‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Villain Revealed

Hey, who is Benedict Cumberbatch playing in Star Trek Into Darkness? Though the name of Cumberbatch’s character has been kept under wraps up until now, a teaser image released today finally reveals the villain’s name.

John Harrison.

“(Left to right) Zachary Quinto is Spock, Benedict Cumberbatch is John Harrison and Chris Pine is Kirk in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions.”

Wait, who?

Early speculation set up Cumberbatch as the rebooted continuity’s version of Khan Noonien Singh, a role made popular by Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the original series. Later, actor Karl Urban hinted that Cumberbatch was playing Gary Mitchell, another one-off villain from the original series whose biography matched the official Star Trek Into Darkness synopsis almost point-by-point.

But the caption that comes along with the image, which depicts Kirk, Spock, Cumberbatch, and a pane of glass separating good guys from bad (the “interrogation scene” trope has been huge since The Dark Knight), says that Cumberbatch is playing a guy named John Harrison.

I’ll be straight with you. I have no idea who John Harrison is supposed to be. To my knowledge, the character name doesn’t exist in Star Trek canon, meaning that like the previous film’s villain, Nero, he is probably an entirely new creation or some kind of amalgam of lesser characters.

This could be misdirection, and honestly, I hope it is. I have no idea why you’d keep the villain’s name secret for so long to reveal practically nothing.

Anyway, here’s the image again, followed by the trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness: