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J.J. Abrams likely won't be back to direct Star Trek 3 due to his Star Wars: Episode VII commitments, but it looks as though there will be at least two names from behind the scenes that will be returning for the next outing into the final frontier. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who penned both 2009's Star Trek as well as this year's Star Trek Into Darkness, are now in talks to come back and write the third installment of the rebooted series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The trade says that Paramount started looking beyond the Bad Robot regulars after the release of Star Trek Into Darkness and contemplated getting X-Men: First Class scribes Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz or a younger pair of writers to pen the movie. Ultimately, they returned back to Kurtzman and Orci, who also worked Paramount on the first two films in the Transformers franchise as well as Mission: Impossible III. It's also worth noting that Damon Lindelof, who didn't work on the original reboot but did work on Into Darkness, is apparently not coming back.
The biggest obstacle that Orci, Kurtzman, and the studio face is scheduling. Even with the end of Fringe the writing team has a ton of television commitments, including Hawaii Five-0, Transformers Prime and the upcoming Sleepy Hollow. They are also working on the script for Universal's Mummy reboot (which just lost its director), and a new version of Van Helsing. Paramount has yet to announce even a vague release date for Star Trek 3, but THR notes that 2016 will be the franchise's 50th anniversary. If they were to aim for that, it would both give Orci and Kurtzman more time to work on a script and get the project away from the insane, competition filled summer that is 2015 (The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII, Batman vs. Superman, Jurassic Park IV, the Terminator reboot, etc.).
Star Trek Into Darkness got a much more mixed reaction than the original Star Trek, and it would appear that the film was also much less successful at the box office. According to the trade, the movies's $190 million reported budget ($40 million more than Abrams' first Trek) has actually stopped the movie from being considered profitable yet. The film made $226 million domestically and $224 million abroad for a global total of about $450 million, but the budget numbers don't include advertising and marketing costs. That said, the studio was reportedly "heartened" by the fact that Into Darkness actually made $100 million more around the world than the first Star Trek, so they found a silver lining.