Steven Spielberg To Produce Directorial Debut From ‘Star Trek’ Writer Alex Kurtzman, ‘Welcome To People’

Star Trek” fans across the Internet — including my good pal Jordan Hoffman at UGO — are dismayed this morning to read the news that Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks will produce the Alex Kurtzman’s feature directorial debut. This comes only days after the news that the accomplish filmmaker will also be working with Kurtzman and his writing partner Roberto Orci on developing a TV adaptation of the comic book series “Locke & Key.” The reason this is upsetting for “Star Trek” fans is simple: the duo, among their many other commitments, are also in the process of scripting the sequel to J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot.

Kurtzman’s pitch, which he wrote with Orci and documentarian Jody Lambert, has nothing to do with space aliens, fringe government divisions, giant transforming robots or anything similar. The story follows a twentysomething man who is given the task in his father’s will of delivering $150,000 in cash to a sister he didn’t know existed and her son. He decides to keep the money but makes contact with this lost family members, without revealing who he actually is. The script was written six years ago; Kurtzman pulled it out in a bid to break free of the geek-driven trends set by his past work, Vulture reports.

I wouldn’t be too worried, “Trek” fans. Kurtzman and Orci are notoriously cagey when it comes to discussing any projects in development. Paramount has a release date set for the sequel and we know for a fact that the guys have been working on the script. It’s finished by now for all we know. They told us at San Diego Comic-Con that they were making “significant progress on the story.” They also described some of their process, how they portion out parts of the day for working on different things.

Look: they’ve got a hit TV series in “Fringe,” another TV series to develop with “Locke & Key” and a major Paramount franchise in “Star Trek.” None of that is going away. “Welcome to People” will happen, sure, but there’s no timetable in the Vulture report. They write that the cast is expected to “coalesce quickly,” but I wouldn’t start waving torches and channeling that nerd-rage just yet.