Saturday, July 13, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness is a 2013 American science fiction action film. It is the twelfth installment in the Star Trek film franchise and the sequel to 2009's Star Trek. It was directed by J. J. Abrams from a screenplay written by Roberto OrciAlex Kurtzman, andDamon Lindelof, based on the series of the same name created by Gene Roddenberry. Lindelof, Orci, Kurtzman and Abrams also serve as producers, along with Bryan Burk.Chris Pine reprises his role as Captain James T. Kirk, with Zachary QuintoKarl Urban,Zoe SaldanaAnton YelchinSimon PeggLeonard NimoyJohn Cho, and Bruce Greenwood reprising their roles from the previous film. Benedict CumberbatchPeter Weller and Alice Eve round out the film's principal cast.
After the release of Star Trek, Abrams, Burk, Lindelof, Kurtzman and Orci signed up to produce the film. Filming began in January 2012. The film was shot entirely in California. The film's visual effects were handled by Industrial Light & Magic.
The film was converted to 3D in post-production. Star Trek Into Darkness premiered atEvent Cinemas in Sydney on April 23, 2013,[6] and was released on May 9, 2013, in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and parts of Europe and Peru,[7] with other countries following. The film was released on May 16, 2013, in the United States and Canada, opening at IMAX cinemas one day earlier.[8][9] The film has become a commercial success and received positive reviews, grossing more than $440 million worldwide. It stands as the highest-grossing film of the Star Trek franchise.

Plot[edit]

The USS Enterprise has been sent to the planet Nibiru in the development of primitive cultures. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) attempt the save the planet's inhabitants from a volcanic eruption. When Spock's life is jeopardized, Kirk violates the Prime Directive exposing the Enterprise to the planet's civilization during Spock's rescue.
After being called back to Earth, Kirk loses command of the Enterprise and AdmiralChristopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) is reinstated as the Enterprise's commanding officer. Pike, feeling that Kirk deserves a second chance, successfully lobbies to allow Kirk to be assigned as his first officer.
When a secret Section 31 installation in London is bombed, Pike, Kirk and Spock attend a meeting of Starfleet commanders to discuss the manhunt for the perpetrator, rogue Starfleet agent John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). The meeting is attacked by a jumpship piloted by Harrison. Kirk destroys the jumpship, but not before Pike is killed. Harrison escapes by transporting to the Klingon homeworld of Kronos. Kirk is reinstated as the Enterprise's captain and receives orders to hunt down Harrison from Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller), who has new prototype long range photon torpedoesdelivered to the Enterprise, and orders Kirk to fire them at Harrison's location on Kronos as soon as Kirk is in range. However, Montgomery Scott (Simon Pegg) resigns in protest after not being allowed to inspect the new weapons whereupon Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin) is promoted to chief engineer, and Spock, Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) andUhura (Zoe Saldana) convince Kirk that it would be better to capture rather than kill Harrison and have him tried for his crimes. Meanwhile, Dr. Carol Wallace (Alice Eve), a new science officer, joins the crew of the Enterprise.
Arriving on Kronos, Kirk, Spock and Uhura set out to capture Harrison but are intercepted by Klingons. Harrison kills the Klingons but surrenders to Kirk after learning that the exact number of torpedoes they are prepared to fire on him is 72. Returning to the Enterprise, Harrison reveals his true identity as Khan, a genetically engineered superhuman who was awakened from a 300-year-long period ofsuspended animation[10] by Admiral Marcus to develop weapons and starships for a future war between the Federation and the Klingons. The torpedoes each contain a cryogenic pod holding one of Khan's crew inside, previously been held hostage by Marcus.
Enterprise is intercepted by a larger and unmarked Federation warship, the USS Vengeance, designed by Khan and commanded by Admiral Marcus. Marcus demands that Kirk hand over Khan, but Kirk refuses. The Enterprise heads to Earth to have Khan stand trial, but is caught and attacked by the Vengeance in warp. With the Enterprise severely damaged, Kirk offers to hand over Khan and the cryogenic pods in exchange for the lives of his crew. Carol reveals herself to be Carol Marcus, the admiral's daughter, who joined the crew of the Enterprise under her mother's maiden name; the admiral transports her to the Vengeance and reveals his intention to destroy Enterprise in his plan to dispose of the superhumans and start a war with the Klingons. The Vengeance prepares to open fire, but suffers a power outage caused by Scott, who has infiltrated the ship. With the transporters down, Kirk and Khan travel toVengeance by "space jump" between the airlocks of each ship. After taking control of the bridge Khan overpowers Scott, knocks out Kirk, crushes Carol's leg, and kills Admiral Marcus, taking control of the Vengeance.
Khan negotiates with Spock, beaming Kirk and his boarding party back to the Enterprise in exchange for the prototype torpedoes, planning to destroy the Enterprise. Spock hands over the torpedoes to Khan, but only after removing Khan's frozen crew and having McCoy arm the torpedoes. The torpedoes incapacitate the Vengeance, and both damaged starships start descending towards Earth. With a misalignment of the heads of the warp core resulting in the Enterprise being powerless, Kirk elects to enter the radioactive engine chamber and re-aligns the heads in time for the ship to prevent its destruction. Kirk suffers fatal radiation poisoning in the process and dies.
Khan crashes the Vengeance into San Francisco, in an attempt to destroy Starfleet's headquarters, where Spock transports down to pursue him. Meanwhile, McCoy discovers after experimenting on a tribble that Khan's blood contains regenerative properties that may save Kirk. Spock and Uhura capture Khan and Kirk is revived.
One year later, Kirk addresses a gathering memorializing the events, reciting the "where no-one has gone before" monologue. Khan is resealed in his cryogenic pod and stored away with his crew, and Carol joins the crew of a rebuilt Enterprise as it departs for a five-year mission of exploration.

