There seems to be an almost confirmed name for the next film to feature Capt. Kirk and his crew of the USS Enterprise: “Star Trek: Into Darkness.”
The name, which leaked out just as Star Trek as a franchise was celebrating its 46th anniversary, has not been acknowledged by director J.J. Abrams or Paramount Pictures. But it seems everyone reporting it solidly believes this will be the final name of the film, which to this point has been only known as “Star Trek 2.”
Now speculation begins in earnest in what the name means. Previous Star Trek films have had secondary names as well, but their inclusion was much more obvious. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” obviously featured Ricardo Montalban’s Khan giving his wrath. “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” reportedly was about people looking for Leonard Nimoy’s Spock.
Later films, especially those involving the crew of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” became a little less obvious with “Star Trek: First Contact” (referring to the first contact between humans and Vulcans), “Star Trek: Insurrection” and later “Star Trek: Nemesis.” Those films also dropped the numbering system that ended with 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”
The most recent film, which rebooted the franchise, was simply called “Star Trek,” although it would technically be “Star Trek XI.” The upcoming film, starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, would technically be “Star Trek XII,” although it was never planning to reference its number.
“The Undiscovered Country” was probably one of the least obvious of the original Star Trek films. That name came from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” a play that the Christopher Plummer villain quoted quite a bit in the film.
There seems to be no obvious connection with “Into Darkness,” nor does it provide any clues on who the villain might be. Most recent speculation of the character played by “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch is Gary Mitchell, a character played by Gary Lockwood in the second “Star Trek” pilot. However, those involved with the film have come out to deny that Cumberbatch is playing Lockwood, and have provided no other specifics.
“Dark” is a popular theme with Star Trek, however. The Star Trek wiki site, Memory Alpha, the word has been used in four television episode titles. They include “Devil in the Dark” from the original series, “The Darkness and the Light” from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Dark Page” from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Dark Frontier” from “Star Trek: Voyager.”
Although it’s not official yet, we’ll just call is “Star Trek: Into Darkness” for now, and tell you it’s still set to premiere May 17. Joining Pine, Quinto and Cumberbatch are Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg and Anton Yelchin. The screenplay was written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof.
The reboot in 2009 grossed $257.7 million domestically, and added $128 million worldwide.