Speaking at a Tokyo press event to promote Star Trek Into Darkness, the Sherlock star said that he plays “a complicated character” in the film who is “not to be judged by white-or-black”.
"He is very ruthless,” admitted Cumberbatch. "He is not a clearly good or evil character. He is a villain but the actions he takes have intent and reason."
The first trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness will be released tomorrow, which should hopefully shed a little more light on Cumberbatch's role in the film.
But Into Darkness’s producer/director J.J. Abrams also opened up a little about Cumberbatch’s part at the Tokyo conference, describing his character as “scary”.
In quotes obtained by TrekMovie.com, he said: "The character is a villain and scary, but I was looking for an actor with humanity who audiences can sympathies with.
“When I saw Benedict in Sherlock, I wanted to convince him whatever it took. I expected a lot from him, but Benedict responded by acting beyond my expectations."
Cumberbatch was warmly welcomed to Japan by Star Trek and Sherlock fans when he arrived at Tokyo’s Narita airport yesterday, and a poster for Into Darkness was released earlier this week which appears to provide the first glimpse of his Star Trek character (albeit only from the back).
Star Trek: Into Darkness is expected to be released in the UK on 17 May 2013.