Development[edit]

In June 2008, it was reported that Paramount Pictures was interested in signing the main producers of the 2009 Star Trek film,J. J. AbramsBryan BurkDamon LindelofAlex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci for a sequel.[17] In March 2009, it was reported that these five producers had signed up to produce the film with the script to be again written by Orci and Kurtzman with Lindelof joining the writing team. A preliminary script was rumored to be completed by Christmas 2009 for a 2011 release.[18][19] Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman andRoberto Orci began writing the script in June 2009, originally intending to split the film into two parts.[20] Leonard Nimoy, the originalSpock who plays an older version of the character in the 2009 film, stated he would not be making an appearance in the film.[21]Abrams was reportedly considering including William Shatner in the sequel.[22]
By 2010, a release date of June 29, 2012, was set,[23] with Damon Lindelof announcing he had begun working on the script with Kurtzman and Orci.[24] Pre-production was set for a January 2011 start, though producer Bryan Burk stated that actual filming would probably begin in the spring or summer.[25] Actor Zachary Quinto later stated that these reports were untrue.[26] Writer Lindelof, who is also a producer, compared the sequel to The Dark Knight.[27]
Abrams, Kurtzman, and Orci stated that selecting a villain was hard, with Abrams saying that "the universe Roddenberry created is so vast that it's hard to say one particular thing stands out". The interview also saw them discuss the possibility of Khan Noonien Singhand Klingons.[28] Kurtzman and Lindelof stated that they had "broken" the story (created an outline) and rather than being a sequel, it will act as a stand alone film.[29] Abrams admitted in December 2010 that there was still no script.[30]
A part of the main cast at the film's premiere in Australia in April 2013 (left to right: Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, director J. J. Abrams and Chris Pine)
In January 2011, Abrams, who was still not attached to direct, reported that he had not decided whether or not he was directing the sequel, citing that he had still not seen a script.[31] Paramount Pictures then approached Abrams and requested the sequel be in 3D.[32] Abrams stated the film would not be filmed in native 3D, but rather shot in 2D on film, and then be converted into 3D in post production.[33] Abrams also expressed interest in shooting the film in theIMAX format, saying, "IMAX is my favorite format; I’m a huge fan."[33] In February, Orci posted on his Twitter that he (and Lindelof and Kurtzman) aimed to deliver the script in March 2011.[34] Though the script was not finished at the time, Paramount began financing pre-production.[35] Similar circumstances on the next Jack Ryan film meant that Chris Pine would film the Star Trek sequel first.[36] By April, Orci revealed at WonderCon that the film's first draft of the script had been completed.[37] Abrams reported to MTVthat once he finished work on his film Super 8, he would be turning his full attention to the Trek sequel.[38]
Though a script was completed, uncertainty regarding the extent of Abrams' involvement led to the film being pushed back six months from its June 2012 release date.[39] In June, Abrams confirmed his next project would be the sequel, also mentioning that he would prefer the film to be good than be ready by its set release date.[40] Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, stated in an interview that he believed filming would begin in the last few months of the year.[41] Abrams stated he would be prioritizing the film's story and characters above an early release date.[42] In September, Abrams officially signed on to direct the film, with the cast from the previous film reprising their respective roles and that a Winter 2012 or Summer 2013 release date was intended.[43] In October, Orci reported that location scouting was underway and a series of comic books, of which Orci will act as creative director, will "foreshadow" the film.[44] The film was given a revised release date and pushed to a 2013 slot.[45] Michael Giacchino confirmed he would return to score the film.[46]
Actor Benicio del Toro had reportedly been sought for the role of the villain and had met with Abrams to discuss the role.[47] He later bowed out. In 2011, actress Alice Eve signed on for a role,[48] and so had Peter Weller.[49] Doctor Who actor Noel Clarke signed up for an unknown role, reported to be "a family man with a wife and young daughter".[50] Demián Bichir also auditioned for the villain role but as reported by Variety on January 4, 2012, Benedict Cumberbatch had been cast in the role of the villain in the film.[51]

