It seems like the release of the blockbuster trailers has now become a two-stage process, because it generates twice the conversation on sites like ours and twice the opportunities for people to become aware of the upcoming film.

Tonight, Paramount is releasing an "announcement video" to tell you that on December 17th, there will be a teaser trailer for the film.  That's exactly five months before the opening of the film, and seems like a perfect date to kick things off.

At least we're finally seeing footage.  This coming week, I'll see the nine-minute presentation that will be in front of "The Hobbit," and I'm also doing some other press event stuff that should answer a whole lot of the questions I have about what this film will cover and who Benedict Cumberbatch plays and all sorts of things.  But for now, this 60 seconds of "Star Trek Into Darkness" will be heavily scrutinized and discussed and debated, and Paramount will indeed get to dominate the conversation on Thursday even without putting out the full trailer.

UPDATE:  I'm putting a short piece at the end of this based on the Japanese language version of the trailer which is also available today, and for those of you who are spoiler-adverse, please be warned.  I don't know anything about the new film for sure, but there's an image there that is pretty hard to miss, and it's worth a little bit of discussion.

So what do we get to see today?  Take a look in the video updated at the top of this post.

Okay... for a teaser to a teaser, that's actually pretty good.  Still no idea who Cumberbatch is playing, although "I will have my vengeance" sorta sounds like something Khan would say.  There's a sense that the scale is much bigger this time, and some great imagery like the Enterprise evidently coming out of the ocean at one point.  I like that we see some alien landscapes, and I hope that even if this is very serious and dangerous, there's still a sense of humor like in the first film.  They got that right, and they made it fun, and so many blockbusters take themselves so seriously these days that I want "Star Trek" to stay fun.

UPDATE CONTINUED:  Okay, so the Japanese language trailer is basically identical, but at the very end of it, there's a little bit more footage, and there's one image in particular that would seem to strongly STRONGLY hint that (A) this is Khan and (B) there's a similar ending to this film.

 

That can't be what they've got planned, though, right?  There's no way JJ would tip his hand this early if it really is the end of the movie, and if it's not, then he's just playing fans, and I'm excited to see what this really refers to.

Either way, based on this first glimpse, I am confident they know what they're doing and that we'll be wowed come May, but tell me what you thought.  If you're a hardcore "Trek" fan, does this inspire you?

You can "Star Trek Into Darkness" on May 17, 2013.