JJ Abrams' replacement as Star Trek 3 director may be...

Ever since J.J. Abrams took the job directing Star Wars Episode VII, the question of who would replace him on Star Trek 3 has been percolating.

It was pretty clear from the start that Abrams would not return, and while names like Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) have been floated, none of them have stuck.

Now that question may have an answer: According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures executives are very interested in having Joe Cornish get behind the camera for the third adventure (or, technically, the 13th) starring the crew of the good ship Enterprise.

Who is Joe Cornish? For several years his name has appeared right alongside that of Edgar Wright as the latter's writing partner. The pair wrote The Adventures of Tintin for Steven Spielberg, as well as the Ant-Man script that Wright is going to direct for Marvel.

Cornish also has one feature film directing credit to his name, the excellent British indie Attack the Block. Not widely seen in the U.S., the movie -- about an inner-city apartment project in London that defends itself against an alien invasion -- was a terrific mix of action, character and suspenseful storytelling, with a little social commentary thrown in, and all on a budget (kind of like classic Trek!).

Joe Cornish

So, it's clear that Cornish can tell a story, but can he do it on the epic scale required for a mega-franchise like Star Trek? Cornish himself hasn't been too sure. He was reportedly offered the Star Trek gig once already this year and passed, although he may have now had a change of heart. 

Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman are writing the screenplay right now, which could be good or bad news depending on whether you liked the job they did on Star Trek Into Darkness (we wouldn't mind having Cornish take a pass at it too). Paramount intends to nail down its director fast, since the studio wants filming to start next summer. There's no official word on a release date yet, but we think a 2016 arrival to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original series' premiere makes a lot of sense.

Have you seen Attack the Block? If you have, what do you think of Cornish as a potential director for Star Trek 3? Anyone else you'd like to see get the job? 

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