Filming[edit]

The film began principal photography on January 12, 2012, with a scheduled release date of May 16, 2013. Sequences of the film were also filmed using IMAX cameras.[52] About 30 minutes of the film is shot in IMAX.[53] The film was released in 3D. On February 24, 2012, images from the set surfaced depicting Benedict Cumberbatch's character engaged in a fight with Spock.[54][55] Edgar Wrightdirected a shot in the film.[56] Filming completed in May 2012.[57]
Filming took place on location in Los Angeles, California, and around the area at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory inLivermore. Additional locations included Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, and the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, as well as at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Some shots for Star Trek Into Darkness were filmed in Iceland.[58][59][60]

Title[edit]

On September 10, 2012, Paramount confirmed the film's title as Star Trek Into Darkness.[61][62][63] J. J. Abrams had indicated that unlike some of the earlier films in the franchise, his second Star Trek would not include a number in its title.[64] The decision was made to avoid repeating the sequel numbering that started with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, or making a confusing jump from Star Trekto Star Trek 12.[64] Writer and producer Damon Lindelof addressed his team's struggle to settle upon a title, stating "there have been more conversations about what we're going to call it than went into actually shooting it. […] There’s no word that comes after the colon after Star Trek that’s cool. Not that Star Trek: Insurrection or First Contact aren’t good titles, it’s just that everything that people are turned off about when it comes to Trek is represented by the colon."[65] Of all the titles proposed, Lindelof joked that he preferred Star Trek: Transformers 4 best "because it's technically available."[65]

Music[edit]

Composer Michael Giacchino scored the film's incidental music. It is Giacchino's fourth film collaboration with director J. J. Abrams, which also includes 2009's Star Trek. Recording sessions for the film's score took place at the Sony Scoring Stage in Culver City, California from between March 5 to April 3, 2013.[66] The soundtrack album was released digitally on May 14, 2013, and was made available physically on May 28, 2013, through Varèse Sarabande.[67] It contains the original Star Trek theme by Alexander Courageand Gene Roddenberry.
On April 24, 2013, it was announced that British singer Bo Bruce and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol had collaborated on a song for the film's soundtrack, entitled "The Rage That's In Us All".[68] Australian songwriter and producer, Robert Conley co-wrote a track for the film with Penelope Austin entitled "The Dark Collide".[69]

Themes[edit]

On May 10, 2013, Cho, Pegg, and Eve were interviewed on the The Bob Rivers Show to promote the film. Show host Bob Rivers asked about the title: "The title Star Trek Into Darkness indicates some sort of ominous turn, obviously."
Eve suggested that Simon Pegg discuss the theme of terrorism, and Pegg obliged: "I think it's a very current film, and it reflects certain things that are going on in our own heads at the moment; this idea that our enemy might be walking among us, not necessarily on the other side of an ocean, you know. John Harrison, Benedict Cumberbatch's character, is ambiguous, you know? We [the characters in the film] don't know who to support. Sometimes, Kirk, he seems to be acting in exactly the same way as him [Harrison]. They're both motivated by revenge. And the Into Darkness in the title is less an idea of this new trend of po-faced, kind of, everything's-got-to-be-a-bit-dour treatments of essentially childish stories. It's more about Kirk's indecision."
John Cho agreed about the characterization of Captain Kirk: "It's his crisis of leadership."[70]

Distribution[edit]

Dolby Laboratories and Paramount Pictures announced Star Trek Into Darkness would be released in Dolby Atmos, with Andy Nelsonand Anna Behlmer handling the mix under the supervision of Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood.[71][72] The film was ultimately released on May 9, 2013, in international markets and May 16, 2013, in the United States.

