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Austin, TX Fans Get Surprise Showing of Star Trek Movie [UPDATE 2: First Reviews In]

Tonight Paramount pulled off one of the coolest stunts in fan history. Promoted as just a 10 minute preview of the new Star Trek to show along with The Wrath of Khan, tonight fans in Austin, TX were actually shown the entire new Star Trek movie. The event included surprise guests, including the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy. [UPDATE: A number of reviews are already in – we have a summary of those below]

 

Surprise!
According to our man on the scene, the evening started off normally at the Fantastic Fest Star Trek event at the Alamo Draughthouse Theater in Austin, Texas on Monday night. Star Trek filmmakers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof kicked things off by telling the crowd of around 200, that they would be seeing the Star Trek preview after Wrath of Khan. Two minutes in to the showing of TWOK, the film appeared to have ‘melted’ and the guys came back out on the stage and appeared to be stalling for time while the film was fixed…and then, wearing a ball cap, Leonard Nimoy came out in front of the audience holding a film can.

Nimoy noted to the crowd that it just didn’t seem fair that people in Australia were the fist to see the film and asked them "wouldn’t you rather see the new movie?" And apparently the crowd went wild. After that they showed the entire new Star Trek movie. Nimoy stayed for the entire event as did Orci, Kurtzman and Lindelof.

According to a friend who called in to TrekMovie after the event, the audience reaction was very positive. There were "genuine laughs" at the jokes and "quiet moments" with the serious character stuff. And apparently the crowd applauded at the introduction to each character. The film ended with a standing ovation.


(l-r), Nimoy, OrciKurtzman, & Lindelof on stage in Austin (David Hilton)
[UPDATE: Click for new photos and video]

UPDATE: Review Tweets
Insta-reviews are starting to come up on Twitter, here are a few notables (some strong language used):

holy fuck! the new Star Trek fucking rules the universe
Harry Knowles, AICN

ust got super secret clearance to tell you that yes, I saw JJ’s Star Trek. And I was blown away. it is super accessible, in the right ways. Fans at my screening also dug it, so that bodes well.
Niel Miller, FilmSchoolRejects

Yeah, that Star Trek 2 screening turned out to be the premiere of JJ Abram’s Star Trek. Seriously, I cannot believe how good it was.
Rodney Perkins, Film, esq.

The cast is superb, the story is compelling, the action is exciting, and Abrams even avoids any blatant cheesy “winks” about his reboot. If Star Trek is the bluebird of the summer movie season, then we are in for a great ride.
Johnny Rollerfeet

UPDATE 2: First Reviews – very positive
The first reviews from Austin are already out on a number of geeky/film websites. Below are summary paragraphs from each. Click links for full reviews but beware of spoilers (nothing too major).

Quinto AintItCoolNews:

STAR TREK isn’t just a successful reboot, but a genuinely fun and exciting science fiction action adventure. My biggest complaint is that it feels like they just got started up when the film ended. I want more! I want to see the further adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew aboard the USS Enterprise.

Neil at Film School Rejects :

The overwhelming sentiment that I have about this film is that J.J. Abrams, with the help of a few incredibly talented people, has created a very accessible, fun Star Trek film that is perfect for a new generation of sci-fi fans. Sure, it plays to the fan base a little bit, but its real strength is in the fact that it is delivered with a ton of energy, it presents a story that is easily grasped by fans and newbies alike and is a big, kick-ass ride. My hope is not only that this sort of film will inspire young people to go out and check out some of the older Trek movies and series, but that it also helps usher in a new era of space science fiction filmmaking.

Josh Tyler at Cinemabland:

The runtime flies by with very few lulls in the pacing, reinvigorating characters and a universe that had, lets be honest, grown stale and tired. More than anything else, the movie just feels so much more fun than any previous entry. There’s more humor, more thrills, far more energy and a much better movie here than anything I’ve seen from Star Trek since the 80’s. I admit I was skeptical- I was not prepared to care about this universe and these characters again, after the crushing mediocrity that they had become. I can be skeptical no more, though. This is a fantastic movie it’s own right, one I would definitely recommend to Trekkie and new fan alike.

