order. Love Pine and Quinto. both do an excellent job of structuring the original series actors. Not easy at all to do.

  10. Denver K Smith says:

    I’ve been a Star Trek fan since the 1960’s. And so far the two new movies of this franchise have been excellent. the old characters in new situations creating a whole new history, very well done.I look forward to many new movies staring the new cast and introducing more old characters from the original. And for those fans who are naysayers about the portrayal of Khan, I think his portrayal was excellent. Of course there’s going to be differences in the character, woke up in a hole new Timeline reacting to different experiences than the original had. Paramount keep up the good work.

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