Earlier this week, the character was revealed to simply be a guy named John Harrison, a name that rings few bells in "Trek" canon, which led many to assume it's just more misdirection from J.J. Abrams and company. However, Cumberbatch insists that he's actually "just playing a character called John and not that other name," no doubt a reference to Khan Noonien Singh, the infamous Trek villain that many expect the actor to be playing.
Cumberbatch went on to refer to Harrison as "a terrorist and an extraordinary character in his own right." Furthermore, this character is "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 sympathize with the reasons he's doing what he's doing."
The actor also went on to call the role "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."
This obviously doesn't confirm or deny a whole lot in terms of the character's identity, and one might even say that it does describe either Khan or Gary Mitchell, the two front-runners in the Trek villain rumor mill.
Don't expect much in the way of confirmation if you're seeking out the footage released into theaters this weekend, either. A nine-minute prologue and the film's trailer will debut in front of presentations of "The Hobbit" (IMAX shows get the prologue, while everything else gets the normal trailer), but neither reveal Cumberbatch's identity.
One has to wonder just how much longer his charade can continue; while it's sort of remarkable that Abrams has been able to conceal this information in an age where all of this stuff is usually snuffed out, it also seems remarkably odd to withhold basic stuff like a villain's identity.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Khan Noonien Singh