I, for one, am not buying that whole “John Harrison” thing. J.J. Abrams, you’ve trolled us before, and you’re doing it again. It’s getting frustrating. I’m not sure how much more of this I can take. KHAAAAAAAAAAN!
In separate interviews Abrams and Benedict Cumberbatch dropped some intriguing hints about Cumberbatch’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness, both of them identifying him as someone with a motivation rooted more in idealism than in a simple thirst for vengeance or power.
“He’s a terrorist; he operates as a terrorist. He has extraordinary physical powers, but also mental powers. He can sow an idea, which is as powerful as gunshots or close-hand combat, which he’s masterful in. He tears into the fabric of both the world and the Enterprise family, and he leaves behind him a trail of devastation. It’s quite exciting to watch.”
Sounds like he, Bane, and Iron Man 3‘s Mandarin should form a club. They can share tips on trailer voiceover techniques.
More intriguing, though, was his statement on the relationship between the CumberVillain (yes, I will refer to him as that until we have name—a real name, not this “John Harrison” stuff) and our heroes:
“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.”
This Loki gif expresses my feelings on the matter rather well.
Abrams also spoke of the CumberVillain’s “agenda, his plan, his secret,” and how they make him “such a frightening and cool villain.” He adds that the character is not a “two-dimensional” villain, noting that he “has an absolute sense of right and wrong, and he’s on the right side.”
Or, as Cumberbatch put it:
“Giving away the full motivation would ruin it, but it’s personal. It’s also political, I think. He’s somebody who, at some point in the film, you should feel a certain amount of empathy towards his cause, if not his means.”
Abrams went on to gush about Cumberbatch’s performance, saying that “he brings such an incredible power to it. His voice alone, I actually as a joke should have had him read the lunch menu.”
Preach it, Abrams.
Speculation as to the identity of the CumberVillain is more or less pointless fun at the moment. Khan, Gary Mitchell, someone else. Abrams will let us know when he’s good and ready. Either that or I can develop a time machine, go forward a few months, and find out myself. I’m 50/50 at this point.