Star Trek Into Darkness was one of my favorite movies of 2013 (it finished at #9 on my 2013 top 15 list) and I'm very excited for the next chapter in the rebooted Trek series. However, the future of the franchise was quite uncertain after Into Darkness was released. Director JJ Abrams departed the series to spearhead Disney's Star Wars universe, leaving the next installment in limbo. After that, it appeared that superstar writer Roberto Orci would be directing the film for his solo directorial debut. Most fans expressed disdain over the choice, citing Orci's previous projects (Transformers, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cowboys and Aliens). Orci was the director for quite a few months, but suddenly dropped out. There were some rumors about why left the project (including an incoherent script and other production issues) but none of it is truly known for sure.
After all of that drama, it appears that the dust has settled and the project will be heading over to Fast Five director Justin Lin. The talented action filmmaker has signed on to direct the film, which is now set for a July 8, 2016 release date. That's a pretty short timeline for the big-budget pic and I'm not sure that Lin will get the film done in time. Remember, Into Darkness was originally set to come out in Summer 2012 before being delayed. I can see that happening with Star Trek 3. Not to mention that it's being thrown into one of the most crowded summers in recent memory. We'll see what happens, but for now, it's going to be debuting in theaters on July 8, 2016. Most of the cast will seemingly be returning, but no word on anything else at this point.