We can finally see what J.J. Abrams has been working on with Star Trek Into Darkness this weekend, but the opening we’ll see is not what the director originally had in mind.
When the prologue was being shown off to media several months ago, the two opening scenes were in a different order — then flipped back for the theatrical opening this weekend. So why the switcheroo?
Originally the film opened with a London-set scene, then cut to some action on a planet. But now those scenes have been reversed. According to writer Damon Lindelof, it was all a matter of pacing, and the needs of a teasing prologue are a lot different than the finished film.
Obviously, mild spoilers for the first several minutes of the film:
“I think there were two things going on. First off, as scripted, the movie does start with London and then goes to Nibiru. At the time that we did the IMAX opener, we’d already started talking about starting with Nibiru and then going to London just because it felt more engaging, energetic opening to have Kirk running out of that temple. But more importantly, we wanted to have the IMAX prologue end with some degree of a cliffhanger that was directly married to our crew, and so the options were that we could end on Benedict saying, ‘I can save your daughter.’ Or we could end on Kirk saying to Bones, ‘What would you do?’ and Bones saying, ‘He’d let you die.’
And then cutting those, Spock and the volcano about to get wiped out in a wave of lava. It was cooked, kind of a no-brainer to end it with Spock about to get wiped out by a wave of lava – it just felt better. But when you actually look at the movie and say, ‘What’s the best moment to basically cut to the Star Trek title card?’ It made a lot more sense to start with Nibiru."
Once you see the movie, let us know what you think. Is the theatrical cut a better flow, or would you rather those first two segments be reversed?