Back in July, word began to spread that the Bad Robot team were on the hunt for new writers to tackle the third Star Trek film, or at least take some of the load off regulars Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who have become prolific producers and looked to step back a little. Then, it was Thor duo Ashley Miller Zack Stentz in talks (they have another job), but nothing ever solidified. Now, however, largely unknown scribes J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been hired instead.
In a more surprising turn of events, Kurtzman will be stepping away entirely from this one, leaving Orci to work with the new pair on the film. Orci is the bigger Trekker of the pair, however, so perhaps he's more keen to keep close to the series. Paramount is hoping that this new film will be ready to leave cine-space dock in 2016 to tie in with the original Trek’s 50th anniversary.
Trek and Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams is not aboard either (except that he’ll be giving notes as a producer while he continues work on Star Wars: Episode VII) and the hunt is still on for someone to call the shots. The last time anything leaked, Joe Cornish was the front-runner, but nothing official has been announced yet.
Payne and McKay have a connection to Bad Robot already, having adapted the novel Boilerplate for the company. They also have action script Goliath and Deadliest Warrior floating in development. Trek could represent a huge leap forward for them.