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Rupert Wyatt Frontrunner To Direct ‘Star Trek 3,’ Duncan Jones, Morten Tyldum, Others On List Too

Rupert Wyatt Frontrunner To Direct 'Star Trek 3,' Duncan Jones, Morten Tyldum, Others On List Too

Paramount are finding it a little tricky finding someone to boldly go where J.J. Abrams has already been: the Bad Robot mastermind departed the third “Star Trek” film in favor of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and his regular collaborator, and co-writer of both “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness,” Roberto Orci fought to win the director’s chair on the project (after Joe Cornish was in negotiations). But Paramount seemingly differed with the would-be first-time helmer on the direction of the script, and Orci vacated the director’s chair a couple of weeks back.

With the studio keen to tie the new movie to the 50th anniversary of the sci-fi franchise in 2016, they’ve been moving quick to replace Orci, with Edgar Wright among those named before now. It looks like that plan didn’t work out (Wright is likely prepping his next movie “Baby Driver“), but Deadline have revealed the latest shortlist, which is topped by “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” director Rupert Wyatt.

Wyatt was linked to the project in the early stages, and having just worked with Paramount on “The Gambler,” could be a good fit. That said, he dropped out of “Dawn of The Planet Of The Apes” when he felt that Fox were rushing to meet a release date, so the idea of working on a ticking clock might not appeal. If he doesn’t work out, there are four other prospect: “Fast & Furious” director Justin Lin, “The Imitation Game“‘s Oscar-touted Morten Tyldum, “Safe House” helmer Daniel Espinosa, and Moon“‘s Duncan Jones.

If we were betting men, we’d put our money on Tyldum — Lin’s reportedly returning to the “Fast & Furious” franchise when he’s done with season 2 of “True Detective,” Espinosa’s about to direct a movie about the Boston marathon bombings starring Casey Affleck, and Jones has a year of work to do on fantasy tentpoleWarcraft, which doesn’t open until early 2016, while Tyldum is the only one without firm commitments. Then again, his agents might well try to hang out to close the deal until after the Oscar nods to bump up his fee, or to see if he gets a better offer, so it’s still anyone’s game if Wyatt turns the project down. But if all is well, we should see “Star Trek 3” in theaters sometime in 2016.

Update: Nope, Jones’ has said, “thanks but no thanks” and wants to go back to original material for his next film.

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