There are a whole lot of tentpoles and blockbusters due in 2015, but 2016 is nearly as full (if not equally so) with “event films” at this point. One such project is Star Trek 3 – the third installment in the rebooted Star Trek movie continuity – which doesn’t have a firm date yet, but is expected in 2016 – the Trek brand’s 50th anniversary. Zachary Quinto, who plays young Spock in the new Star Trek cinematic timeline, has confirmed that production on the next Trek movie installment looks to get underway in time to make a Summer 2016 takeoff.
The next Star Trek movie (in the making) currently has a complete script draft in hand – courtesy of the writers Patrick McKay, Roberto Orci, and J.D. Payne – which is another sign that suggests the film will be ready to hit theaters by Summer 2016 (assuming it keeps moving at its current speed). Quinto affirmed as much, when he was interviewed on NBC’s Today show (via JoBlo):
“I think [the next ‘Star Trek’ movie’s] on the horizon. Things are rumbling, so I have a feeling that we will be back in production sometime in the next six months.”
Superhero blockbusters X-Men: Apocalypse and Doctor Strange are gearing up to being principal photography by Spring 2015, in order to be ready to participate in the 2016 summer movie derby – which is to say, it makes sense for Star Trek 3 to begin filming at the same time, if not earlier. There’s a three week break between Captain America 3 and Apocalypse in May 2016 right now, so there’s room for that Paramount to pencil in Trek 3 for that month – keeping the franchise’s May release practice going. Of course, August 2016 is still pretty wide open – and, as Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy proved this year, that month can serve outer space adventures well (as far as the box office is concerned) – so that’s another possibility.
Orci, who also co-wrote the last two Star Trek films, is taking over the director’s seat recently occupied by J.J. Abrams – who, by the time filming on Star Trek 3 looks to begin, is going to be knee-deep in post-production on Star Wars: Episode VII. Otherwise, the next Star Trek movie looks to feature many of the same creative folk – production designers, art directors, and so on – as the last two installments. Which is to say, Orci will have plenty of support from people who can help him find his footing as director on his freshman turn as a big-budget feature director.
As for the story, many longtime Trekkies ought to be glad to hear that Star Trek 3 will be part of the U.S.S. Enterprise’s famous five-year mission – wherein the ship’s crew set out to explore new worlds and, well, trek across the stars. Thus, the film may herald a return to the philosophical and optimistic spirit of classic Trek lore, after the last two Trek movies offered flashy sci-fi action and entertainment… but sometimes did so at the expense of thoughtful storytelling and meaningful subtext.
Star Trek 3 is expected to arrive in 2016; we’ll let you know when it gets an official release date (along with an official title).