CinemaCon: Paramount Previews Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z

Paramount Pictures launched CinemaCon’s opening night festivities with a montage preview of their upcoming slate and two extended looks at the forthcoming Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z.

Some projects in the montage, like Transformers 4, Interstellar and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, offered only logos, although the appearance of the latter seems to fully confirm that the title will include both “teenage” and “mutant.”

Brief shots were showcased from Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Jason Reitman’s Labor Day and Alexander Payne’s black-and-white Nebraska before the footage switched over to a message from Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy, teasing Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (the title for which now seems to include the numeral).

“Hey America,” Burgundy says, “Did you miss my hot breath in your ear? It’s time to do it again, but this time I’m on top.”

Damon Lindelof then welcomed Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Alice Eve and John Cho to the stage to introduce 18 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness, the first half of which was the previously-revealed IMAX prologue, screened at select theaters last December. (If you missed it, check out our writeup here). There have been a few alternations since then, most notably the removal of the Noel Clarke and Kayla Hassan Earthbound hospital scene that introduces Benedict Cumberbatch’s John Harrison.

The footage continued slightly beyond what was shown in the prologue version and we see the Enterprise rise from the water of Nibiru so that it can position itself above the volcano and beam out Mr. Spock. He’s met on the transporter pad by Kirk and McCoy and, while everyone else is relieved that he has survived, Spock sternly reminds Kirk that, by letting the Nibiru people see the Enterprise, he’s broken the Prime Directive. Kirk tells him that everything’s fine, but we cut to the planet where the Nibiru villagers have already drawn the starship in the sand and have begun to pray to it.

Jumping ahead what one assumes is quite a bit, we’re on the Enterprise and Harrison is being held in sickbay. Kirk comes to him and says that he needs his help. Harrison sneers and asks what Kirk could possibly offer him.

“You said you’d do anything for your crew,” Kirk says, though it’s unclear exactly what crew he’s referring to. “I can promise they’ll be safe.”

“Captain,” Harrison smiles. “You can’t even guarantee the safety of your own crew.”

Still, Harrison agrees to go along with Kirk’s plan. It seems that the Enterprise is left recuperating from a fight with another Dreadnought-class Starfleet vessel. It’s noted that whatever ship this is, it’s specifically built for combat. It and the Enterprise are rushing to repair themselves a la “Balance of Terror” and it’s noted that the Dreadnought ship will have weapons back online soon.

Scotty, for some reason, is already over on the Dreadnought ship, keeping hidden. The plan is for Kirk and Harrison to eject themselves from a trash chute on the Enterprise, shoot through space debris and then have Scotty open an airlock just as they arrive at the other ship.

“That’s like jumping from a moving car and trying to land in a shotglass,” Scotty whispers into his communicator, not wanting to be overheard by whoever is in control of the other ship. He also refers to Harrison as “whoever you are,” making it appear that whatever the true identity of Cumberbatch’s character is, we’re not going to learn it early on and that the mystery will even play as a minor joke within the film.

Kirk and Harrison wind up shooting out across the debris field, but Kirk’s spacesuit it his by wreckage and his faceplate begins to crack. Scotty, meanwhile, is apprehended by a massive security guard (a hugely muscular Starfleet officer) who demands to know what he’s doing. Scotty tries to stall, but ultimately just apologizes to the guard, blasting open the hatch and sucking the guard into space just as Kirk and Harrison enter and skid across the airlock floor.

Brad Pitt then took to the stage, shifting the focus over to to World War Z. About 15 minutes of footage was screened and, although most of it was previewed last month, the presentation ended with a brand new scene teased in the trailer.

In it, Pitt’s Gerry Lane is on board a jet, surrounded by fleeing survivors. Whatever just happened, all seems calm now except for a small dog that won’t stop barking. It gets out of its seat and moves to the back of the plane. There, a stewardess approaches it and tries to calm it down. Suddenly, the bathroom door opens and a zombie leaps out, attacking the stewardess.

Lane overhears something happening in the back half of the plane and, by the time he takes a look, the entire section has broken out into chaos. Lane and the other passengers begin to stack luggage in the aisle, hoping to keep out the zombies, but it doesn’t do much good. They’re coming through.

A female soldier is armed and begins to shoot at the zombies. Pitt sees that she’s got a grenade on her belt and grabs it. He hesitates for a second but, seeing no alternative, throws it to the back of the plane. It explodes and the plane is torn apart, sucking out zombies and other passengers as the plane goes down.

Star Trek Into Darkness will hit IMAX 3D theaters on May 15, arriving everywhere May 17. World War Z, meanwhile, hits 3D and 2D theaters June 21.