Yesterday Paramount dropped a not-so-unexpected bombshell on the geek community in that they'll be releasing nine minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness footage into 500 digital IMAX theaters around the world on December 14 in front of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The move is one we've seen before with films like The Dark Knight, Avatar, and The Dark Knight Rises, but also with Mission Impossible -- Ghost Protocol, which I feel is the movie many of us will be comparing Star Trek Into Darkness to.
Like Brad Bird and Christopher Nolan before him, J.J. Abrams is experimenting with IMAX for his Star Trek sequel. He shot some key scenes in the format, and we expect those scenes to be teased in this nine-minute preview. Taking it one step further than Ghost Protocol, Star Trek Into Darkness is also in 3D -- becoming one of those rare Hollywood movies that is both shot with IMAX cameras and in 3D. In fact, Star Trek Into Darkness may actually be the first mainstream movie to debut footage converted to 3D that was shot with IMAX cameras. Not to mention the fact that it'll be screening before The Hobbit, which is a film shot in 3D and converted to IMAX -- one that also will be available to watch in 48fps.
So what does that mean, exactly?
Well it means there's a lot on the line when it comes to these nine minutes of footage. I've never had a more thrilling moviegoing experience in an IMAX theater like the one I had with Ghost Protocol, and if this franchise remains true to its word, then Abrams and co. will truly take us where no moviegoer has ever gone before. This is perhaps IMAX's greatest test -- a chance to blend 3D with footage from a major Hollywood release that includes scenes shot with IMAX cameras, and the results will either leave us itching for more or itching to devour some aspirin.
I certainly hope it's the former. As a moviegoer these days, there's nothing more exciting than watching footage shot with IMAX cameras. It's exhilarating, and an amazing visual rush. Here's hoping Abrams embraced it in the ways both Nolan and Bird did. Here's hoping he gives us a Star Trek movie we'll never forget.
What do you think?