Over the summer TrekMovie reported that Paramount was testing multiple titles for JJ Abrams’ new Star Trek film. Obviously "Star Trek Into Darkness" was eventually chosen, but the new Russian Star Trek teaser poster had lead to a discovery that "Star Trek: Vengeance" was one of the other tested titles, and apparently the Russians (and only the Russians) decided to use it.
Into Darkness Becomes "Vengeance" In Russia – Was Tested Title
When a movie is released globally there are usually some variances with the title in some markets and Star Trek Into Darkness is no different. Many markets, including some non-English speaking markets, are still using "Star Trek Into Darkness" while others are using translations (or approximations) of the title. However, in Russia it is a different story. While they haven’t yet launched the official Russian website, there is a Russian version of the new teaser poster on the official Russian Facebook page.
Russian teaser poster for "Star Trek Into Darkness"
This poster is using the title "Стартрек: Возмездие." This actually translates into "Star Trek: Vengeance." And TrekMovie’s Russian language experts note that "Возмездие" isn’t just a local variation on "Darkness" or "Into Darkness." And there are apparently no issues with translating "Into Darkness" into Russian, which can be done (directly) as "Звездный Путь во Тьму" or possibly "Звездный Путь: Полет во тьму" ("Flight into Darkness").
"Star Trek: Vengeance" (Russia’s title for "Into Darkness")
TrekMovie contacted Central Partnership, the local distributor for Paramount films in Russia, who confirmed "Стартрек: Возмездие" (or "Star Trek: Vengeance") is the final title being used in Russia. When asked to explain why they weren’t using a translation of "Into Darkness," the spokesperson told us…
"All we can say, is that our title will make perfect sense, when you’ll see the movie."
– Spokesperson for Russian distributor for Star Trek Into Darkness
Digging deeper TrekMovie has linked this title variation to our earlier reporting that Paramount had tested a short list of possible titles over the summer. TrekMovie has now confirmed that "Star Trek: Vengeance" was one of those titles that was tested both domestically and in foreign markets. So "Star Trek Into Darkness" might have been "Star Trek: Vengeance." Of course one problem with that title was the team’s attempts to find a title that didn’t have a colon in it, which may have got "Vengeance" vetoed, at least for everywhere except Russia.
The implication is that "vengeance" is one of the big themes of this new Star Trek movie. The question is: who is seeking vengeance and for what and against whom? We may learn more on Thursday when the first Star Trek Into Darkness (or Star Trek: Vengeance for our Russian readers) hits theaters.
"Star Trek" to "Звездный Путь" to "Стартрек"
Another interesting side note on the Russian title is how they are treating "Star Trek.” The word "Стартрек" has no meaning in Russian, it’s just a transliteration (English words presented by Russian letters) of "StarTrek". In the past all official translations of "Star Trek" (including the 2009 Star Trek movie) used "Звездный Путь", which translates as "a road to the stars" or "a road in the stars."
Russian poster for 2009 "Star Trek" film
(the text under the title is translation of tagline "The Future Begins")
There is also an interesting historical note for the title. This new Star Trek movie is only the second to be distributed in theaters in Russia, with 2009’s Star Trek being the first. The previous film in the franchise ("Star Trek: Nemesis") was only distributed on home video (as were previous films). But notably Nemesis was sold under the name "Звездный Путь: Возмездие," which translates as "Road to the Stars: (Star Trek): Vengeance." Our Russian expert Oleg Ryzhikov explains that there really isn’t a word for "Nemesis" in Russian. It is just a coincidence, but interesting none the less.
Oleg Ryzhikov contributed to this report (thanks!)