Paramount Pictures thinks it's time Star Trek enters the 3-D age. Even if 3-D becomes a non-starter by 2013.
The studio has pegged May 17, 2013 as the release date for its sequel to 2009's "Star Trek," creating what will now be a four-year gap between the two films. It's the longest wait Trekkies have had to endure since the seven years between "Star Trek: Nemesis" and J.J. Abrams' reboot.
Although Paramount didn't particularly say why it chose May, but it's likely that the success of the 2009 film -- which became the highest-grossing Star Trek film of all time -- might have helped. Also, May 2013 seemed the most likely after production was announced to start in January (months behind original projections), and the decision by Columbia Pictures to move the Roland Emmerich film "Singularity" out of May.
Abrams will, however, shoot the film in 3-D. While many thought that such a move was unlikely, Abrams himself refused to dismiss it, saying that he would indeed consider 3-D if it made sense for the story and the film.
The problem is that 3-D films have not been doing too well at the box office lately. Even "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2," struggled in drawing audiences to 3-D, suggesting to some that the trend there may be waning.
"Star Trek 2" will now fit right between "Iron Man 3" and "Pacific Rim," the latter film from Guillermo del Toro, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film was originally set to premiere June 29, 2012, but when Abrams got busy with "Super 8," and the script was still in the works, the idea of hitting that date was quickly abandoned.
In fact, The Hollywood Reporter says Paramount has hopes that the next version of Star Trek will do even better than the 2009 edition, which brought in $386 million worldwide. The studio is looking at what Warner Bros. did with Batman, getting a strong opening with "Batman Begins," but then following it up with one of the highest-grossing films of all time with "The Dark Knight."
However, does Star Trek have the punch Batman does? And fans can't forget that "The Dark Knight" was also partially affected by the sad and untimely death of one of its stars, Heath Ledger.
There is still no official word on whether Benicio del Toro will join the cast as the main big bad for "Star Trek 2." But Abrams has confirmed that there is interest in bringing him aboard.
"Well, we're just in negotiations, we're in discussion," Abrams recently told MTV. "It's not even negotiations -- just in discussion. But I would love to work with him. I've wanted to work with him for years, and this felt like a good opportunity."
So who would del Toro play?
"It's too early to talk about what the role is, but he's such an amazing actor," Abrams said. "He's so versatile. He could sort of do anything ... except play Uhura. I wouldn't buy that."
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