Benedict Cumberbatch is playing “John Harrison” in Star Trek Into Darkness, according to a recently-released press photo. The internet, in all its infinite wisdom, is calling “BS” on the name, and speculation regarding the Star Trek villain is somehow higher in light of the photo than before it was released.
Just to get this out of the way really quick, Alice Eve is playing Dr. Carol Marcus, Kirk’s ex-girlfriend and baby’s mama in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan.
Back to Cumberbatch’s Star Trek villain. We’ve been through the early speculation rounds before, and you know that the likeliest contenders were Gay Mitchell, a one-off villain from the original series, and Khan Noonien Singh, of the original series and the film named above.
Though the film’s producers haven’t said whether Cumberbatch is playing Khan, Roberto Orci specifically stated that actor Karl Urban was wrong when he said Cumberbatch was playing Gary Mitchell, so we can pretty much scratch that one off the list for now. I still have my doubts about Cumberbatch playing Khan for several ethnic and continuity reasons (yes, new continuity, I know, shut up), namely his revenge motive.
Why would rebooted Khan want revenge for something the newly-minted Captain Kirk hasn’t even gotten the chance to do to him yet? Sorry, it just doesn’t work.
So who is he? Cumberbatch gave an interview to MTV during which he called his Star Trek villain a “terrorist” with extraordinary physical and metal powers. “Giving away the full motivation would ruin it, but it’s personal. It’s also political, I think,” said Cumberbatch. Okay, powers: check, revenge: check. “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,” Cumberbatch said.
To make matters worse, Orci also confirmed that Cumberbatch isn’t even playing “John Harrison” who doesn’t exist in Star Trek continuity. He very candidly admitted here that the Star Trek villain is “canon” and that we’ll all recognize him.
I give up. Who is Benedict Cumberbatch’s Star Trek villain?
The above name is a testament to how desperate the internet is for answers. iDigitalTimes claims that they spoke with a source close to the film who claimed that Cumberbatch’s Star Trek villain is a twisted, evil version of Star Trek: Next Generation captain Jean-Luc Picard. This works because of the wormhole from the first film that altered film continuity and creates a nice, convenient catch-all for loose ends, plot holes, and one-line retcons.
I sincerely doubt that it’s true. I may eat my words in a few months, and I will proudly do so if the mystery Star Trek villain ends up being Picard, but it really just wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever. Furthermore, I doubt JJ Abrams could pull that off.
Anyway, get in on this: Who you you think Benedict Cumberbatch’s Star Trek villain is? If not Khan, if not Mitchell, if not Harrison, who? Picard?