Paramount Pictures has found its replacement for J.J. Abrams at the helm of "Star Trek 3": Justin Lin, the man responsible for breathing new life into the “Fast and Furious” franchise. Previously the Gene Roddenberry-created universe had Abrams at the helm. Unfortunately for “Trek” fans, he jumped galaxies to lead Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Abrams will continue with "Star Trek" as a producer alongside Roberto Orci who, until recently, was writing the script with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Payne and McKay are also hard at work on Abrams' "Boilerplate" adaptation, according to Screen Rant.
Deadline reported the studio brought in Lin after Orci backed out as writer/director. Lin recently became available when his job on a sequel to “The Bourne Legacy,” starring Jeremy Renner, was pushed back. Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass agreed to do a fourth installment in the “Bourne Identity” franchise, which put the spinoff on the back burner.
Lin’s biggest claim to fame is reigniting the floundering “Fast and Furious” movies by reuniting the original cast in 2009. He is now responsible for four of the seven films in the franchise. According to E! Online, those films grossed $1.3 billion collectively at the worldwide box office. If he can do that with a franchise that’s circling the drain, the studio is likely very excited to see what he can do with a box-office behemoth like “Star Trek,” which saw its first film gross $380 million in 2009 and its sequel “Into Darkness” gross more than $460 million in 2013.
It appears Lin is courting the right kind of audience. Not only are his “Fast and Furious” devoted to his films, his work on TV proves he’s got the diverse background to hit all the touchstones “Star Trek” fans need. In the past he directed the fan-favorite paintball episode of NBC’s “Community,” titled “Modern Warfare.” He’ll also show off his dramatic skills by directing a few episodes of HBO's “True Detective” Season 2.
He was previously in talks to return to the “Fast and Furious” franchise to direct a multipart finale; however, the status of that project is currently unknown. "Star Trek 3" is scheduled for a release in 2016.