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Star Trek 3 is scheduled to be a triumphant celebration of the soon-to-be 50 year old franchise's healthy run in pop culture history. But, as anyone who's thrown a good party will tell you, such an event takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, and things can change at the blink of an eye. The folks at Bad Robot have actually been blinking quite a bit, recently replacing the initially hired Roberto Orci in the directors chair with Fast and Furious 6 director Justin Lin, but that's not all. Now we're hearing that the writer's seats are being filled by two new faces... and one of them is Scotty himself, Simon Pegg.
Deadline is reporting the news that Simon Pegg has been teamed up with Bad Robot writer Doug Jung to co-write the latest draft of Star Trek 3's script. While Pegg is seen primarily as an actor in the public eye, he has quite a bit of experience in the writing department, as he co-wrote the entire Cornetto Trilogy with Edgar Wright, as well as his starring effort Run Fatboy Run. As for Jung, he's fairly new, but has written a script for Bad Robot called Diamond, which may or may not be their adaptation of a Wired article they optioned back in 2009.
Hiring Simon Pegg and Doug Jung to write Star Trek 3 is a great idea. With Pegg's background as a sci-fi fan, as well as a comedic scribe of good standing, he's a shoo-in for finessing the banter between the crew and any species they may have contact with. Also, if there's a list of people that can be trusted with a franchise as geeky as Star Trek, then Pegg's name should be right next to Edgar Wright's. In the case of Jung, he's the creator of TNT's defunct cop series, Dark Blue, as well as having credits writing for Banshee and Big Love. With credentials like that, you've basically got the action and procedural aspects of the film covered, with the added bonus of Kirk's alien conquests possibly benefiting from some of that Big Love experience.
What does this mean for Star Trek 3's production schedule? Well, nothing so far, considering that we don't know if Pegg and Jung are going to do a full fledged re-write, or are just punching up material from the earlier script written by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. With a re-write, the script could be turned around in enough time for production to be right on schedule for its release date next summer. However, if the script needs a little more work than anticipated, there could be a release date bump into the Christmas 2016 season. The only real competition that stands in the way of Star Trek 3 in that slot is the first stand-alone Star Wars film, which might have a brand name attached to it, but it could still fall flat on its face. You never know.
Star Trek 3 is scheduled for a July 8, 2016 launch, but think of how much publicity a true Star Wars vs. Star Trek showdown could bring with a Fall 2016 launch? Just putting that out there.