Looks like J.J. Abrams is borrowing a trick from the Christopher Nolan playbook. So far, all that’s been seen officially from next summer’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” one of the more anticipated blockbusters of 2013 after Abrams’s surprisingly strong first film, is a snippet lasting only a few frames jokingly unveiled by the director (and subsequently breathlessly reported on by most of the movie blogosphere). With the release of the sci-fi sequel creeping up, the notoriously secretive Abrams can’t keep things under wraps forever, and it looks like Abrams will be unveiling a glimpse of the film in the biggest possible way this Christmas.
According to a press release from Paramount, the first nine minutes of “Star Trek Into Darkness” will be shown on approximately 500 IMAX 3D screens from December 14th, which means that the footage will be screening before showings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” For those with short memories, Nolan and Warner Bros took the same tactic with both “The Dark Knight” in 2007, which sneaked its opening sequence in front of “I Am Legend” screenings, and “The Dark Knight Rises,” which previewed its spectacular airbound opening ahead of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” last Christmas. The latter was a Paramount production, and “The Hobbit” is a WB movie, so it’s hard not to feel that some kind of behind-the-scenes exchange was struck some time in 2011.
Anyway, any speculation of what those nine minutes of the film — which reunites Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho and Anton Yelchin as the rebooted crew of the Enterprise — might contain is just that: speculation. But we don’t feel it’s a total stab in the dark to suggest that, as with the two IMAX-sized Batflick previews, we might end up seeing our introduction to Benedict Cumberbatch‘s still-mysterious villain, who might be Khan, or might be called, less threateningly, Gary. But given that Abrams shot key sequences from the film with IMAX cameras, it’ll likely look spectacular. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” hits IMAX, accompanied by this sneak preview footage, on December 14th, while the whole of “Star Trek Into Darkness” will be in theaters on May 17th, 2013.