There's a new captain guiding the Enterprise, folks. When Abrams left for Wars-ier pastures, industry folks instantly started assuming that a member of his creative team would take over. Those assumptions started gathering credibility when word hit the street that Roberto Orci- a member of said team- was now campaigning for the job. The writer began the process of preparing to take the next step up in his career a few weeks ago, when it was announced that he was going solo. While his name had become synonymous as the other half of "Kurtzman & ____," the two announced a conscious uncoupling so that they may spread their wings and pursue new ventures.
Variety is now reporting that Orci has, indeed, landed the directing job for Star Trek III. He's also working on the story for the third film in the rebooted, Abrams-produced Trek franchise, along with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Orci's resumé is a bit spotty, with a scattered mix of hits and misses- The Legend of Zorro, Star Trek, Transformers, Mission: Impossible III, The Amazing Spider-Man III. However, this will be his debut as a director- a jump that's been done successfully many times before. Just ask Tarantino, Christopher McQuarrie, Shane Black, Joss Whedon, David Mamet, and even Federico freakin' Fellini! It's not a strange, or unexpected jump to make. Many have succeeded, while others have failed miserably (Sorry, Mr. Goyer!). So we'll have to see what Orci brings to the director's chair.
In a bit of trivia, did you know that Orci is loosely related to Brandon Routh (Superman Returns)? Yeah, Routh is married to Orci's stepsister, the lovely Courtney Ford (Dexter, True Blood). It's a small world, after all.