Yesterday, fans of Star Trek got their first taste of the new television program that will air on CBS in 2017, but before the franchise makes its return to the small screen, it will celebrate its 50th anniversary on the big screen with this summer's Star Trek Beyond. The third installment in the rebooted film series that started in 2009, Beyond sees Fast & Furious helmsman Justin Lin step in for the departed J.J. Abrams, directing a script by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. The primary Enterprise crew members are all returning (including Pegg as Scotty), joined by Idris Elba as the villain Krall and Sofia Boutella as an alien named Jaylah.
In late 2015, Paramount kicked off their Beyond marketing efforts with a teaser trailer that didn't exactly go over well with viewers. Set to the classic Beastie Boys song "Sabotage," the preview put the spotlight on fast-paced action and seemed to strip Star Trek of what makes it unique. Both Lin and Pegg have addressed the concerns about the trailer, saying that the final film has far more substance than is being hinted at. Moviegoers have been waiting for a second trailer ever since, and now it's been revealed when fans will get their next look at Beyond.
Last month, it was reported that Paramount would unveil a new preview during a Star Trek fan event. Pegg has confirmed that's indeed the case, taking to Twitter to share the news with an amusing picture of Scotty's cute sidekick, Keenser:
— Pegg News (@simonpegg) May 19, 2016
Lin stated that there were more "traditional" cuts of the teaser, so it will be interesting to see which direction Paramount goes with this new one. They would probably be wise to stick with something that adheres more to the classic Star Trek aesthetic, an attempt to course-correct the controversial nature of the advertising materials thus far. Given the venue at which the trailer will debut, the studio will want to make sure it's a hit with the crowd, ideally starting a wave of positive buzz. Paramount is already making plans for a Star Trek 4, so there's a lot riding on Beyond's success. If the film series is to live long and prosper, it needs to be a critical and commercial smash.
The massive overhaul of Beyond's creative team shortly before production started is a justifiable reason to be worried, but things could work out for the better. The approach from Abrams and the writing team of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci was always divisive, as their two entries felt more like Star Wars in the Final Frontier than Star Trek movies. Pegg has been very public of his intention to take Trek back to its roots with his screenplay, and his co-star John Cho believes that Beyond represents the best of the original series. In addition, Lin is a longtime fan of the property, so he has an understanding of what works well in this universe. A narrative that seeks to "deconstruct" the franchise certainly sounds intriguing.
There's a lot of pressure on Beyond to perform at a high level. Arguably, Star Trek is in an uneasy place at the multiplex. Not only did the Beyond teaser rub some the wrong way, 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness grossed less than its predecessor domestically, and couldn't cross $500 million worldwide. In a world with other giant space adventure series like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy dominating the marketplace, there's a chance Star Trek gets overshadowed by similar titles. However, a great trailer can easily reverse those fortunes, so hopefully Paramount delivers on that front and give fans a reason to be excited.
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22, 2016.
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