The folks at Paramount have provided a bit of coolness to help everybody ease into Monday: the first poster for J.J. Abrams upcoming sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness. In a way, it sums up the fan conversation that has been going on for months. The villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch — still not officially identified — is literally at the center of everything. And whoever he’s playing, this image suggests he’s a force to be reckoned with. (Click the image for a larger version.)
I kind of love this poster, and I really hope that Into Darkness itself can live up to it. The debris forming the iconic shape of the Starfleet emblem works very well, even if they are cribbing from Batman.
Actually, the Batman comparison is worth unpacking a bit. Traditionally the Batman movies have served up some truly unforgettable villains, but they’ve also often overshadowed the protagonists. Is there any question that The Dark Knight was the Heath Ledger Show? And in that case, it worked well, but with such a large cast, most of whom we haven’t really gotten to know well in their “new” incarnations, I wonder if Cumberbatch’s villain is being positioned to steal the entire spotlight from Kirk, Spock, and the rest. Hopefully they’ll find the right balance between an iconic villain and still giving the heroes time to shine as well. Hopefully they rewatched The Wrath of Khan if they wanted a primer on the subject. (But I still don’t think Cumberbatch is playing Khan.)
Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters on May 17, 2013. You’ll be able to check out a nine-minute preview of the film attached to IMAX showings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey beginning on December 14th.