By Thuy Ong
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Hundreds of fans screamed and waved as the cast of "Star Trek: Into Darkness" beamed into Sydney on Tuesday with the crew of the starship Enterprise returning to space in the world premiere of one of the season's most anticipated movies.
Fans swarmed the red carpet in central Sydney for a glimpse of Chris Pine and co-star Zachary Quinto, who play Captain James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock in the sequel to J.J. Abrams's highly acclaimed reboot of the famous franchise.
"It's a lot of fun. I love Kirk," said Pine, reprising his role as the suave captain in the film, which is due for worldwide release on May 17.
"Kirk's a man of passion who's ruled by his heart. He'll go from crying to laughing to yelling to loving, and I just love his passion."
"Into Darkness" follows the crew of the Enterprise starship as they return to an Earth left in chaos, with Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew, including Zoe Soldana as Nyota Uhura, setting out to capture those responsible.
The classic sci-fi drama, which began almost half a century ago, has spawned six television series and 11 blockbuster films that have racked up more than a $1 billion, according to the website Box Office Mojo.
That's a history that the actors said added to the fun.
"I used to watch Star Trek reruns as a kid. I always enjoyed it," said Karl Urban, who plays Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Kirk's ironic foil. "It's kind of surreal to be a part of this amazing re-adventure."
Abrams, who revamped the franchise in 2009 with "Star Trek" and is also slated to produce the next "Star Wars" movie, confessed that he had never been a Star Trek fan but used the word "surreal" as well to describe the experience of working with the same stars on the same sets.
"But I think this movie goes further. It's much bigger and much more of an adventure than the last one, and it's a thrill to get to do it."
Asked about "Star Wars," he said only, "So far, so good. It's still very early days yet."
Hundreds of fans lined up for hours in front of a multi-screen cinema in the city centre, some carrying DVDs, posters and photos for which they sought autographs, shouting and screaming as the stars drew near.
"I've watched Star Trek since I was very young with my grandfather. We used to watch it, the old series," said Lex, an IT employee in his early 20s who wore a classic Kirk tunic from the original TV series and was the only person in costume.
"The rebooted franchise is really good... I think it's opened up a whole new audience."
To date, 11 Star Trek movie installments have grossed more than $1 billion in the United States since 1979, including $256 million from Abrams's 2009 film.
(Reporting By Thuy Ong, writing by Elaine Lies, editing by)