Ever since J.J. Abrams signed on to direct 'Star Wars: Episode 7,' it's been unclear whether he'd be available to return to the directing chair for 'Star Trek 3.' With Paramount angling for a 2016 release, and Disney pushing to get 'Episode 7' in theaters in 2015, there's no way Abrams could do both. But it looks like Paramount is looking at a replacement, and Jon M. Chu is supposedly at the top of their list.

According to Latino-Review, the latest word regarding 'Star Trek 3' has Paramount placing 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation' director Jon M. Chu at the top of their director shortlist. While an official confirmation has yet to be made, the outlet claims a source close to the studio says Chu is a "top contender." Again, nothing has been confirmed, and while we'd be interested to know the other names on their wish list, it's hard to imagine Chu turning it down.

Abrams has previously stated that if Paramount sticks with the planned 2016 release for 'Star Trek 3,' he will obviously be unable to direct, thanks to his duties helming 'Star Wars: Episode 7,' but he will remain aboard the Enterprise as a producer, working with the production on the third installment in the series.

There are no plot details for 'Star Trek 3' as of yet, though screenwriter Damon Lindelof has expressed interest in focusing on the Klingons, who were briefly featured in 'Star Trek Into Darkness.'

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