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Benedict Cumberbatch defends the Khan secrecy in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness

Dec. 3, 2013by: Paul Shirey

Yesterday J.J. Abrams admitted it was probably a mistake to keep the identity of Benedict Cumberbatchs character in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS a secret, and now the actor has shared his thoughts on how his identity was handled for the film. Cumberbatch recently talked to, and IGN he says he was fine with the secrecy, and that the characters reveal was exciting to those who were unaware of whom he was playing in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

IGN: J.J. Abrams earlier was doing press for his book, and he brought up Khan, and he said that in hindsight, maybe doing the secrecy around it, that whole campaign to keep Khans identity a secret, maybe it was a mistake. What are your thoughts on it?

Cumberbatch: What a dickhead! (laughs) I mean, the amount of times we had to lie for him and keep secrets, the amount of times I had to not talk about it being my character. God damn him. No, I love him. Maybe, I dont know, its logistics, isnt it? I dont know if its a bad or good thing, it was his call. I was fine with it. I liked the idea ofthe intention was to have a reveal in the audience that was going to be thrilling, where people go, Oh, really? and that worked to an extent, cause not everybody knew what they were in for when they went into the theater, and some people wanted to join in that thrill of seeing it, and experiencing it in the theater rather than having it spoiled for them in reviews, or got internet gossip or traders that gave everything away. So, who knows? For those people, I would say it was a good thing. And for anyone else who wants to find out, you know, there are always ways of finding out, and people have their hunches. But, I sat in a couple of theaters, and both times it was like, Yeah! Oh, what!? there was just a verbal and physical reaction to it, so I was like, It kind of works.

Interesting that Benedict Cumberbatch says it was Abrams call to keep Khans identity secret, but yesterday the director said it was the studios decision. Regardless of who made the call though, I think its safe to say it wasnt a good decision. I personally didnt mind it, but it certainly rubbed some fans the wrong way, and it probably would have been better if J.J. Abrams and company had been upfront about who Cumberbatch was playing in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS.

Source: IGN Movies

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5:52PM on 12/04/2013

That is alot of damage control.

It was an action packed film with no soul and horrible story telling. Thus far we've had the studio point fingers at JJ, JJ making excuses and now Cumber defending him. You'd think there was some faith to be questioned in his ability to helm a franchise film or something. Some people liked it, and some didn't; I'm not attempting to sway opinions here. Mine is of the fact that it was a rehash of an established film, one that was completely unnecessary (he had an ENTIRE universe to explore and he
It was an action packed film with no soul and horrible story telling. Thus far we've had the studio point fingers at JJ, JJ making excuses and now Cumber defending him. You'd think there was some faith to be questioned in his ability to helm a franchise film or something. Some people liked it, and some didn't; I'm not attempting to sway opinions here. Mine is of the fact that it was a rehash of an established film, one that was completely unnecessary (he had an ENTIRE universe to explore and he went right back to the well). It was not an homage, it was lazy. It was ripped right from the pages of ST2 like a bad fanfic. What annoyed the hell out of me was how JJ hinted at Khan and then back tracked over and over (remember the music in the teaser?)...he's not like Whedon who gets it and the audience (and I didn't even like Firefly, but I dig what he's accomplished with Marvel), JJ acts like he's legions above the audience and his sneaky bullshit is fathoms over what we can realize (call it a mild case of Kanyeitis). The was no purpose for the film, it was a bad remake....Kirk died, came back, who cares...these characters didn't earn that emotional resonance. It was a vapid and dead on arrival impact, made worse by Spock's KHAAAAN. Star Wars 7 won't be bringing anything new to the table based on what he has already accomplished. He has yet to prove otherwise.
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1:09PM on 12/04/2013
It was a secret?? Already knew that when he was announced to be in cast. Dumbasses.
It was a secret?? Already knew that when he was announced to be in cast. Dumbasses.
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1:03AM on 12/04/2013

Didn't care that his character's identity was kept a secret...

Khan...Gary Mitchell...Robert April. Shit...every original series character was rumored before the movie's release in May. It's really no different than the now - rampant speculations for any casting / plotlines / nugget of info regarding "Man Of Steel 2" or "Episode 7".