Marketing[edit]

As part of a contest Abrams designed after the release of Super 8 (2011), the prize for answering a series of questions will be a walk-on role in this film for two people.[73] Director J. J. Abrams debuted three frames of the film on Conan on October 4, 2012, showing what he described as Spock "in a volcano, in this crazy suit".[74] The official poster for the film was released two months later on December 3, 2012, showing a mysterious figure, thought to be Benedict Cumberbatch's villain, standing atop a pile of burning rubble looking over what appears to be a damaged London.[75][76] He is standing in a hole in the shape of the Starfleet insignia blown out of the side of a building.[77]
Roughly nine minutes of film footage of the opening sequence was shown prior to IMAX presentations of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which was released in the US on December 14, 2012.[78] Alice Eve together with Cumberbatch and Burk unveiled the IMAX prologue in London, England on December 14, 2012. A two-minute teaser was released in iTunes Movie Trailers on December 17, 2012. This teaser also marked the beginning of a viral marketing campaign, with a hidden link directing fans to a movie-related website. A 30-second teaser premiered February 3, 2013, during the temporary stadium blackout of Super Bowl XLVII.[79] That same day, Paramount released apps for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone that enabled users to unlock tickets for showtimes two days prior to the film's initial release date.[80][81]
An international trailer was released on March 21, 2013, with an embedded URL simultaneously revealing an exclusive online-only international poster. On April 8, Paramount released the final international one-sheet featuring solely Benedict Cumberbatch's character.[82] On March 24, 2013, at 9:30 pm a swarm of 30 mini-quadrotors equipped with LED lights drew the Star Trek logo over London.[83] This choreography marked the beginning of the Paramount UK marketing campaign for Star Trek Into Darkness. It was coordinated with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Earth Hour event and was performed and developed by Ars Electronica Futurelab from Linz (Austria) in cooperation with Ascending Technologies from Munich (Germany).[84]
On April 12, 2013, iTunes Movie Trailers revealed the final domestic one-sheet featuring the USS Enterprise, and announced that the final US domestic trailer would be released on April 16. In the days leading up to the trailer release, character posters featuring the characters Kirk, Spock, Uhura and John Harrison, were also released on iTunes.[85] Paramount attempted to broaden the appeal of the film for international audiences, an area where Star Trek and science fiction films had generally performed poorly.[4] The film was dedicated to post-9/11 veterans.[86] (J. J. Abrams has connections to The Mission Continues, and a section of the film's official website is dedicated to that organization.)

Promotional tours[edit]

The whole cast with the exception of Anton YelchinBruce Greenwood and Peter Weller participated in press junkets that kick-started May 2013. On May 7, Simon Pegg appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. On May 8, Zachary Quinto was interviewed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon;[87] he was followed on May 10 by Benedict Cumberbatch, who confessed to Fallon that his fans are called 'Cumberbitches' (Fallon mourned that his own followers are merely called FalPals)[88] and by Zoe Saldana on May 17. Saldana said that she lobbied Abrams for four years: "If we make a sequel, Uhura needs to kick ass." On May 9, Cumberbatch appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.[89]
On May 10, John Cho, Simon Pegg, and Alice Eve spoke live on radio for an interview on the The Bob Rivers Show. They discussed such topics as approaching a body of work already mastered by an earlier generation of actors, and they agreed that they would stay with the franchise as long as it lasted.[90] That night, Chris Pine appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman; Letterman showed a gag reel of robots in a black-and-white film before showing a real clip from the movie. Pine told an anecdote about having to gain weight for the part of Captain Kirk.[91]
One anecdote recounted by cast members during the promotion was an on-set prank initially devised by Pegg, which he later noted as growing out of proportion: while filming at the National Ignition Facility, Pegg and Pine, with the eventual help of the entire crew, tricked the arriving actors into believing there was "ambient radiation" in the location and that he had to wear "neutron cream" to avoid getting burnt by it.[92][93] Cumberbatch was tricked into signing a release form (which was supposed to give the joke away, but which he signed without reading it),[94] while Urban and Cho were tricked into recording a public service announcement about the necessity of neutron cream.[95]
On May 13, J. J. Abrams chatted on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.[96] On May 16, Pine appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[97] On May 14, 2013, J. J. Abrams, Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine and Alice Eve appeared on The Urgant Show (Russian: Вечерний Ургант), in Russia.

