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Roberto Gaston Orci (born 20 July 1973; age 48) is a producer and screenwriter from Mexico City who, along with writing and production partner Alex Kurtzman, wrote the script for Star Trek, the eleventh film in the Trek franchise. They also served as executive producers on the film. Orci and Kurtzman also produced and (along with Damon Lindelof) wrote the screenplay for the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. [1]

After J.J. Abrams chose to direct the seventh Star Wars film instead of a third Star Trek, Orci was rumored (but never officially confirmed) as his replacement on Star Trek Beyond, and was officially out of the running for the director position by December 2014. [2] He also contributed to the Star Trek video game and served as creative consultant on the Star Trek: Ongoing comic series. Prior to that comic, Orci and Kurtzman conceived the story for the Star Trek: Countdown comic series which served as a prequel for the 2009 film. This was later followed by another miniseries entitled Star Trek: Nero, for which both writers received story credit. Orci's role as creative consultant extended as far as Countdown to Darkness, the comic prequel to the 2013 film, as well as the miniseries Star Trek: Khan, which bridged the gap between the events of the Eugenic Wars and the events seen in Into Darkness.

Early life

Orci was born to a Cuban mother and Mexican father. He moved to the United States when he was ten years old. According to him, "My uncle and my father and my aunt and my mother were one of the agencies that were hired to do the initial INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] reform back in the '80s — they advertised on behalf of the government at that time." [3]

Star Trek

Orci considers himself a Trekkie, having grown up with a Trekkie uncle (whom the character of Richard Robau is named after). Orci has collected a lot of Trek memorabilia over the years and owns many Trek novels, with his favorites being Prime Directive and Spock's World. Although he enjoys all of the Star Trek series, his favorite (and the one through which he really started getting into Trek) is Star Trek: The Next Generation, which he called "the best television show from [his] lifetime".

"There has never been anything on TV that has made sci-fi as relatable and respectable as The Next Generation. The humanity of the situation was never lost in the technobabble. The sci-fi and the character was always intertwined brilliantly and it is an example of how to approach all genre. All genre needs to have as big a character component as it has a genre component; be it sci-fi, be it fantasy, whatever." [4]

Orci cites "The Best of Both Worlds" and "All Good Things..." as among his favorite episodes, and Spock as his favorite character, elaborating that he identified with the character as an immigrant who essentially comes to work in the United States. "He's a legal alien who came from another planet and teamed up with an American, the way that I've teamed up with my friend Alex Kurtzman." [5]

He co-wrote Star Trek with Spock as being essential to the story, without considering a back-up means to reboot the series. He also named the Gorn, Tribbles and Romulans as his three favorite aliens from Star Trek: The Original Series. [6] Orci's involvement with Star Trek began in 2005 when he received a phone call from a Paramount Pictures executive asking if he had any ideas for Star Trek. [7]

In 2010 Orci and Kurtzman were nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Writing for Star Trek. [8] In May 2011, Orci announced that he and Kurtzman had proposed a new Star Trek animated series to CBS. [9] [10]


Orci and Kurtzman began as writers on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, which led to their becoming writers and co-executive producers on Xena: Warrior Princess. Before Star Trek, both Orci and Kurtzman worked with Star Trek producer and director J.J. Abrams on the television series Alias and the 2006 action film Mission: Impossible III. Orci and Kurtzman also wrote the screenplays for 2005's The Legend of Zorro (featuring Mary Crosby, with editing by Stuart Baird and music by James Horner) and the Michael Bay films The Island (2005, which featured Ethan Phillips, Glenn Morshower, and Randy Oglesby) and Transformers (2007, featuring Andy Milder, Glenn Morshower, W. Morgan Sheppard, Michael Shamus Wiles, and the voice of Robert Foxworth), and its sequel, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009, featuring the voice of Tony Todd and Robert Foxworth), which led to a Razzie Award in the category Worst Screenplay in 2010.

They did the final re-write of the screenplay for the film adaptation of the DC Comics graphic novel Watchmen, which stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Stephen McHattie, and Matt Frewer. [11] [12] They also developed the science fiction/horror series Fringe (2008-2013) with J.J. Abrams, which they executive produced with Abrams and Bryan Burk. [13] Fringe earned Orci two Writers Guild of America Award nominations in 2009 in the categories Long Form Original and New Series and a Hugo Award nomination in the category Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form in 2013.

