Benedict Cumberbatch Claims He’s Not Playing Khan in STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

     December 13, 2012

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When it comes to Star Trek Into Darkness, the policy is to avoid the truth about the plot.  When asked about the plot, play coy.  If playing coy doesn’t work, obfuscate.  And if obfuscation doesn’t work, then I imagine outright lying is on the table.  We saw it before when Marion Cotillard said she wasn’t playing a bad guy in The Dark Knight Rises.  I understand filmmakers want to preserve a sense of mystery in the spoiler-heavy world of online movie news, but it’s difficult to believe that Benedict Cumberbatch is just playing a guy named “John Harrison” and not Khan.  But that’s what Cumberbatch said in a recent interview, commenting: “I play a character called John and not that other name.  It’s interesting. Speculation is speculation and that’s all fun.”

Hey, it’s the engine that runs news on blockbuster movies.  Hit the jump for more.  Star Trek Into Darkness opens in 3D on May 17, 2013.

Speaking to Access Hollywood, Cumberbatch had this to say about his character:

“I play John Harrison who’s a terrorist and an extraordinary character in his own right,” the Brit said. “He’s somebody who is not your two-dimensional cookie cutter villain. He’s got an extraordinary purpose, and I hope that at one point or other in the film you might even sympathize with the reasons he’s doing what he’s doing — not necessarily the means and the destruction he causes. But it was a great ride, not just because he’s the bad guy and the antagonist but also because he has a purpose and it’s hard not to see his point of view at certain points.”

So it’s the sympathetic villain that actors are always eager to play.  Then again, Nero was supposed to be a “sympathetic villain” (his planet was destroyed!), but no one cared.  But the first Star Trek was more about establishing the crew of the Enterprise than the villain.  Now that the crew is set up, the antagonist will likely get more screen time.

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