Star Trek 2 news has been coming at warp speed ever since a production timeline and release date were locked down earlier this fall. With the original cast all returning, new cast members joining the team, the promise of a great villain (Kahn?), director J.J. Abrams back at the helm, and popular sci-fi TV/Movie writers like Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof all collaborating on the script, there's plenty about this sequel to be excited about.
However, one question in particular has loomed over this film: What format will Star Trek 2 be in?
While it has long been expected that this sequel would be in 3D, today we have our first solid confirmation of how, exactly, that's being approached - and unfortunately, the news will be sour for movie fans: Star Trek 2 will be shot in 2D and then post-converted into 3D.
J.J. Abrams himself dropped the news while out doing the red carpet rounds for the premiere of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which Abrams has a producer credit on. Check out what the fan-favored writer/director/producer had to say to Trek Movie:
We’re shooting on film, 2-D, and then we’ll do a good high-end conversion like the ‘Harry Potter’ movie and all that. Luckily, with our release date now we have the months needed to do it right because if you rush it, it never looks good...
There is some truth to what Abrams is saying - post-conversion 3D is not always a deal-breaker for a movie. Films like Piranha 3D and the aforementioned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 were planned for 3D format, shot in 2D, and then put through a very careful and quality-focused 3D conversion. The end results were up to par, at the very least.
On the other hand, even the most carefully planned and constructed post-converted 3D flicks haven't been able to hold a flame to films shot in the format - such as this summer's box office smash, Transformers 3, and Martin Scorsese's Golden Globe-nominated film, Hugo - both of which were gorgeous uses of the format that made other attempts look like child's play. When compared to rush-job 3D conversions like Green Lantern, or the now infamously bad Clash of the Titans, the discrepancy between 'true 3D' and converted 3D is even more painfully apparent.
That's not to say that with some careful planning, execution, and meticulous care during the conversion process Star Trek 2 couldn't turn out to be an awesome 3D film; it's just hard not to wish that it would be shot in the format, in order to yield the very best possible results.
3D wasn't the only production news that J.J. Abrams dropped about Star Trek 2: he's also exploring the possibility of shooting the film in IMAX:
We were talking about [shooting in IMAX] and I would love to do it. IMAX is my favorite format; I’m a huge fan
With Mission Impossible 4 IMAX having made an impressive $13 million on just 425 screens, and The Dark Knight Rises poised to smash IMAX records when its released next summer, it seems that now is the opportune time to make use of the format. If anything, I would personally rather see Abrams shoot in true IMAX, rather than going the post-conversion 3D route. I'd wager I'm not alone in that sentiment.
No Original Series Cast Cameos?
Finally, rumor has it that NONE of the Star Trek Original Series cast members will be making a cameo in the sequel - so if you were hoping for a Shatner appearance, or one of George Takei's iconic laughs, you may be out of luck. From Showbiz 411:
The next “Star Trek” installment, directed by J.J. Abrams, will have no members of the original cast. No Shatner, no Nimoy. No classic recipe Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Chekhov or Sulu. The last “Star Trek” film featured Leonard Nimoy as Spock. But sources close to the next film, many of whom worked with Abrams on the new “Mission Impossible,” confirmed for me last night that none of the originals has been invited back this time. “MI4″‘s Simon Pegg, who now plays Scotty (original Scotty, James Doohan, is in space heaven now with original Bones, DeForrest Kelly), quipped, “That would involve time travel. And if the real Scotty showed up, that would be something.”
While the new cast has certainly earned the right to step out on their own - come on! What Trekkie wouldn't love to see a familiar iconic face pop up at a key moment? By the time production is done, there's a fair bet this rumor could be invalidated. On the plus side: there's still a part for Bruce Greenwood (who played Captain Pike in the reboot) if he should choose to accept it.
Star Trek 2 will be in theaters on May 17, 2013