It appears that Star Trek 3 (or really, Star Trek 13, but who’s counting) is going to make that big fiftieth anniversary release date in 2016 after all; just announced via Deadline, it looks like director Justin Lin, best known for directing The Fast and the Furious franchise for chapters three though six of that series, will take over from recently departed director Roberto Orci, who of course co-wrote the last two Star Trek films with former writing partner Alex Kurtzman. Lin was scheduled to direct the follow up movie to Jeremy Renner’s Bourne Legacy, but Universal’s current plans for that franchise have a proper Bourne 4 with Matt Damon happening before getting back to the Renner spinoff series, leaving a hole open in Lin’s schedule.
What this actually means for Star Trek 3 right now is rather nebulous. On the plus side, Lin has proven his chops with action films with the last four Fast and the Furious movies, but lack of good action has not been this newer incarnation of Star Trek’s problem. What this new Trek has been lacking has been any real sci-fi ideas or philosophical underpinnings, once the lynchpin of what made Star Trek really STAR TREK for the better part of four decades.
Say what you want about The Fast and the Furious movies, but they’re essentially big dumb fun on a grand scale, and not much else. But who knows? Maybe Lin is a big Trek fan who gets what the series is all about in ways we don’t even know yet. In the meantime, Roberto Orci remains as a producer, as does JJ Abrams, and the main cast of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness are all currently expected to return for this third outing.