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Star Trek ShipDeadline Hollywood reports that Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions are eyeing four potential candidates to helm “Star Trek 3”, replacing director J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”, “Super 8”) as he is occupied with post-production on “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” for Disney. Screenwriter Roberto Orci (“Transformers”, “Star Trek”) was tapped to direct the Star Trek sequel but dropped out due to “creative differences” with the studio, yet he will remain on board as producer and writer on “Star Trek 3”.

The shortlist of directors include Rupert Wyatt (“The Gambler”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), Justin Lin (“Fast & Furious 6”), Daniel Espinosa (“Safe House”), and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”). Duncan Jones (“Warcraft”, “Source Code”) was rumored to be in the mix as well, but he went onto Twitter to confirm he is not in the running. Paramount Pictures is eyeing a Summer 2016 release date to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the “Star Trek” franchise.