Star Trek was originally supposed to hit screens this Christmas, but Paramount pushed the release date to May 8, 2009, believing the movie could make more money next summer. The studio also needed more time to rehab Trek's image. ''We felt we really need to get out there and educate people that this is a whole new franchise,'' says Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore. After Abrams wraps postproduction, Paramount will send him on an international PR tour, screening clips of the film for European audiences.
Is the world ready again for Trek's optimistic vision of the future? Some involved with the film suspect the presidential election may have a dramatic effect on how Star Trek will be perceived. ''This is a franchise that offers hope for unity and so does Barack Obama,'' says Quinto, who has stumped for the Democratic presidential nominee. ''When this movie comes out, and Obama is president, hopefully there will be some parallels.'' Perhaps, but the elder Spock knows that moments of unity can be fleeting. ''My only regret is that the movie can't come out sooner,'' Nimoy says. ''I think the world could use it. Don't you?''
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