Love-him-or-hate-him geek icon J.J. Abrams ruffled some feathers last month when he appeared on Conan and told the audience that he’d brought an exclusive sneak preview of his much-anticipated upcoming sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. Sounds exciting, at least until the preview clip proved to be a mere three frames long. While we still have a long wait until Trek 2 hits theaters on May 17, 2013, eager fans will get a chance to get a more protracted look at STID. A nine-minute 3D preview of the film will be attached to IMAX screenings of next month’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, starting on December 14th.
That’s good news so long as you have an IMAX theater near you. It’s much the same marketing strategy as Christopher Nolan has done with his recent Batman movies, most memorably when he previewed The Dark Knight by letting IMAX moviegoers see the unforgettable opening bank heist, as well as the reveal of Heath Ledger’s brilliant performance as the Joker. It’s a smart tactic, because — unless those nine minutes are godawful — it can only help generate more buzz for an already much-hyped film.
And regardless what you think of Abrams’ Star Trek as a whole, the opening sequence showing Kirk’s birth and the heroic sacrifice of his father (played by one-day Thor Chris Hemsworth) was breathtaking. Unfortunately, the rest of the film didn’t live up to the promise of that opening, but hopefully Abrams has learned lessons from the first film, about both what worked about his Trek and what didn’t.