Home media[edit]

Star Trek Into Darkness will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D on September 10, 2013.[98]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film earned $13.5 million on its opening day in the United States, lower than Star Trek's $30.9 million, this was likely due to the confusion caused by a last minute release date alteration.[citation needed] The film went on to earn $22 million the following Friday, also lower than what its predecessor had earned four years before ($26 million).[99] It earned $70.6 million in its opening weekend landing the top spot of the US box office above The Great Gatsby and Iron Man 3. Total weekend earnings equated to $84.1 million with the early showing grosses included. Though below the projected box office earnings predicted by Paramount, the studio's vice chairman Rob Moore stated that they were "extremely pleased" by the sequel's performance.[100] A few weeks after its release, the film had grossed $147 million at the foreign box office, already surpassing the lifetime international earnings of its predecessor. [101] The film also landed the top spot of China's box office with a $25.8 million gross, tripling the overall earnings of the previous film in just its opening weekend.[102] As of July 2013 the film has earned over $223 million in North America and $444 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

The film has received positive critical reception, with critics calling it a "rousing adventure"[103] and "a riveting action-adventure in space".[104] The film holds a 87% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 235 reviews with an average score of 7.5/10. The site's main consensus reads "Visually spectacular and suitably action packed, Star Trek Into Darkness is a rock-solid installment in the venerable sci-fi franchise, even if it's not as fresh as its predecessor."[105] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 72 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable", based on reviews from 43 critics.[106] It also garnered an average score of "A" from the market research firmCinemaScore.[107]
Cumberbatch's performance, in particular, drew praise from critics with Peter Travers of Rolling Stone magazine calling it a "tour de force to reckon with" and his character "a villain for the ages".[108] Joe Neumaier of the New York Daily News wrote that Cumberbatch delivered "one of the best blockbuster villains in recent memory".[109] Jonathan Romney of The Independent specifically noted Cumberbatch's voice saying it was "So sepulchrally resonant that it could have been synthesised from the combined timbres of Ian McKellenPatrick Stewart and Alan Rickman holding an elocution contest down a well".[110] The New York Times praised his screen presence saying "He fuses Byronic charisma with an impatient, imperious intelligence that seems to raise the ambient I.Q. whenever he’s on screen."[111]
Not all of reviews were positive, however, with The Independent saying that the film would "underwhelm even the Trekkies."[112]American film critic Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the movie one and a half stars out of a possible four and said it had a "limp plot" and the "special effects are surprisingly cheesy for a big-budget event movie."[113] A. O. Scott dismissed the film in The New York Times, writing, "It's uninspired hackwork, and the frequent appearance of blue lens flares does not make this movie any more of a personal statement."[111]

Controversies[edit]

The film received criticism regarding a scene which involved Alice Eve's character in her underwear; critics called it "wholly unnecessary" and "gratuitous".[114] Screenwriter and producer Damon Lindelof apologized for the scene via his Twitter account saying, "I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future".[115] Director Abrams, on his appearance on Conan addressed the matter by debuting a deleted scene of Benedict Cumberbatch's character taking a shower.[116]
Despite an acclaimed performance from Cumberbatch, Christian Blauvelt from website Hollywood.com criticized the casting of Khan inStar Trek Into Darkness as being "whitewashed into oblivion".[117] There have been similar accusations of whitewashing by fans[118]and American Sikhs [119] with Star Trek: Voyager actor Garrett Wang tweeting "The casting of Cumberbatch was a mistake on the part of the producers. I am not being critical of the actor or his talent, just the casting."[120] Through a comment on Trekmovie.com, co-producer and co-screenwriter Bob Orci addressed the issue of Khan Noonien Singh's casting saying, "Basically, as we went through the casting process and we began honing in on the themes of the movie, it became uncomfortable for me to support demonizing anyone of color, particularly any one of Middle Eastern descent or anyone evoking that. One of the points of the movie is that we must be careful about the villain within US, not some other race.

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