Here's how to watch 9 minutes of Star Trek Into Darkness next month

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek sequel has been shrouded in mystery ever since going into production earlier this year, but audiences will get their first look at the movie in just over five weeks.

Paramount Pictures has announced that the first nine minutes from the sequel, which is titled Star Trek Into Darkness, will be shown in IMAX 3D at approximately 500 digital IMAX 3D theaters starting on Dec. 14.

That happens to be the same day that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in IMAX 3D (among other formats), so it's not much of a leap to assume that the exclusive Trek preview will play in front of Peter Jackson's new Middle-earth epic.

Of course, what we'll actually see in those nine minutes will no doubt remain a secret until that date. But IMAX chairman Greg Foster said, "Our longtime partners J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and the Bad Robot team have really hit it out of the park—the footage is absolutely incredible. Their use of the IMAX camera and canvas is sure to impress current and future Star Trek fans alike, and we're thrilled to once again work with our friends at Paramount Pictures to offer this extended 'first look' at this highly anticipated summer blockbuster."

A number of scenes in Star Trek Into Darkness were filmed with IMAX cameras, and moviegoers watching the film in IMAX theatres will experience those sequences expanding to fill the massive IMAX screen, similar to the way Christopher Nolan used the format in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Star Trek Into Darkness is directed by Abrams, written by Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and produced by all those guys plus Bryan Burk, with the first movie's crew all returning and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) on board as the villain. The movie opens on May 17, 2013, which still gives them plenty of time to change that title ...

Will you go see The Hobbit in IMAX 3D to catch the Star Trek Into Darkness preview? Or can you wait until next May?

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