Trekkies and sci-fi fans alike need not fret any longer - Star Trek 2 (a.k.a. the delayed sequel to J.J. Abrams' successful 2009 reboot of the franchise) is at last moving forward towards production.
Shooting on the new Trek adventure is scheduled to begin by mid-January 2012; Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has even begun working on some of the film's more elaborate effects, to help ensure the final product looks all the more slick and polished. Paramount has now settled on a new theatrical release date for the sequel, which was originally supposed to hit theaters in Summer 2012 (G.I. Joe: Retaliation is essentially serving as its replacement, during that season).
The Star Trek sequel, which Abrams and co. promise will not merely be titled Star Trek 2, is now set for a May 17th, 2013 theatrical release date in the U.S. That date was previously being occupied by Roland Emmerich's new sci-fi project, Singularity. However, the latter film has been pushed back to November 1st of 2013, freeing up that key summer spot for the Star Trek franchise's twelfth feature-length installment.
Deadline is also reporting that Abrams will "be making ['Star Trek 2'] in 3D" - which, presumably, means the film will be shot in the 3D format and not converted during post-production. The possibility of a 3D Trek sequel was previously mentioned by co-scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, but this is the first actual confirmation on the matter.
Coming Soon has also learned that Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino is set to score Star Trek 2. That should come as little surprise, seeing how he previously provided musical accompaniment on the Abrams-produced TV shows Alias and Lost, as well as the Abrams-directed Mission: Impossible III, this past summer's Super 8, and the 2009 Star Trek reboot. All the same, news of his return for the Trek sequel should be welcomed by many a fan.
All of the main cast members in the 2009 Trek reboot (Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, etc.) are set to reprise their roles as younger and alternate-timeline incarnations of the classic U.S.S. Enterprise crew in the sequel. There is also a strong possibility that the (unknown) main villain in the film will be brought to life by Benicio del Toro.
Virtually nothing has been revealed about the plot, new villains, or even new worlds that will be featured in the Star Trek sequel. The main topic of discussion amongst Trekkies right now has (by and large) concerned the potential antagonists that will be featured this time around - with popular suggestions including the Klingons, Romulans, and the fan-favorite superhuman Khan Noonien Singh. While these all remain legitimate possibilities for the time being, Kurtzman and Orci have previously indicated that Khan is a long-shot to appear in this new film (see: their comments on fitting the character into the Star Trek 2 story).
The news that Star Trek 2 will be released in 3D is bound to be a point of some controversy, for the time being. While there are several recently-released titles (Hugo) or upcoming blockbusters (The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hobbit) that do (or look to) effectively use the extra dimension, a lot of moviegoers still tend to be annoyed when any project is announced as being shot in 3D. Hopefully, though, the decision will ultimately benefit the Trek sequel.
To reiterate: Star Trek 2 is now prepped to soar into theaters around the U.S. on May 17th, 2013.