The saga of who will direct the third installment of Star Trek has been interesting to see in general once JJ Abrams vacated the property to go work on Star Wars. There was a lot of talk in the trades, threats, infighting and other little nuggets along the way that you could take only so far as producer and co-writer of the first two films, Roberto Orci, jockeyed for the position and eventually landed it, much to the disappointment of many fans who didn’t like what he did with those films. That all turned a different way a few weeks ago when he ended up being forced out over creative issues, but remained as a producer. With plans to get a new film going with another long window between releases, Paramount wants to try and cut that down a bit and worked to get a new director on board.
Now that position has been filled with Justin Lin, which brings a fresh perspective onto the property while retaining the same cast. Lin may not be a really big name for many outside of those into film, but he’s had four strong installments of Fast & Furious that earned a lot of money. He was in line to make a new Bourne Legacy movie with Jeremy Renner, but that looks to be changing since Universal wants to get Matt Damon back in the seat and Lin looks like he’s dropping out of that project for the moment.
Lin also has a different project he’s participating in, which could be good here depending on the story that Paramount wants to tell, as he’s directing a couple of episodes of the second season of True Detective. While most of Lin’s films have been action pieces, there are good character and emotional beats in there. But as we’ve seen with the Star Trek films so far in the reboot (and, to some degree, the last few prior to it), they’re not looking to make the thinking pieces that a lot of the TV series was but rather big action spectacle pieces with characters we know from different degrees. That may not please longtime fans, but it’ll work with the new generation of fans that enjoy the films (and often do explore the TV shows and grow to appreciate those as well).
The film is now scheduled for a July 8th, 2016 release date.