The Final Frontier is a dark one.
The highly anticipated sequel to J.J. Abrams' 2009 smash Star Trek reboot will reportedly be called "Star Trek Into Darkness."
Per ComingSoon.net, the studio registered the domains startrekintodarkness.com and startrekintodarknessmovie.com in recent weeks, though the sites have nothing up as of press time.
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A rep for Paramount has yet to confirm the title.
As Trekkies will note, this title if confirmed would be unique in the franchise in that it boldly does away with a number, colon and subtitle that defined the early movies featuring William Shatner and company--like "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan," "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" -- and the later "Next Generation"-era entries such as "Star Trek: First Contact," "Star Trek: Insurrection," and "Star Trek: Nemesis."
According to TrekMovie.com, the villain of "STID," played by "Sherlock Holmes" star Benedict Cumberbatch, is an updated version of warlord Khan Noonien Singh, the role Ricardo Montalban made famous in the original series and later in "Star Trek II." However, cast member Simon Pegg, who plays Montgomery "Scotty" Scott, quashed that idea in an interview with London's Daily Telegraph in May while Karl Urban, aka Leonard "Bones" McCoy, suggested to SFX that the baddie is really Starfleet officer Gary Mitchell, who Kirk faced off against in another classic TV episode.
For his part, when asked about the speculation surrounding his character, Cumberbatch addressed the rumors, albeit obliquely, in an interview with shortlist.com.
"Yep, it's yet another thing I can't talk about," the actor said, laughing. "I'll tell you this, it's iconic and it's exciting. I'm bored of denying that it's Khan now, because people keep saying it."
However given the director and scribe Damon Lindelof's admitted admiration for Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, it wouldn't be totally out of the realm of possibility if Khan turned up (not to mention Leonard Nimoy coming back as Spock Prime).
In the DVD commentary for 2009's "Star Trek," the filmmakers said that they had considered including a teaser shot at the end of the credits showing Khan's starship, Botany Bay. And as the Trek fan site pointed out, featuring Kirk's nemesis in the second of the Abrams-era adventures would be similar to what Nolan did by having The Joker take center stage in 2008's mega-hit "The Dark Knight."
And the new moniker, "Star Trek Into Darkness," certainly hints at the crew of the Enterprise staring down something menacing. The movie is slated to beam into theaters on May 17, 2013.