It’s been a long four years since the original J.J. Abram’s Star Trek. Abrams destroyed the planet of Vulcan, gave Spock a girlfriend, and called a gang of space pirates Romulans when they clearly were not Romulans as we had come to know them. Trek fandom may never forget, but after four years … who am I kidding they’ll never forgive. However, we are now that much closer to the next round of “how dare you, J.J. Abrams” plot developments. As such, the Paramount press machine is in overdrive, so much so that we have fallen way behind. Here is the latest run-down:
Release Date a Day Earlier Now. Adjust Your Schedules Accordingly.
In a move totally and absolutely unrelated in any way whatsoever to the record-setting opening weekend of Iron Man 3, Paramount has decided to release Star Trek: Into Darkness a full day earlier in the United States, moving from Friday, May 17 to Thursday, May 16. Previously, the film was to feature preview IMAX screenings in select US cities on Wednesday, May 15 before giving way to the standard midnight screenings of Thursday night/technically Friday morning. Now, they’ve decided to simply treat the largely sold-out May 15 screenings as the sneak preview and just open wide on Thursday with showings available throughout the entire day. The official explanation points to the excellent ticket sales of the sneak preview screenings. Anyway who is cynical enough to think the studio is desperate to pad their opening weekend numbers so as not to look horribly inferior after the moneystorm Marvel and Disney just brewed with Iron Man 3 clearly have no idea what they’re talking about.
Then again, Paramount Pictures was actually the contracted distributor during Marvel Studios’ independent studio days, with the iconic Paramount mountain logo among the first images viewers of the original Iron Man films see during the opening credits. According to finance.yahoo.com, when Disney bought Marvel in 2010 they inherited that distribution contract, which expires with Iron Man 3. Disney gave Paramount a lot of money to go away so that Disney could do all of the marketing. However, as part of this deal Paramount stands to make 9% of Iron Man 3‘s worldwide gross if the film exceeds $1 billion in worldwide box office, which will happen at its current pace. So, it is in Paramount’s best interest for Iron Man 3 to continue performing well. However, their access to that sweet Marvel money is cut off meaning they really need their legacy franchise Star Trek to do well. Plus, it would be nice to be able to look over at Iron Man and show off their new-old boyfriend in Star Trek and laugh, “Fine. Good. I’m glad we broke up. Look how much money my new spouse makes!”
So, we were talking about Star Trek…right. Sorry. On the upside, the movie comes out a full day earlier in the US now. Yay! On the downside, that sarcastic golf clap you might faintly hear from across the pond is coming from those in the UK and various other European countries who are still getting the movie a bit earlier than us, starting with the May 9 opening in the UK.
The Reviews Are…Not Bad
There have been press previews of the movie at this point, and many early reviews have made their way online. ScreenRant.com has a good run-down of the most notable early reviews, and their summation of the reviews goes as follows:
“Star Trek Into Darkness isn’t a franchise game-changer along the lines of The Empire Strikes Back or The Dark Knight, but it offers as much – if not more – entertainment value than J.J. Abrams’ 2009 reboot. The sequel blends earnest nostalgia for classic Trek lore with innovation and plot/character development, but not always in well-balanced portions. This is an enjoyable viewing experience for older and younger Trekkies, as well as those who just love a good action-packed sci-fi blockbuster.” — ScreenRant.com
Our First Look at The Klingons
As part of the promotion for the film, there have been a series of viral videos featuring Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainous John Harrison character taking on each member of the crew one video at a time, starting with Kirk. Or, as I like to call it, Dr. John Harrison’s Growl-A-Long Blog. Below is the one where he calls out Zoe Saldana’s Uhura for having come to know the forbidden touch of a Vulcan named Spock:
I want John Harrison to leave my voicemail message on my phone. Just have him say the most polite things possible, but do it in his big scary voice. Anyway, if you blink you miss it, but there does appear to be our first look at the Klingons as they will appear in the film. Here it is, courtesy of comicbookmovie.com by way of screencrush.com [look away right now if you want not to be contaminated by the malicious entity known as the spoiler]:
I…don’t know what to say. My initial reaction was that it obviously can’t be a Klingon because, well, that’s not how the Klingons have ever looked. In fact, this looks more like a cousin of the alien from Enemy Mine:
However, upon closer inspection it does appear to have some of the traditional markings of a Klingon with the forehead ridges, which are simply far, far less pronounced than from The Next Generation forward. In fact, it seems like a cross between the “they’re basically just normal humans” approach of the Original Series and “look with the big heads” approach of Next Generation and its spin-offs. I am actually glad to have seen this before the film because I feel I will need to adjust but will have become used to it by the time it pops up during the movie. That is, of course, if this random alien, who is seen standing in front of Klingons wearing helmets, is in fact a Klingon. We don’t know that for sure…although it most probably is.
Where are my manners? I bet he no more cares for me calling him Klingon than I would care to be called “Hu-man.” If only I knew his name. Eh. Klingon is good for now.
The Tao of Scotty
Here is a profile of Scotty as played brilliantly by Simon Pegg:
ScienceFiction.com has a good run-down of the various other videos which have surfaced lately.
Is the anticipation for Star Trek killing you? Or have you reached the “I want to stop hearing about it now” point? If so, boy did we miscalculate our planned Star Trek coverage to roll out next week to coincide with the new film. Either way, take to the comments and let your thoughts be known.