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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Dammit Jim!

Benedict Cumberbatch and J.J. Abrams Talk About Star Trek Into Darkness‘ Villain, Still Don’t Tell us Who He Is

I, for one, am not buying that whole “John Harrison” thing. J.J. Abrams, you’ve trolled us before, and you’re doing it again. It’s getting frustrating. I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. KHAAAAAAAAAAN!


In separate interviews Abrams and Benedict Cumberbatch dropped some intriguing hints about Cumberbatch’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness, both of them identifying him as someone with a motivation rooted more in idealism than in a simple thirst for vengeance or power.

Said Cumberbatch:

“He’s a terrorist; he operates as a terrorist. He has extraordinary physical powers, but also mental powers. He can sow an idea, which is as powerful as gunshots or close-hand combat, which he’s masterful in. He tears into the fabric of both the world and the Enterprise family, and he leaves behind him a trail of devastation. It’s quite exciting to watch.”

Sounds like he, Bane, and Iron Man 3‘s Mandarin should form a club. They can share tips on trailer voiceover techniques.

More intriguing, though, was his statement on the relationship between the CumberVillain (yes, I will refer to him as that until we have name—a real name, not this “John Harrison” stuff) and our heroes:

“He has an interesting relationship with Kirk, and with Spock in a way. He very much plays them off against each other. There’s an element of shadow to him and Kirk.”

This Loki gif expresses my feelings on the matter rather well.

Abrams also spoke of the CumberVillain’s “agenda, his plan, his secret,” and how they make him “such a frightening and cool villain.” He adds that the character is not a “two-dimensional” villain, noting that he “has an absolute sense of right and wrong, and he’s on the right side.”

Or, as Cumberbatch put it:

“Giving away the full motivation would ruin it, but it’s personal. It’s also political, I think. He’s somebody who, at some point in the film, you should feel a certain amount of empathy towards his cause, if not his means.”

Abrams went on to gush about Cumberbatch’s performance, saying that “he brings such an incredible power to it. His voice alone, I actually as a joke should have had him read the lunch menu.”

Preach it, Abrams.

Speculation as to the identity of the CumberVillain is more or less pointless fun at the moment. Khan, Gary Mitchell, someone else. Abrams will let us know when he’s good and ready. Either that or I can develop a time machine, go forward a few months, and find out myself. I’m 50/50 at this point.

(via: blastr, MTV)

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  • Anonymous

    Abrams has developed a (deserved) reputation for teasing fans needlessly, so I understand why everyone thinks that’s the only thing going on here. In this case though, I am guessing there is some actual, plot-based reason they want to keep it a secret.

    I think of it like this: what if, in 1980, everyone knew Luke’s father was going to be revealed … if everyone pressured the makers of ESB endlessly to reveal it it would have ruined the surprise. I can’t speak with any authority on what kind of story might be in Into Darkness to necessitate that of course, but based on what they’ve said that’s what I’m guessing.

    And it’s worth noting that Abrams etc have said clearly that the name John Harrison is used in the film … his identity is presumably a mystery to the characters in-film, not just to us fans until it’s released.

    If you want what is, in my opinion, a very plausible theory about how this plot device could play into it, google Drew McWeeny’s theory at hitfix about John Harrison really being Captain Robert April.

  • Anonymous

    So am I the only one who doesn’t want some white British guy playing Khan? Unfunny Benedict Khanberbatch jokes aside that just strikes me as gross.
    I’m hoping it’s Gary Mitchell or someone else.
    * And before someone points out he wasn’t played by an Indian actor in the original show, that was 40 years ago. I’d like to think casting still isn’t that gross.

  • Anonymous

    I think this cocktail of misinformation/information withholding/red herring–whatever you want to call it–might backfire. The more you hype something up, the bigger the payoff has to be for it to feel worthwhile. BSG, I’m looking at you with your “big reveal” of the Final Five Cylons.

  • CyberIstari

    Carol Marcus aside (though even Excellent Daughter – 14 – thinks she’s done up to look like Dr Elizabeth Dehner), that description doesn’t sound like Khan to me, and either someone original.. or Gary Mitchell.

  • Betty Windsor

    It’s difficult to hire a particular sort of actor and not expect them to be playing the most obvious prospective roll in the film. Case in point.

    You don’t hire Marion Coittard to play “some lady Batman sleeps with” and that’s ALL. People will suspect. I did. And my suspicions were confirmed in the film..

    He’s freaking Cumberbatch. There’s no way he isn’t significant.

  • Duck Linsenmayer

    Garth of Izzar?

  • R.M. Jones

    *chants* Please don’t let it be Khan, please don’t let it be Khan, please don’t let it be Khan!

    I am heavily pulling for Gary Mitchel, just because I am sick and tired of Racefail! on Hollywood’s part. Plus, I always wanted some expansion to the Gary Mitchel mythos. He seemed like such a awesome villain to get rid of in just the second episode.


    Garth of Izar

  • Michael Fitz-Gibbon

    Who the hell is Benedict Cumberbatch?

  • wonky donky.

    Just stole a few pages from Bad Robot’s Production offices, like the superspy I am.

    And I can now report to you the Star Trek villain’s real name in the movie is called, “Bandersnatch Cummerbund”!

  • Being Geek Chic

    Cumbervillian. You are genius.

  • Being Geek Chic

    Pure English sex.

  • Tina Dee

    I totally agree. I also hate his face.

  • Erin Macdonald

    I’m going to guess that he will be a Soong, possibly Arik, don’t think it’ll be Khan. Just for the record!

  • Jerilyn Nighy

    He’s playing a hyper-evolved tribble. He’s really furry under his clothes.