In 2007, The Hollywood Reporter named Orci the 35th most powerful Latino in Hollywood in their Latino Power 50, "a guide to those [Latino] writers, producers, directors, actors and executives who, through their ideas, perspectives and experiences, are changing show business as we know it." [14]

In addition to writing, Orci and Kurtzman produced films through their production company, Kurtzman/Orci (aka K/O Paper Products, reflecting the partnership's origins as script writers). Some of the films being produced by K/O included 2008's, Eagle Eye, and the 2009 romantic comedy, The Proposal.

In 2010, Orci and Kurtzman began executive producing the Emmy Award-winning animated series Transformers Prime. The show features the voices of numerous Star Trek veterans, such as Jeffrey Combs, James Horan, Tania Gunadi, Frank Welker, Tony Todd, Clancy Brown, Nolan North, and Dwayne Johnson. It was canceled after three seasons in 2013.

Orci is a conspiracy theorist. Damon Lindelof said "It's impossible to know Bob Orci and not get involved in those conversations. He believes very passionately in a lot of that stuff and has done a tremendous amount of research. I think you can start it as a casual interlude but it can become intense rather quickly. Personally speaking, I've known Bob feels that way for a long time. I'm not sure it influenced any of the storytelling in [Star Trek Into Darkness]." [15]

Orci teamed up with Kurtzman and Lindelof and wrote the screenplay for the 2011 science fiction thriller Cowboys & Aliens, with Clancy Brown and Keith Carradine, production design by Scott Chambliss, and set decoration by Karen Manthey. The three also produced the film. The following year he produced and wrote with Kurtzman the drama People Like Us which starred Chris Pine and was directed by Kurtzman. Further collaborations as writer and producer with Kurtzman include the television movie Exit Strategy (2014, art direction by Lauren E. Polizzi), the comic sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), the television series Hawaii Five-0 (2010-, starring Daniel Dae Kim and served by effects staffer Pierre Drolet), the action series Matador (2014), the action series Scorpion (2014-2018), and the fantasy series Sleepy Hollow (2013-2017, with John Cho, music by Brian Tyler and costume design by Sanja Milkovic Hays).

Most recent projects included the television drama Identity (2014) with Orci slated to participate in the announced television drama Secret Cabinet, the sequel Now You See Me 2 (2016), and adaptations of Van Helsing and The Mummy as well.

Virtually joined at the hip for over two decades and once considered one of Hollywood's most successful production duos, the Kurtzman/Orci partnership started to dissolve from 2014 onward for otherwise undisclosed reasons, though Kurtzman later went on record, stating,"We grew in different directions. The kinds of stories we wanted to tell changed. We have such deep love and respect for each other that neither of us wanted to pull in the wrong direction." [16] On 22 April 2014 it was announced that the two men would no longer collaborate on feature film productions [17] [18], whereas their collaboration on television productions was definitively terminated in 2016, though they finished up on two series they started together, Sleepy Hollow and Scorpion, whereas a third one, Hawaii Five-0, is as of 2019 still running. [19] The 2014 split had already forced Kurtzman to incorporate his own production company in the same year, Secret Hideout, under which he presently produces the Star Trek television properties for CBS All Access, whereas Orci has withdrawn from K/O Paper Products and thus the announced post-2014 projects mentioned above.

Apparently, Orci harbors no ill will and shares the sentiment as expressed by his former partner as is evidenced by several comments left on the blog as "Boborci"; When Kurtzman took over as showrunner on Star Trek: Discovery, Orci posted, "If Alex wanted fresh eyes, I would do it for free for my friend. But I am sure he has things well in hand." [20], whereas in response to a fan disgruntled by Kurtzman's take on Star Trek, asking Orci as fellow "Trekkie" to intervene on behalf of the fanbase, he merely and curtly retorted, "None of my business". [21]

Star Trek awards

ALMA Award

  • 2009 nomination for Star Trek in the category Year Behind the Scenes

Scream Award

  • 2009 nomination for Star Trek in the category Best Scream-Play, shared with Alex Kurtzman

Writer's Guild of America Award

  • 2010 nomination for Star Trek in the category Best Adapted Screenplay, shared with Alex Kurtzman

Hugo Award

  • 2010 nomination for Star Trek in the category Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form, shared with Alex Kurtzman and J.J. Abrams

Saturn Award

  • 2010 nomination for Star Trek in the category Best Writing, shared with Alex Kurtzman
  • 2010 George Pal Memorial Award for writing contribution including Star Trek, shared with Alex Kurtzman

External links