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Will Youthful Spock Die... Again???

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Paramount is putting the tractor-beamed shuttle craft before the starship! (Or whatever the appropriate cart-before-the-horse Star Trek reference is.) Variety is reporting the studio is so confident about the success of their fresh-faced relaunch of the science fiction franchise that they're already preparing its sequel:

As Paramount Pictures readies the May 8 release of its "Star Trek" franchise relaunch, the studio is moving forward with a sequel, and has hired Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof to pen the screenplay.

J.J. Abrams, who directed and produced the latest chapter, is onboard to produce the follow-up alongside his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk. No decision has been made yet on whether Abrams will return behind the camera for the sequel.

Story is still in the embryonic stage, but the trio are aiming to deliver their script to the Melrose studio by Christmas for what would likely be a summer 2011 release.

As for potential storylines, Kurtzman stressed that the writing team will wait to take a cue from fan reaction about which direction to go.

"Obviously we discussed ideas, but we are waiting to see how audiences respond next month," he said. "With a franchise rebirth, the first movie has to be about origin. But with a second, you have the opportunity to explore incredibly exciting things. We'll be ambitious about what we'll do."

Seems a little premature, but following the Star Trek Curse even/odd=bad/good philosophy, a hypothetical second film is probably already better than Final Frontier. I'll only start worrying once I hear Paramount is looking for a young Latino with a sculpted chest.

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