So it really was Khan...Big Deal! Sometimes we fanboys have just got to leave out *PURIST* credentials @ the door & enjoy the ride. I guess I'm just one of those humble Trekkies that can enjoy "Wrath" perfectly
Khan...Gary Mitchell...Robert April. Shit...every original series character was rumored before the movie's release in May. It's really no different than the now - rampant speculations for any casting / plotlines / nugget of info regarding "Man Of Steel 2" or "Episode 7".

So it really was Khan...Big Deal! Sometimes we fanboys have just got to leave out *PURIST* credentials @ the door & enjoy the ride. I guess I'm just one of those humble Trekkies that can enjoy "Wrath" perfectly alongside "Into Darkness"

"ST:ID" kicked ass IMO & I, for one, can't wait for whatever future project reunites Cumberbatch & Abrams again. *fingers crossed it's Ep.7*
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9:03PM on 12/03/2013
I do wish people will get over it. I didn't expect to be the case, but Star Trek Into Darkness has pretty much been my favourite movie all year. Cumberbatch killed it and delivered a truly memorable screen villain who was an absolute blast to watch.
I do wish people will get over it. I didn't expect to be the case, but Star Trek Into Darkness has pretty much been my favourite movie all year. Cumberbatch killed it and delivered a truly memorable screen villain who was an absolute blast to watch.
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3:11AM on 12/04/2013
"Firstly, I will kill your captain to demonstrate my resolve, then if yours holds I will have no choice but to kill you and your entire crew. Now...shall we begin?"

Jedd the Jedi...I couldn't agree w/ you more.
"Firstly, I will kill your captain to demonstrate my resolve, then if yours holds I will have no choice but to kill you and your entire crew. Now...shall we begin?"

Jedd the Jedi...I couldn't agree w/ you more.
10:58AM on 12/04/2013
Thanks NeoAnakinPotter.
Thanks NeoAnakinPotter.
3:58PM on 12/03/2013
Benedict is absolutely right. Anybody could have found out if they dug deep enough on that. I had a hunch but I kept it to myself and just hoped I was right. What they did was fun, like those movies are supposed to be. If you didn't like the film that's one thing, but this? I'd just say get over it, it didn't ruin the movie, and for those who wanted to be surprised it was awesome.
Benedict is absolutely right. Anybody could have found out if they dug deep enough on that. I had a hunch but I kept it to myself and just hoped I was right. What they did was fun, like those movies are supposed to be. If you didn't like the film that's one thing, but this? I'd just say get over it, it didn't ruin the movie, and for those who wanted to be surprised it was awesome.
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3:51PM on 12/03/2013
You sucked, Cumberbatch. You always suck.
You sucked, Cumberbatch. You always suck.
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5:34PM on 12/03/2013
You misspelled "rock"
You misspelled "rock"
3:35PM on 12/03/2013

Looks like the bandwagon has switched sides again...

...based on the comments so far. I'm not a "Trekkie" and I haven't even seen any Star Trek movies before Abrams' movies, and I thought the whole Khan storyline as a whole was terrible. Not just the secrecy of it, although that didn't help. Why re-do literally the most famous Star Trek villain when the clever alternate timeline allows you free reign to come up with any original ideas that you want to?? Based on the little research I've done on Wrath of Khan, Into Darkness wasn't an homage to it.
...based on the comments so far. I'm not a "Trekkie" and I haven't even seen any Star Trek movies before Abrams' movies, and I thought the whole Khan storyline as a whole was terrible. Not just the secrecy of it, although that didn't help. Why re-do literally the most famous Star Trek villain when the clever alternate timeline allows you free reign to come up with any original ideas that you want to?? Based on the little research I've done on Wrath of Khan, Into Darkness wasn't an homage to it. It was blatantly ripping it off because they had no better ideas on what to do. Incoherent themes, rehashing character arcs that we already saw in the 1st Abrams movie, depending almost entirely on an old, familiar movie for the success of this one...the movie was a mess. Entertaining, sure. But to say it was a functioning, well-made movie is misleading.
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2:42PM on 12/03/2013
Anybody who complains about them trying to keep it a secret AND yet complains about there never being surprises in movies because of the internet etc are effing hypocrites
Anybody who complains about them trying to keep it a secret AND yet complains about there never being surprises in movies because of the internet etc are effing hypocrites
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+14
2:37PM on 12/03/2013

