As if you needed another reason to see The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as soon as possible, Paramount Pictures announced today that the first 9 minutes of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness will be shown on 500 IMAX 3D screens before the first part in Peter Jackson’s upcoming Middle Earth trilogy, which opens December 14.
Taking a page from the Christopher Nolan playbook, the prologue will feature an extended sneak preview captured with high-resolution IMAX cameras, footage which IMAX President Greg Foster describes “absolutely incredible.” You may recall Nolan screened two similar types of prologue previews from the Dark Knight trilogy this way, with the opening scene of The Dark Knight screening before I Am Legend in 2007, and the plane crash sequence from The Dark Knight Rises playing last December at IMAX screenings of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. This sneak peek for Star Trek Into Darkness, however, will mark the first such preview projected in digital IMAX 3D.
The sequel is set to reunite cast members Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin as the Enterprise crew, with Benedict Cumberbatch to play the film’s villain, though his cumber-identity is still being kept under cumber-wraps. The screenplay will once again be provided by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof.
This announcement certainly intensifies the already massive hype surrounding the latest Star Trek movie, which opens May 17, 2013, but also could provide a boost—if such a thing is even possible—to The Hobbit’s IMAX revenue, as it is said last year’s Mission Impossible received greater turnout in these select IMAX locations where the extended Batman preview was being shown.
Also interesting to note about this story is that while Star Trek Into Darkness is a Paramount production, The Hobbit is a Warner Brothers movie. This could be a kind of repayment for the possible boost Paramount’s Mission Impossible received from the prologue for Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight Rises last year. The turnabout is intriguing to say the least.
Are you more likely to catch The Hobbit in IMAX so you can enjoy the “incredible” first 9 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness next month? Let us know in the comments section below.