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J.J. Abrams Redubbed & Retouched Preview Scenes To Keep The ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ Villain Secret

J.J. Abrams Redubbed & Retouched Preview Scenes To Keep The 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Villain Secret

By now almost everyone who really, really wanted to see “Star Trek Into Darkness” has. And those who haven’t probably don’t care who the villain in “Star Trek Into Darkness” is. That said, we should still issue a perfunctory spoiler warning to those who get queasy at the sight of plot specifics. Not that this is really about whom the “Star Trek Into Darkness” villain is, but rather the insane lengths to which director J.J. Abrams went to cover up and classify this revelation. Homeboy’s crazy.

Still with us? Great. So, as /Film pointed out, back in December, there was a press event in Los Angeles where Paramount showcased footage from the sci-fi sequel (including what would ultimately be the 10-minute prologue that was attached to select IMAX presentations of “The Hobbit“). One of the sequences that was shown at this event was the scene in the final movie where Kirk (Chris Pine) and John Harrison, er, Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) shoot themselves out of the Enterprise in these jazzy space suits and rocket towards the hulking Vengeance, a ship that looks like the Enterprise except way more militaristic and totally murdered-out. 

So in the footage that was screened in December, not only was the computer readout changed (by J.J. Abrams) to read “John Harrison” instead of “Khan,” but lines of dialogue spoken by Spock (Zachary Quinto) and others was altered so instead of “Khan” they said “John Harrison.” If this sounds insane, that’s because it is.

“[Producer] Bryan Burk was the one who first proposed that we use the space jump sequence as a way of getting folks excited for the movie,” producer and co-writer Damon Lindelof told /Film. “The challenge was obvious [because] this is AFTER the reveal. Therefore, J.J. and post-production supervisor Ben Rosenblatt executed a ‘Harrison Cut’ to preserve the secret. I’d rather not get into the details of how this was accomplished, suffice to say it wasn’t easy. It was, however, worth it.” Was it worth it, though? We think not: it was covering up a character that most audiences members would ultimately shrug at and the ones that would know who Khan was were most likely disappointed since the version of Khan in “Star Trek Into Darkness” is kind of watered down and wimpy.

“The preservation of Harrison’s identity has been on ongoing and evolving strategy since the moment we decided to go down the road we went down,” Lindelof told the site. “Before we even started shooting the movie, we acknowledged that there was a fine line between cryptic avoidance and outright denial. We never wanted to overtly lie, but agreed that a certain degree of misdirection wasn’t only warranted, but necessary.” Manipulating footage from the movie that you’ve already shot and edited seems like outright lying to us, but oh well. At least it was to the end of a well-kept, unguessable secret – oh.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is in theaters now.

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This version of Khan is watered down and wimpy? I can't recall Montalban did physical acting as badassery as Cumberbatch did in this movie, nor was Montalban!Khan as moving and manipulative. The problem of this Khan is that it's woefully underwritten and severely underused; the interpretation and acting is not its issue. Haters gonna hate, especially those can never see and accept anything new, and seeing some very vocal hardcore Trek fans, who might be actually in the minority gushing about this is not their Trek, I can totally understand why this franchise is dying or already dead. Also, to be honest, I suspect that if the movie's weekend B.O. meets the high end of the estimation $100m, not the low end $80m, your blog writers would have a quite different tone and view about this movie.


Too bad IMDB listed Cumberbatch's character's real name in their credits – just as they did with Marion Cotillard's character in The Dark Knight Rises (although that has since been changed).


" the version of Khan in "Star Trek Into Darkness" is kind of watered down and wimpy"

I disagree and I'm saying this as a fan of TWoK and Montalban himself. This version of Khan is more physical and more cerebral. That's what makes him more frightening. Here, he is not just doing monologues and throwing threats. He IS the threat.

But then again. Why use Khan? Cumberbatch could have been lamely-named John Harrison and still be bad-ass.


this film had so much potential and all we got was another juvenile action shoot em up with nifty special effects. the problems inherent in this film all stem from the lackadaisical screenplay. hopefully, some big studios will fund a smart sci-fi film one day. been a while since Sunshine.


The title of this post is a spoiler in itself.


Abrams is ridiculous.


why does everything on this website (which i do love) have to be so negative. its like someone of my age (19) cant enjoy a movie without it constantly being compared to another movie they some older guy grew up with. Sometimes it just seems too biased and forgetful of what good film does, transport you into new worlds.

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