Few of us were surprised when the news landed today that Roberto (Bob) Orci would be hired to direct Star Trek 3, which will undoubtedly have a sans-numeric title eventually. We've been teased with the notion of Orci taking the reigns for quite some time now, and it was finally confirmed after all of the rumors reached their boiling point.
But some of the reaction to this announcement did come as a big surprise, at least to me. You see, many people came to me with the same question: "Who the heck is Roberto Orci?"
This is because while most people (at least the ones who follow movie news) have heard or seen Orci's name attached to a variety of popular films, the man himself has always flown slightly below the radar, at least compared to other big time Hollywood producers.
Oh, and that's the other thing: this is Orci's first gig as director. I'm not really sure why, but it seems to take longer for the public to get cozy with a film credit's name, unless they're a director or high-profile producer like Bruckheimer or Cameron (in their case, both).
So while Orci is well-known to plenty of people who are passionate about movies, general audiences don't really know his name...Yet.
You can probably expect Orci to become one of the established new guard of elite producers/directors in coming years, even if [Star Trek 3](movie:817262) doesn't work out as well as Paramount wants it to. This is in no small part due to Orci's diverse talent as a writer, producer and soon-to-be director.
Oh, and the guy has some well-known friends.
The 40-year-old filmmaker got his start as a co-writer for several big movies alongside Alex Kurtzman (a name you probably recognize). Orci and Kurtzman have been friends since high school, collaborating on both films and TV series.
Orci's first big film as a writer was The Island, which led to The Legend of Zorro, Mission Impossible III, Transformers and the first Star Trek, which was Orci's first job as executive producer (his first gig as producer was in 2008's Eagle Eye).
If you go further back, however, you'll find that Orci was attached to a few big-budget TV series long before he broke into film, serving as an executive producer and writer for both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess during the late 90s.
In the early 2000s, Orci accelerated his career as executive producer and writer for the hit show Alias, which ended in 2006. This opened the door for Orci to become co-creator and producer for shows like Fringe, Sleepy Hollow and the upcoming Matador.
More importantly, however, Orci developed a strong working relationship with J.J. Abrams on many of these projects, which would eventually open the door for Orci to direct the next Star Trek.
This is the same guy who cussed out a bunch of Star Trek fans for not liking [Star Trek Into Darkness](movie:37722) by the way. The fact that the studio has enough confidence in Orci to take the helm not even a year later after that controversy is certainly telling of their confidence in Orci as a writer, producer and now director.
These days, Orci is busier than ever. Just last year, Orci produced three films (Star Trek Into Darkness, [Now You See Me](movie:202474), [Ender's Game](movie:7483)) and started 2014 off as executive producer of [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593). Finally, a film Orci co-wrote, [Edge of Tomorrow](movie:267902) (starring Tom Cruise), will premiere this summer!
So the future is bright for Bob! His upcoming projects include The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Venom, a new Van Helsing movie and even a new Mummy.
I think part of the reason many people outside of the film industry/insider universe don't know much about Orci is because for years, he's always been in the company of Kurtzman and Abrams, two well-known filmmakers that are just as talented. But as the trio begins to gradually separate into their own projects (Abrams with Star Wars and Kurtzman with TV), you can expect Bob Orci to become more widely recognized by even the most casual moviegoers within the next few years guaranteed!