With a nine-minute prologue playing in front of IMAX 3D showings of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” starting tonight — and a full length trailer playing in front of non-IMAX prints — we’re getting our first real glimpse at Benedict Cumberbatch‘s villainous role in “Star Trek Into The Darkness.” After months of speculation about who exactly the character is — Khan? Telepath Gary Mitchell? — we finally have a name.
Now that we’re roughly six months away from the release of the sequel, it seems J.J. Abrams is slowly lifting the veil of secrecy the project has operated under since it was announced. In an interview with Access Hollywood (via The Daily Blam), Cumberbatch said that he’s playing: “…John Harrison who’s a terrorist and an extraordinary character in his own right. He’s somebody who is not your two-dimensional cookie cutter villain. He’s got an extraordinary purpose, and I hope that one point or other in the film you might even sympathize with the reasons he’s doing what he’s doing — not necessarily the means and the destruction he causes. But it was a great ride, not just because he’s the bad guy and the antagonist but also because he has a purpose and it’s hard not to see his point of view at certain points.”
And what of all the Khan rumors and the seemingly blatant nod to “Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan” in the Japanese version of the announcement teaser? “It’s interesting. Speculation is speculation and that’s all fun.”
So there you go, folks, Cumberbatch’s playing a random terrorist, and though he may be on a quest for vengeance, he’s not playing Khan. As you were. But remember when Marion Cotillard insisted she was “a good guy” in “The Dark Knight Rises“? Just saying’…. “Star Trek Into The Darkness” goes boldly where no man has gone before on May 17th, 2013. You can catch the first nine minutes starting tonight in a digital IMAX theater near you.