Another day, another chance to discuss whether or not the villain portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek Into Darkness is Khan, or just some random dude named “John Harrison.” Fan speculation is rampant, and recent advertising for the film isn’t helping (there’s a brief clip of two hands pressed against glass, referencing the tragic ending to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). So, are you sick of all the speculation and secrecy? Well, so is Cumberbatch, who finds the whole situation “achingly irritating.”
During a recent interview with EW (via Cinema Blend), Cumberbatch discussed the marketing style of director J.J. Abrams (in a nutshell: be as ambiguous and teasing as is humanly possible), and how he is both annoyed by the ploy, but understands it as well:
Believe me, I’d rather talk about the role and the fantastic story and all the things J.J. [Abrams] has come up with. And then everyone would be as excited about the film as I am. But then of course I think I would be on a phone call coming from J.J.’s office,” Cumberbatch said, before finally coming around and towing the company line. “Mystique is rare now, isn’t it? There aren’t that many enigmas in this modern world. … We live in the modern world, which is a place of oversaturation and now people, especially Trekkies, want to know everything before they witness it themselves. It’s strange to me. I think of it as a kid having a box of chocolates and not knowing what’s good for them. They eat three and they keep eating as they get sick… and the candy is gone.”
On one hand, what Cumberbatch says makes sense—as oversaturated by spoilers as we can be, it is refreshing to go into a film and be surprised and shocked by what we see there. That said, by generating a wave of anticipation that the greatest villain in Trek history is making comeback, and then say Khan doesn’t show up at all… well, it could leave more than a few fans a little peeved (of course, there will be others who will be glad, and feel Khan should not be touched or altered).
So, what do you think—should Khan be the villain?