Devin Faraci at CHUD

Tonight Paramount pulled off one of the coolest stunts in fan history. Promoted as just a 10 minute preview of the new Star Trek to show along with The Wrath of Khan, tonight fans in Austin, TX were actually shown the entire new Star Trek movie (hours ahead of the gala world premiere in Sydney, Australia). The event included surprise guests, including the original Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy.

UPDATE 3: Photos and Videos
TrekMovie has a new article with video and photos from the event

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
the governator
April 6, 2009 10:37 pm

Damn! I missed it! NOOOOO! If only I had known.

I will give Paramount this: they just pulled the biggest surprise in movie history, or hell, the history of the entire planet!

Chumban
April 6, 2009 10:37 pm

First

johnny
April 6, 2009 10:37 pm

damnit, why does canada not get this kind of treatment

Chumban
April 6, 2009 10:38 pm

Almost First

David
April 6, 2009 10:38 pm

Damn I was thinking of going

markg1701
April 6, 2009 10:38 pm

I think it’s really great that they pulled this stunt off and given that it is the country that it was created in it seems fair that the US would be given the premiere.

However it seems a bit dishonest to deceive the people going to the Opera House tonight like myself. I think it will take away some of the premiere feel from it in some way.

Regardless I can’t wait.

April 6, 2009 10:38 pm

Get off the internet everyone, the spoilers will probably start spreading within the hour.

paustin
April 6, 2009 10:38 pm

wow what a thrill

Sogh Ho'neH jorDe' taI-VamPyr
April 6, 2009 10:40 pm

Who went just to see the Sneek Peak?

April 6, 2009 10:41 pm

Oh wow, lucky Texans!

Voltaire
April 6, 2009 10:42 pm

Holy crap.

SChaos1701
April 6, 2009 10:42 pm

6

Dude…if you got to see the film so soon….you have NO right to complain.

the governator
April 6, 2009 10:42 pm

Anyone seen it yet? Seems like half the world already. Anyone? Anyone? Spoil me to death!

OneBuckFilms
April 6, 2009 10:42 pm

Holy COW !!!!

That’s quite a stunt for them to pull !!!!

Well, it’s out there. It’s been seen in it’s complete form.

Mark this date.

Paul
April 6, 2009 10:43 pm

I wonder if there was at least one person annoyed because of interruption of The Wrath of Khan. :o)

But, for future reference: which date counts as “release date” then? Texas date? Australia date? Or next month date?

Devon
April 6, 2009 10:43 pm

Pardon my french… but HOLY CRAP!

Bill Peters
April 6, 2009 10:44 pm

Those Guys in TX had all the luck! Wow wish I was in Texas!

SChaos1701
April 6, 2009 10:44 pm

Actually….the people pissed in Australia…tough! It should have been premiered in the US in the first place.

Dan
April 6, 2009 10:44 pm

Man, that’s so cool.

OneBuckFilms
April 6, 2009 10:45 pm

This shows that this is indeed for the fans.

April 6, 2009 10:46 pm

Getting small snippets of reviews. “Incredible” “Blown Away” “Awesome” From Filmschoolrejects and a couple of twitters.

the governator
April 6, 2009 10:46 pm

I am in a complete state of utter shock. I feel like i’ve been injected with razor needles. I am baffled beyond belief. (and a bit pissed too)

Navy
April 6, 2009 10:46 pm

Well when are the reviews going to start showing up? I want all the juicy spoilers I can get!!!

April 6, 2009 10:47 pm

Wow to cool! Well looks like we had the premiere here anyway. It’s like winning the Star Trek lottery

Paul
April 6, 2009 10:47 pm

As an Okie, this moment is the first time i ever regretted being born in the Sooner State instead of our neighbors to the south congrats to yall

April 6, 2009 10:47 pm

“fist to see the film?”

Harry Ballz
April 6, 2009 10:48 pm

“after the event, the audience reaction was positive”

A crowd who loves Star Trek comes out to watch TWOK and, being treated to the world premiere of the new movie, the general reaction is “positive”? That’s it? After all this waiting and speculation, this is the initial review?

When Nimoy asked, “wouldn’t you rather see the new movie?”, the “crowd went wild”!!!

If you told me the crowd went wild AFTER seeing the movie, that would be good. To hear that the crowd feedback after seeing the movie was “positive”…..how underwhelming!!

