With today’s early IMAX release of Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel from J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Productions will surely be a box office hit. The film has already opened overseas, and many early reviews make it sound more like a standalone film than a sequel. According to the film’s producer Bryan Burk, that was the idea.
In an interview with Collider, Burk speaks candidly about the structure of Star Trek Into Darkness. J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot crew wanted to make the Star Trek film accessible for a wide general audience, regardless of their abundance of lack of Star Trek knowledge. You don’t have to know anything about Star Trek, or even have watched the first reboot film, to fully enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness. Burk explains:
Well consciously what we were doing when making the film was, we really wanted to make sure it was a film about – in our mind it was never really a sequel, it was its own movie going forward and it’s why the movie doesn’t have a number by it. It was a film that you should be able to jump in, if you’ve never seen it before you’d be able to jump right in, and obviously if you have seen it then you’ll be bringing your own emotion to it. We wanted to appeal to both. It was really important to try to reach a whole new audience so we had a lot of people in who not only had not seen the last film but were not Star Trek fans, or thought of themselves as not being Star Trek fans, or they had seen bits and pieces of Star Trek in the past and it was just not for them.”
I’ve seen the film and I can honestly say that Bryan Burk’s words are true. You don’t have to know anything about past Star Trek mythology to fully enjoy Star Trek Into Darkness. For better or worse, the new movie does feel like a standalone film, rather than a continuation of the story from the previous.
J.J. Abrams figured out the formula for a successful franchise, appeal to the most people as possible, but try to respect and reference the existing mythology. We can probably expect J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk to bring a similar approach to Star Wars: Episode VII, although his admitted love for George Lucas’ universe may make Abrams want to embrace that franchise’s mythology more.
Star Trek Into Darkness will hit theaters everywhere on May 16th, while the 3D IMAX edition of the film opens today.