BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Green Tree native Zachary Quinto executive produces the upcoming shot-in-Pittsburgh docuseries "The Chair," about competing directors making two movies from one script, but he's not giving up his day job as an actor.
Still, his production company, Before the Door, founded with fellow Carnegie Mellon University grads Neal Dodson and Corey Moosa, has ramped up its work with the move into TV with "The Chair" and with an increasing number of film projects.
Mr. Quinto said his relationships with actors and agents help him as a producer.
"People are probably more likely to take my call than other people. I can bring my personal relationships to bear when putting projects together," he said. "We joke that Neal is the brain, Corey is the heart and I am the face of the company. It's sort of half-joking but half-true because I think my visibility is one of my strengths as a producer."
Mr. Quinto would like to direct, too, although he hasn't landed on a passion project yet. For now his focus remains on acting and producing, including a return to “Star Trek” but maybe not a return to his career-making role as Sylar in NBC’s “Heroes Reborn” event series coming in 2015 or 2016.
"I've been in touch with ['Heroes'] creator Tim Kring over the years and he told me they were doing it and left the door open for me but the trouble is my availability," Mr. Quinto said. "I don't know it would even be possible."
Or wanted. Mr. Quinto sounded a conflicted note: "Heroes" made him a star but he may be ready to move on.
"That opportunity changed my life completely and sent me on a path I might not otherwise have been on, but at the same time, I'm very interested in forward momentum. I'm very interested in diversity. I'm very interested in expanding peoples' expectations of me, defying expectations of me," he said. "And I don't know that going back to such an definitively iconic character would necessarily do that. So it's a larger question I haven't had to answer yet because no one has given me an offer or circumstances. We'll see. I know that whether or not I'll be involved, I'll be excited to watch it."
Mr. Quinto has no plans to return to the currently-in-production season of FX's "American Horror Story" but he will be back on the big screen as Spock in the third "Star Trek" film, which is set to be directed by previous "Trek" movie writer Roberto Orci and released in 2016, the 50th anniversary of the TV debut of the original "Star Trek."
"It's in the preliminary stage now of the script being finished and polished and I imagine the phone will be ringing sometime in the next few months to talk about when we'll go back to production," Mr. Quinto said.
The plot of the next film is under wraps but Mr. Quinto dropped some hints.
"The five-year mission [of the U.S.S. Enterprise] will be a part of the next film in some way or another," he said. "We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic sci-fi series in history of the entertainment industry so I think it's inherently an ongoing story but I think we'll feel some sense of evolution in these characters that's been building through the first two films."
Mr. Quinto's participation in the third film was never actually in doubt but after that movie his participation in future “Star Trek” movies is an open question.
"We all signed on for three movies so we're coming up to the conclusion of that commitment," Mr. Quinto said. "It will be interesting to see how our relationship to the franchise evolves beyond that point."
In the more immediate future, Mr. Quinto will star alongside James Franco and Emma Roberts in “Michael,” based on the true story of an anti-gay Christian pastor who once identified as gay himself. Variety reports Mr. Quinto will play the former boyfriend of Mr. Franco’s pastor character.
This report originally appeared online in the Tuned In Journal blog. Check out the blog for Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen's reports from the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Follow RobOwenTV at Twitter or on Facebook. You can reach Rob at 412-263-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.