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'Star Trek 3,' 'Power Rangers' Films to Get Roberto Orci's Signature Touch

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First Posted: Jul 17, 2014 12:28 PM EDT
Roberto Orci
Writer Roberto Orci attends the UK Premiere of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' at The Empire Cinema on May 2, 2013 in London, England. (Photo : Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

Sci-fi screenwriter Roberto Orci ("Mission: Impossible III," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Cowboys & Aliens") is again taking fans to other cinematic dimensions — deep into space in the highly anticipated "Star Trek 3" and on a youthful journey where teenagers use their superpowers to save the world.

Orci is slated to direct the third installment of "Star Trek," the wildly popular rebooted franchise, which he's taking over from J.J. Abrams. 

What has it been like since Abrams passed the torch onto Orci?

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"I am about halfway through the script with a pair of talented, young writers named J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. I am running with them. It looks like I may direct it; I am in the middle of proving to Paramount that I am the guy for the job," Orci told Latin Post during an exclusive premiere screening of "Matador," hosted by El Rey Network and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

"I was a fan Star Trek forever; my uncle got me into it. Like I said, I learned a lot of English from watching TV, and 'Star Trek' is one of the shows that I learned from watching," he added.

Did Orci reveal any teasers for "Star Trek 3"?

"What can I tell you? Well, fans are a little bit nutty, so I have got to be careful with what I say, but I can tell you that it definitely takes place in [deep] space," he told Latin Post. "They're finally on their five year mission and that hasn't been the case in any of the previous movies. The first two movies are set up to where the original series started. 

"Now when you watch this movie, hopefully, you will see that Kirk, Spock and Bones and Scotty, Uhura, and Chekov are very close to the original characters that you saw in the original series and from [there] they're going to hopefully discover some stuff that you haven't seen before."

The unnamed third movie, co-written by Orci, Payne and McKay is slated for a 2016 release to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary.

While growing up, Orci was a huge fan of "The A-Team," "Knight Rider," "21 Jump Street," "Star Trek," "Transformers" in cartoon, and "The Equalizer" — many of which are getting rebooted now, he points out.

"Anyone my age would say they like the same things, so if you are 40...41 — sorry then you liked what I liked," he joked.

In an earlier interview with Latin Post, Orci was asked which of his onscreen heroes does he see himself as offscreen?

"I have always identified with Spock from 'Star Trek.' Partly because I am a sci-fi fan, but partly also because he represents a little bit of my experience; he's a legal alien who came from another planet and teamed up with an American, the way that I've teamed up with my friend Alex Kurtzman — he and I have been partners for 24 years, writing together and creating shows together; he wrote 'Star Trek' with me. So the idea of being sort of an immigrant to the planet the way that Spock is. He's one of the heroes that I relate to..." he explained.

Orci has also signed on to executive produce Lionsgate's "Power Rangers" movie through his newly-formed Sneaky Shark, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The upcoming movie being developed by Lionsgate and rights holder Saban Brands will be scripted by "X-Men: First Class" writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz. Orci will develop the movie's story along with Miller and Stentz, with the latter two handling screenwriting duties, THR adds.

"Power Rangers was a '90s TV series and global marketing franchise, initially called The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, that used footage from a Japanese children's show. It first aired on Fox Kids then in the 2000s on Disney-owned channels. A movie also hit theaters in 1995.

"The new movie promises to completely re-envision the Rangers, a group of high school kids who are infused with unique superpowers but must harness and use those powers as a team if they have any hope of saving the world."

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