For better (and definitely for worse), producing/writing duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have been behind some of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade or so. “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Star Trek” franchises are among their biggest accomplishments, and “Now You See Me” was a massive hit. But the pair are now breaking up, cinematically speaking, each pursuing their own movie gigs (though they are keeping their lucrative TV business partnership going). So, who will be Paul Simon and who will turn out to be Art Garfunkel? Time will tell, but Orci is driving hard to the hoop to make his blockbuster filmmaking debut.
According to Variety, Orci is “heavily lobbying” to direct “Star Trek 3,” though understandably, Paramount is playing it cool since it would be his directorial debut (Orci is already co-writing the movie with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne). And that must sting a little since Sony has already given the okay for Orci’s former partner Kurtzman to co-write and direct “The Amazing Spider-Man” spinoff “Venom,” although that gig comes with slightly less expectations. “Star Trek 3” would be the first without J.J. Abrams, leaving some very big shoes to fill, and it’s not immediately something you want to throw to a first-time director, particularly when Paramount has already shown an interest in more exciting choices like “Attack The Block” helmer Joe Cornish (though he won’t be taking the job).
The Kurtzman/Orci split is a big one, but clearly both men are ready to see what they can do outside of a relationship that has already proven itself with several big hits. Can the magic survive individual efforts, or does it only work when they come together? Over the next year or so we’ll likely find out.