We may be in trouble, folks!

Navy
April 6, 2009 10:50 pm

#27 You’ve never been impressed near speachless in your life?

Harry Ballz
April 6, 2009 10:52 pm

#28

That’s not the way they’re reporting it!

World premiere?? We should be hearing that the crowd went NUTS!

the governator
April 6, 2009 10:52 pm

# 27. Don’t get your pants in such a wad! You’re ruining the moment! Positive is better than negative, my friend!

Newman
April 6, 2009 10:53 pm

That is awesome!!!

Ryan H
April 6, 2009 10:55 pm

#27 – The guy was probably shaken from the shock while typing into his phone. Relax.

garen
April 6, 2009 10:55 pm

“According to a friend who called in to TrekMovie after the event, the audience reaction was positive. There were “genuine laughs” at the jokes and “quiet moments” with the serious character stuff. And apparently the crowd applauded at the introduction to each character.”

#27 you share my thoughts. That small paragraph lacked luster. This isnt exactly a whole hearted outpouring of joy and fantasticness! for the first time……i’m worried.

not even a “VERY positive”?

Odradek
April 6, 2009 10:56 pm

27

I thought the same thing

JoBlo
April 6, 2009 10:57 pm

Why?

Seems silly. They kept this thing under such tight wraps for such a long time and now they just show the whole thing a month early. Might as well have released it at Christmas — I don’t get that at all.

Devon
April 6, 2009 10:57 pm

We have people now dicecting one man’s wording and phrasing of the word “positive” to turn it into something negative. Sad… or should I say “So very sad.”

the governator
April 6, 2009 10:57 pm

Hey guys, chill. Lets wait for official reviews before we start making assumptions ok?

Harry Ballz
April 6, 2009 10:57 pm

#33

Notice they say, “the crowd applauded at the introduction to each character”, but NO mention of any applause when the movie ended?

Uh, oh……….

Zotz
April 6, 2009 10:58 pm

Waaaaaaay cool. BTW, tickets to the first midnight showing at Cinetopia in Vancouver, WA (an awesome HD theater) just went on sale tonight. I got my two. :-)

Navy
April 6, 2009 10:58 pm

Human nature is present everywhere yet we are so blind to it.

OneBuckFilms
April 6, 2009 10:58 pm

33, 27 – We were not there. Anthony is probably not going overboard with hyperbole.

Lets see what comes out of this when the smoke clears :-)

Ashley
April 6, 2009 10:59 pm

:O

Ryan H
April 6, 2009 10:59 pm

#35 Word of mouth is one of the best, if not the best, forms of advertising. They now have a select group of people who have seen it and can spread the word.

DJT
April 6, 2009 10:59 pm

WHAT THE *********????!!!

The whole movie?? Are you kidding me?

Mutha.

Son of a.

Explicative, explicative etc, etc, et al.

Lucky bastards.

Jay
April 6, 2009 11:00 pm

#35.
I agree.
While I think this was kind of a cool stunt, I’ve been excited and impressed with how much they’ve kept the details under wraps. Now the entire world is going to know…

How am I going to stay spoiler free for a friggin month???!!!

garen
April 6, 2009 11:00 pm

anybody wanna link us to the other reviews/reactions from twitter or where ever. i need to read something!

cagmar
April 6, 2009 11:01 pm

#27 and co,

Seems like the reviews are actually incredibly positive. These are just a couple words, NO SPOILERS, on people’s immediate reactions to ST on Twitter:

http://www.slashfilm.com/2009/04/06/early-twitter-buzz-star-trek-has-secret-premiere-in-austin-texas/

the governator
April 6, 2009 11:01 pm

Trying to stay spoiler free for a month is going to be impossible. I’ll deal with it.

garen
April 6, 2009 11:02 pm

thanks #47

April 6, 2009 11:02 pm

#18: “Actually….the people pissed in Australia…tough! It should have been premiered in the US in the first place.”

Gee, now just tell me why would we be more deserving than the Aussies to see the film first?

C’mon, let’s not be so “me” centric. Let’s show some consideration to our Australian brethren, please.

A lot of American movies have been saved by the box office receipts off of American shores, so why not release a film “out there” first?

We’ll get our chance soon enough (in 4 weeks, 3 days).

wpDiscuz