The first moving images from "Star Trek Into Darkness" premiered on Thursday night's episode of "Conan," courtesy of director J.J. Abrams. Those who blinked, however, were out of luck.
Abrams, who is in the midst of editing the "Star Trek" sequel right now, told host Conan O'Brien that he wanted to show a clip from the film during their interview. The problem? Paramount, the studio behind "Star Trek Into Darkness," wasn't as keen on the idea.
"Paramount is really unhappy with me at the idea of bringing anything," Abrams said. "I told them, 'I really wanted to do it.' And they said, 'It's got to be really short.' 'OK, I can bring one.' 'It can't be longer than three frames.'"
So, to keep his corporate bosses happy -- or perhaps for the sake of a funny bit -- Abrams premiered three frames from "Star Trek Into Darkness."
"This is a scene where Spock, who is one of the main characters, for reasons that you have to see the film to understand, is in a volcano," Abrams said in setting up the clip, which you can watch above at the 1:50 mark.
"People are going to freeze-frame this on the computer," O'Brien accurately predicted. (HuffPost Entertainment did; check out the image by clicking here.)
This isn't the first time Abrams has used stealth marketing to showcase something from "Star Trek Into Darkness." During the MTV Movie Awards in June, the notoriously secretive director -- who was shown in the editing bay of the "Star Trek" sequel -- unveiled a still frame of a Klingon. HitFix's Drew McWeeny later confirmed that the shot was indeed of the infamous "Star Trek" baddie, though whether Klingons will appear in "Star Trek Into Darkness" is unclear.
Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, Karl Urban, John Cho and Benedict Cumberbatch, "Star Trek Into Darkness" is out on May 17, 2013. Watch Abrams' chat with Conan above.
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