Stop being duds

I wish Bruce Willis had told us he was a ghost at the end of the sixth sense too. Why should a movie going audience have any surprises in the theatre ever. Stop saying they lied to us, when all JJ was trying to do was improve your movie going experience.
I wish Bruce Willis had told us he was a ghost at the end of the sixth sense too. Why should a movie going audience have any surprises in the theatre ever. Stop saying they lied to us, when all JJ was trying to do was improve your movie going experience.
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2:30PM on 12/03/2013
And then what, you tell people right out of the gate that he's playing Khan and every fan would have shit all over this project. Abrams played the game right by not saying anything, he made the project he wanted to do and let fans judge for themselves. I thought it was a great addition to the Star Trek franchise, there's nothing to apologize for here.
And then what, you tell people right out of the gate that he's playing Khan and every fan would have shit all over this project. Abrams played the game right by not saying anything, he made the project he wanted to do and let fans judge for themselves. I thought it was a great addition to the Star Trek franchise, there's nothing to apologize for here.
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2:26PM on 12/03/2013
People need to get over themselves. If this is what prevented you from enjoying an awesome movie like Star Trek Into Darkness then I just feel sorry for you. I had no problem with the reveal and I still throughly enjoyed the film before the reveal AND after.
People need to get over themselves. If this is what prevented you from enjoying an awesome movie like Star Trek Into Darkness then I just feel sorry for you. I had no problem with the reveal and I still throughly enjoyed the film before the reveal AND after.
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2:25PM on 12/03/2013

Typical nerds making a big deal out of nothing.

It was a solid film. Who gives a fuck about Khan? "They lied to us!" Get over yourselves. It was a well-made piece of entertainment, it's come and gone -- move on for chrissake.
It was a solid film. Who gives a fuck about Khan? "They lied to us!" Get over yourselves. It was a well-made piece of entertainment, it's come and gone -- move on for chrissake.
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+7
2:24PM on 12/03/2013
There is nothing interesting about Cumberbatch saying it was JJ Abrams' idea and JJ Abrams stating it was the studios'. it isn't unreasonable for the studio to dictate it to Abrams because he is in charge of the movie, and Abrams then forwarding the message to the actors without stating it was an edict coming from the studio. all the actors need to know is not to reveal it, not who the message originated from.
There is nothing interesting about Cumberbatch saying it was JJ Abrams' idea and JJ Abrams stating it was the studios'. it isn't unreasonable for the studio to dictate it to Abrams because he is in charge of the movie, and Abrams then forwarding the message to the actors without stating it was an edict coming from the studio. all the actors need to know is not to reveal it, not who the message originated from.
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11:09PM on 12/03/2013
Agreed! What difference does it make anyway? 20 or 30 years from now, no one will care about any of this, whether the fans were informed in advance or were kept in the dark. All that will matter at that point will be: Is the movie any good?
Agreed! What difference does it make anyway? 20 or 30 years from now, no one will care about any of this, whether the fans were informed in advance or were kept in the dark. All that will matter at that point will be: Is the movie any good?
2:22PM on 12/03/2013

Good Lord, People!

You die-hards need to get over it and move on, the movie is out on Blu-ray now, it's not like they can change the movie. It was a good movie, it's a reboot, meaning all bets are off, brand new start, no ties to the old series. You gotta let go now.
You die-hards need to get over it and move on, the movie is out on Blu-ray now, it's not like they can change the movie. It was a good movie, it's a reboot, meaning all bets are off, brand new start, no ties to the old series. You gotta let go now.
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+0
2:10PM on 12/03/2013
I perfered if they didn't use Khan in this film at all. I was worried that the movie would try and "Mimic" what the Wrath of Khan. Though it didnt play the same way, it did follow alot of beats of WoK, such as the whole "death reversal" scene
I perfered if they didn't use Khan in this film at all. I was worried that the movie would try and "Mimic" what the Wrath of Khan. Though it didnt play the same way, it did follow alot of beats of WoK, such as the whole "death reversal" scene
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