The wait is still on for the sequel to J.J. Abrams' critical and financial hit that was his reboot of the Star Trek franchise. Ever since the director opened up about the basic story and casting, the topic of interest (beyond who, exactly, the villain will be) has been the talk of the stakes being raised for Star Trek 2, with no punches likely to be pulled.
Now the film's title seems to have been revealed, and it speaks to the harsher, more hard-hitting story that lies in store. We still don't know the details of the plot, but Star Trek Into Darkness will once again give Abrams and company the opportunity to blaze a new trail.
The title was uncovered by TrekMovie.com when Paramount appeared to be purchasing the domains for both 'www.startrekintodarkness.com' and 'www.startrekintodarknessmovie.com,' with the site now claiming that the title has been confirmed. While an official announcement from either Abrams or Paramount is yet to be found, the title fits with the general impression that's been given to this point. In an age of sequels and serializations, it's worth pointing out that the title does not feature a colon (like other Star Trek films), which would seem to bear some significance.
Unfortunately, the title doesn't provide any new insight into the "exciting" role being played by Benedict Cumberbatch. But the possible (spoiler-rific) villain that Karl Urban previously revealed and the original Star Trek series plot line that goes along with it fit the mood portrayed by the new title exceedingly well.
The new face of Captain Kirk - and the franchise - Chris Pine, recently attempted to lighten the impression that Abrams' sequel would be all doom and gloom by explaining that no one involved is intent on "making Batman." The obvious allusion is to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, a grim and generally dark portrayal of personal conflict and the battle between good and evil. Since Abrams' Star Trek managed to inject several one-liners and humor bordering on slapstick ("numb tongue??") into a genocidal plot, the idea of a massive tonal shift wouldn't be just bad news for fans, but potentially less appealing for a summer blockbuster crowd.
It doesn't come as a surprise then, that Paramount is taking its time in deciding how to introduce the new branding. This summer showed how a film like The Dark Knight Rises - advertised as a taut, gripping drama - can be out-sold by The Avengers, a film much closer to the tone and style of Star Trek. So expect to see the unveiling of the 'Into Darkness' branding alongside some footage or marketing material that shows Kirk and Spock trading jabs.
We were expecting the sequel to Star Trek to push even further into the unexplored, making good use of the potential discovered with one of the most successful reboots in recent memory. If Abrams and his new Enterprise crew are taking things to a more serious and relentlessly honest place, fans might get the best of both worlds. And whether the villain of the film is Khan, Gary Mitchell, or some other character that co-screenwriters Kurtzman and Orci can think up, it seems that the film will at least be trying something different than its predecessor.
What do you think of the Star Trek Into Darkness title? Have the minds behind the reboot earned enough faith from the audience to place a clever pun in the film's title, does it imply a new direction for the series as a whole, or is it just kind of... silly? Sound off in the comments.
Star Trek 2 will be out in theaters on May 17, 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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