Millions of fans got an early taste of director J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness when the nine-minute preview screened in select IMAX theaters before The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this past December. A fan identified as "Daniel," who has been battling two forms of cancer for the past three years, got an even bigger surprise when J.J. Abrams granted an amazing wish, to screen the entire film, an unfinished cut of the sequel, to the terminally ill man.
Daniel was disappointed when the preview was not screened at his local theater. Sadly, soon thereafter, Daniel was given just two weeks to live. The man's friends sprung into action, creating a Reddit thread on Christmas Day. Just days later, J.J. Abrams himself responded, organizing a special screening for Daniel and his wife to watch an early cut of his highly-anticipated sequel.
Here's what Daniel's wife had to say to those who helped this happen.
"Hi everyone, it's Daniel's wife, we are of course sworn to secrecy, BUT we are officially allowed to say we saw it and we enjoyed it IMMENSELY as a film and as a gesture.... However; Daniel 'hates' being an 'inspiring cancer story'. We his friends and loved ones would prefer for the update to have more of a heartfelt message of giving, especially during this season: This is a story of us giving something to him, the 'internet' community giving something to him and ultimately being a heartwarming gift to our friends, family and so many others. This story of us (and of course J.J. Abrams & Bad Robot) being able to give this surprise gift of a screening to a huge movie buff like Daniel, especially a film made by a filmmaker who obviously makes movies with such care, with a fan like Daniel in mind (and a person like me who knows slightly less about these things).
Also, it was truely amazing that a filmmaker so secretive as J.J. Abrams was kind enough to show this to us.
It is also so wonderful for his friends & his family to finally hear some good news from us, they know how important film is to Daniel & could not think of a better way to please him. So this gesture really has brought a lot of smiles all around.
It was a wonderful thing to see with Daniel and a wonderful thing to see Daniel enjoy - Making someone as ill as he is smile for any length of time really makes a difference. (At this point making me smile is good too)
This is also so poignant as J.J. Abrams took so much care in the first Star Trek movie to at least TRY to get everything 'right' for the fans and we were so touched when he was concerned that we wouldn't 100% enjoy the screening as it's still being worked on....... Be assured we enjoyed it 110%!
We are so grateful thank you, thank you, thank you....."
The film was screened on December 29th. Neither Paramount nor J.J. Abrams has commented on their generous act of kindness.