The cast and filmmakers for Star Trek Into Darkness (a.k.a. Star Trek 2) have been dropping vague hints about the plot for a year now, but Paramount (sorta) finally pulled the curtain back by unveiling an official synopsis last week. Today, the studio has also released the first teaser poster, hinting at the catastrophic event that forces young James Kirk (Chris Pine) to truly earn his captain's chair in the sequel.
However, it's a fair bet that speculation about the movie - including, what is the villain identity of Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) - is going to be set on the back burner temporarily, in favor of discussions about how much the poster rings a bell (with regard to one recent blockbuster sequel in particular).
Check out the full poster for Star Trek Into Darkness:
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As you're sure to notice, the Star Trek Into Darkness one-sheet very much shows the influence of the Dark Knight Rises teaser poster (and The Expendables 2 poster, to a lesser extent). That is, we see a figure (Cumberbatch?) dressed in a flowing coat, surveying a demolished city - where the fiery rubble and crumbling building in the foreground forms the outline of the Starfleet insignia, much like the demolished Gotham City skyline formed the Bat symbol in Dark Knight Rises' one-sheet (or Sly Stallone stood silhouetted by a giant '2' in the Expendables poster).
That's not to say the Star Trek 2 poster is inappropriate, seeing how the storyline does indeed involve the Enterprise and her crew setting out to stop "a one man weapon of mass destruction" (Cumberbatch) after he launches a surprise attack that leaves Starfleet in ruins. Moreover, screenwriter Damon Lindelof has made it no secret that he and co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci looked to The Dark Knight for inspiration (in terms of going "one step beyond" the previous film). Lastly, the Into Darkness title flat-out says the sequel is going to be, well, darker than its predecessor.
So, here's the question: is this a sign that Star Trek Into Darkness falls closer to Christopher Nolan's relentlessly grim Batman trilogy than the bigger, bolder, but still humorous, sequel that fans have been promised - similar to how the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, reflects the influence of The Dark Knight?
That seems unlikely, if only because Dark Knight and Skyfall resulted from two arthouse filmmakers (Chris Nolan and Sam Mendes) attempting to make a more personal blockbuster - whereas, with Star Trek 2, director J.J. Abrams and his writing crew seem more interested in raising the stakes, while also providing the crowd-pleasing entertainment of the Star Trek reboot. If anything, the Trek 2 poster feels like the handiwork of Paramount marketers who realized that selling things as darker and grittier is all the rage, regardless of how appropriate it is (see: Sony's Dark Knight-esque promotion material for The Amazing Spider-Man).
Of course, we will have a better idea of what to expect from Star Trek Into Darkness after the first trailer and 9-minute IMAX preview premiere in the very near future - so, stay tuned for more here at Screen Rant.
Star Trek Into Darkness opens in theaters (regular and IMAX 3D) on May 17th, 2013.