Benedict Cumberbatch on his Star Trek Into Darkness role

News Simon Brew 13 Dec 2012 - 07:13

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has clarified one or two things about his Star Trek Into Darkness villain...

Since he was cast, speculation has been rife that Benedict Cumberbatch’s real role in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness has been Khan. In spite of this being denied (by Simon Pegg, if memory serves), said rumours haven’t gone away. And this week’s reveal of who he and particularly Alice Eve are playing in the new film has highlighted the links to Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan still further.

However, Cumberbatch’s character has been listed as John Harrison, and it’s still being widely assumed (and we’re guilty of this) that some misdirection is at work here. But the actor has spoken to Access Hollywood, and has adamantly ruled out that his character is Khan in disguise.

“A few have asked about that”, he told the show, when quizzed on whether he was Khan. “I play a character called John and not that other name”, he confirmed. “I play John Harrison, who’s a terrorist and an extraordinary character in his own right. He’s somebody who’s not your two-dimensional cookie cutter villain. He's got an extraordinary purpose, and I hope that at one point or other in the film you might even sympathise with the reasons he's doing what he's doing - not necessarily the means and the destruction he causes”.

It isn’t, however, Khan that many suspect is the true identity of Cumberbatch’s character. Internet tentacles, reliable as they, er, always are, have been pointing towards the classic Trek character Gary Mitchell. However, you never know, he might just playing John Harrison…

Star Trek Into Darkness is released in May 2013.


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Khan in the Wrath of Khan had years worth of pent-up hatred for Kirk following his first appearance as a one-off episode villain. How could they possibly work all that into this new version of Trek if it's all set a lot earlier in the lives of folk? It'd be naff.

Is it confirmed that he's playing a character from the old canon? If not, why can't we consider that this may be an original character? Or maybe like Blake in the Dark Knight Rises we'll only get that nudge nudge wink wink at the end of the movie, and if so, why constantly try to spoil it? I think Benedict must grow tired of all the questions and it's still months to go! Why not let ourselves be pleasantly surprised?

I was thinking the same thing. Think he'll be a brand new character :-)

If he was playing simple old terrorist John Harrison, why all the secrecy? Obviously, this is a misdirection. Though to be honest, it's gotten to a point where the word misdirection is losing its relevancy -- these are just outright lies. There's a line between interesting fan speculation creating misdirection and tedious, dimwitted, self important lies. Abrams needs to realise these secrets are becoming rather insulting towards fans.

I saw an interesting concept somewhere a day or so ago.... that 'John Harrison' or whoever it ends up being is a descendant of Paxton, the leader of Terra Prime... incidentally, the actor who played Paxton in Enterprise has a part in this film........

well hjopefully thats put that to bed and the khan rumours are dead (thank @*&%) I like Khan but I WANT to see new villians

I think he'll turn out to be a Soong, linking it to Wrath of Khan, but sufficiently far enough away. Maybe Arik Soong? I just think all the secrecy about it means it will be someone from Star Trek canon, but knowing would give away some plot.

Kirk's brother (seen at the start of 2009's Star Trek as young Kirk sped past him in his Dad's vintage car which flew over the cliff) was called Johnny. I reckon Benedict is playing Kirk's brother, and that is why the line in the Japanese trailer "how far are you willing to go, for your family"...
Johnny was running away from home at this point, as he could no longer stay under his Dad's roof, as seen in the deleted scene on the Blu Ray.

It's hard to see what else they could do though - at this point I'm enormously glad that they haven't let slip what his actual character is, because it would have been all over the Internet in seconds. Instead, I'm going into the movie relatively blind and I expect it'll be much more enjoyable as a result. Don't you sometimes think that the ravenous fan demand for - essentially - spoilers lessens the experience of seeing a movie for the first time? It's not like you can avoid spoilers either: had we known that he was playing Khan or whoever it'd be in every sidebar on every entertainment website on the Internet. I find the fans' incessant need for instant gratification far more dimwitted and tedious than the "lies" that film-makers tell to keep a least a shred of mystery about their projects.

who cares this movie will be rubbish just like the latest one.

You know what? Now, this is a bit stupid, but hear me out....maybe he's telling the truth.
Nah, of course not.... He can't possibly be. Telling the truth? Of course not.

I think the idea of going into the cinema blind is incredible. I also don't hold ANY hope for that happening, as eventually Abrams will let it out. If he's actually going to hold on to the information right up until the movie releases, then that'll be awesome. I just don't see it happening, and I see this John Harrison rubbish as prolonging the inevitable.

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