2016 marks the 50th anniversary of ‘Star Trek,’ which debuted on CBS in 1966, and Paramount has been adamant about getting the next film into theaters in time to mark the occasion. Today, they officially set the date. If all goes according to plan, ‘Star Trek 3’ will warp into theaters on July 8, 2016.

The announcement (via Variety) comes hot on the heels of Justin Lin officially signing on to helm the third installment of the freshly rebooted franchise. He’s got his work cut out for him. In addition to having to deal with the fallout from ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ (which did only decent box office and was hated by fans), Lin finds himself staring down the barrel of a release date without a finished script. When original director Roberto Orci departed the project a few week ago, the studio apparently threw away everything had been done so far. We don’t know what ‘Star Trek 3’ is going to be, but we do know that it’s going to be very different than anything we have heard so far.

And that could be a great thing. As a writer and producer, Orci was partially responsible for the ‘Into Darkness’ debacle. Getting rid of him and bringing in fresh blood like Lin is a sign that Paramount recognizes that ‘Star Trek’ is something worthy of respect. After all, you don’t get a blockbuster maestro like this unless you want to craft something really big and extraordinary. With his four entries in the ‘Fast and Furious’ series, Lin showcased an eye for action and a knack for showcasing ensembles. Give him a smart script (preferably as far away from Earth as possible) and we start to feel really good about all of this.

Since ‘Star Trek 3’ is going to have to move at warp speed to meet that release date, we expect to start hearing more about Paramount’s plans for the franchise in the very near future.

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