Star Trek Into Darkness – Looking At The 9-Minute Teaser

This morning I attended, on behalf of Bleeding Cool, a 9 minute IMAX teaser for Star Trek: Into Darkness that will be shown (I believe) ahead of all Hobbit screenings in the giant format this Christmas.

More or less anything I say beyond “It looks amazing” might be construed to constitute a spoiler so before you more sensitive types make your excuses and leave let me just say this; “It looks bloody amazing”

The post-processed 3D looks convincing. At some points it was almost as if new Trek villain Benedict Cumberbatch was there in the cinema.

What am I talking about? He was there, slightly smaller than you might expect but still possessed of the most geometrically perfect nose in showbusiness, along with co-star Alice Eve, both affably batting away any questions that threatened to reveal the exact details of his character’s identity.

Producer Brian Burk was along too, with some insights on the IMAX process and how it slotted into JJ Abrams’s shooting style.

We still don’t know for certain whether Cumberbatch’s character is an existing character from the Trek mythos, or whether he’s an all-new character that just so happens to have the name of a vintage disposable Redshirt.

He certainly insisted that he wasn’t Khan, and in response to persistent questioning from a self-confessed fanboy at the back of the room Burke conceded that there had been ‘some talk’ of Khan for a future movie.

I don’t know any more about the truth behind this than you do, but I would point out that the name of Peter Weller’s character hasn’t been listed on IMDB yet. And that as he has a stunt double, he’s not just some Starfleet Admiral on a viewscreen somewhwere.

Alice Eve, in my view the fruitiest young miss working in cinema at the present moment, was happy to reveal that she was playing Carol Marcus and I’m imagining that this plotline fleshes out some of the history that she and Kirk talked about 30 years ago and a twisted timeline away in Wrath Of Khan.

She described having the big, noisy, temperamental IMAX cameras as ‘like having a child or an animal on set’. Burke too alluded to the technical difficulties of working with the big-screen behemoths but the results are, without doubt, stunning.

It’s ironic that this film contains some 40 minutes of footage for the biggest screens in cinema when Cumberbatch shot his three audition scenes on an iPhone.

But what does this all-too-brief nine minute teaser look like?

It opens in 2259, in London, where Noel Clarke and his wife are on their way to hospital to see their terminally ill daughter. That’s the first we see of Cumberbatch, who slides into the scene to offer Clarke the chance of saving her. But we all know that there will be a price tag attached.

Cut to that red-foliaged planet we saw in the trailer. It’s listed as the M-Class planet Nibiru – one for all you 2012 doomsday fans out there – and Kirk and McCoy are on the planet doing some of that ‘violating the Prime Directive while constantly talking about not violating the Prime Directive’ stuff that they did in the original series nearly every week.

The natives are either covered in body paint or have a really terrible moisturising regime. They chase Kirk and Bones while throwing spears that zoom amusingly through (and periodically out of) the 3D space.

Meanwhile Spock is wearing a special volcano-proof suit and trying to prevent an eruption. The footage ends on a fantastic heart-in-mouth cliffhanger that plugs into Spock’s rigid adherence to rules like the Prime Directive and Kirk’s natural tendency to Kobayashi Maru his way out of any fix.

As the Enterprise is being hidden underwater in this section it’s logical to assume that the scene of a starship emerging from the ocean in the trailer is connected to this scene.

It’s dangerous to extrapolate from a few minutes how good the whole movie will be, but certainly this teaser has me aching to see what else Abrams has in store for us.

And don’t wait for the DVD: lens flare in 3D is hilarious.