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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.


New Star Trek Into Darkness Photo Names Benedict Cumberbatch’s Character

Those watching Star Trek Into Darkness closely for any information have focused intently on the identity of Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch‘s character. It’s clear he is the villain, but precisely who he is has wavered back and forth, from the infamous Khan of the first second Star Trek movie (okay, that only hurt a little to type), to Gary Mitchell, a telepath and antagonist of TOS episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Gary Mitchell seemed like a safe bet after Karl Urban accidentally called Cumberbatch’s character ‘Gary,’ though producer and writer Roberto Orci later denied that Cumberbatch is Mitchell, while confirming that he is a previously established Star Trek character.

After certain scenes in the Japanese teaser trailer released last week, however, evidence seemed to point to Khan. Now, Paramount has released a press photo labeling Cumberbatch and his character name, and it’s not one that anybody recognizes.

According to Paramount, this is:

“(Left to right) Zachary Quinto is Spock, Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison and Chris Pine is Kirk in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.

While I’ll admit my Star Trek knowledge isn’t encyclopedic, John Harrison isn’t the name of any character on the Star Trek wiki (although it is the surname of one particularly well known extra’s character). So if you asked me, if this name isn’t a mistake of some sort, or a deliberate piece of misdirection, it’s most likely a name that Cumberbatch’s character has assumed.

So… we still don’t know who he is, or, as some fear, whether he is a white actor cast as a character of canonically Indian descent.

On the other hand, the crew of the Enterprise hasn’t seen The Avengers and has not yet learned their lesson that placing the villain inside a terrarium doesn’t work out well for anyone.

(via /Film.)

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  • Kaarel Jakobson

    “So… we still don’t know who he is, or, as some fear, whether he is a white actor cast as a character of canonically Indian descent.”

    Really? I mean, REALLY? The guy was played by a Mexican!

  • Melynda Scarborough

    I honestly don’t care who he is as long as he isn’t Khan. I just don’t want the rebooted AU Star Trek to just redo everything the original movies did. I don’t see the point of it.

  • TKS

    Still, it would be nice for a character of canonically Indian descent to be played by a someone of Indian descent. Regardless of past representations of that character.

  • Jeremy Pennini

    From the Star Trek Wiki
    “Ron Veto was an actor of Hawaiian origin”

  • Grif

    I think its a diversion. I’m still in the camp of Cumberbatch is Gary Mitchell, although i have suspicions that Peter Weller is Khan and Cumberbatch is Joachim.

  • Captain ZADL

    Here’s a fun diversion. Imagine Kahn (the classic one) played by Sean Connery. Imagine Connery saying all those classic quotable lines.

    You’re welcome.

  • Anna Hight

    I sincerely doubt Cumberbatch is Khan. Star Trek was a pioneering force in breaking down racial and gender barriers on television and in science fiction. This is the show that, during the civil rights movement, put a black woman in a position of power (and had her make out with the white Kirk). The Enterprise was piloted by an Asian man only twenty years after Pearl Harbor and during the Vietnam War. Not to mention, a navigator named Pavel Chekov during the Cold War. The original cast was so diverse that I find it hard to believe it first aired in 1966!

    It was ballsy and groundbreaking, creating a future where race and gender division is no longer an issue (at least on earth). It’s a huge part of Star Trek’s legacy, and I would not expect Abrams to start screwing around with that now.

  • Dust Bunny Mafia

    Not only has the crew not seen the Avengers, James Bond’s latest installment of Skyfall also had this effect happen on them.

  • Anonymous

    “. . . . the son of Spanish immigrants” Ricardo Montalban was white.

  • Anonymous

    Benedict’s playing a character from Canon. This is a red herring – he’s Khan

  • Anonymous

    I’m already really dubious about this. It sounds like a re-tread of the last movie: Big Bad threatens to blow up Earth this time, instead of Vulcan. Is this how Abrams plans to play it from now on? He’s just basically doing dumb superhero movies, but calling it Star Trek? The last movie was mildly entertaining, but it was it was not serious sci-fi, was not serious ANYTHING, and was not Star Trek. I’m still pissed that he basically gutted everything that made the character of Spock interesting.

  • Anonymous

    “. . . . itch verrry cold in shpace . . . .”

  • Bear Philippe

    Oh, you read io9, too?

  • Anonymous
  • Erin Wilson

    “On the other hand, the crew of the Enterprise hasn’t seen The Avengers and has not yet learned their lesson that placing the villain inside a terrarium doesn’t work out well for anyone.”

    YES HAHA my first thought.

  • Mr. Emieki

    Since there have been some historical John Harrisons, perhaps he could be Flint…

    Or he is Roger Corby and Alice Eve is Christine Chapel… :P

  • Grif


  • Aashyma Never Would

    Guys! I think it’s Garth of Izzar from the TOS episode “Who the Gods Destroy”-the whole “revenge against Starfleet” fits and the the shot of him in a containment cell would be him at the assylum.

  • Carey Cawthorne

    Exactly! That’s all I could think of!

  • Anonymous

    For the people saying “Well Khan wasn’t played by an actual Indian guy in the original series either!”, that’s true. That was almost 50 years ago at this point. I would like to think Hollywood is past the point where they have to cast white people as minorities but they keep proving me wrong.

    But I will be quite annoyed if they have a character named Khan Noonien Singh played by some pasty white dude.

  • Kathy O’Brien

    Those guessing the identity of Cumberbatch’s character keep forgetting that this is JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. Where somehow Kirk’s father being killed in action changed not only events in Kirk’s but made Spock forget that he had an arranged marriage to look forward to and that he only gets randy once every seven years so that he’s able to snog with Uhura while at the Academy. Cumberbatch’s character in the trailer doesn’t clearly match Gary Mitchell, Captain Garth OR Khan – but that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t be one or even all of these made into one character by Abrams and using any of those names…. Hell, I wouldn’t put it past him to make Lore the villain of this movie. After all its a different timeline so “anything goes”….

  • Mark

    Gary Mitchell has the same number of letters as John Harrison.