Damon Lindelof Talks STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, Spoilers, Why Keeping the Villain a Secret Is Important, and More

     March 12, 2013


With a little under two months to go before the release of director J.J. Abrams’ sequel Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s a bit crazy to think that the identity of the film’s villain character played by Benedict Cumberbatch has yet to be officially confirmed.  There are plenty of people who think they know who Cumberbatch plays (Khaaaaaan!), but no one from the movie has officially stated who this character actually is beyond the name “John Harrison.”  This has all been part of the plan from the get-go, hatched by Abrams and his creative partners, including screenwriter Damon Lindelof.

Both Abrams and Lindelof have a bit of a reputation for their penchant for secrecy when it comes to new projects, and the two have essentially mastered the “non-answer answer” with regards to the countless promotional interviews that are necessary for films on the scale of Into Darkness or Prometheus.  Lindelof recently spoke a bit about Into Darkness, revealing why it’s so important to them to keep the nature of Cumberbatch’s character a secret and talking about the theme of Into Darkness in relation to the first film.  Hit the jump to read on.

benedict-cumberbatch-star-trek-into-darknessSpeaking with Hero Complex, Lindelof directly addressed why the identity of the film’s villain has yet to be revealed:

“The audience needs to have the same experience that the crew is having. You’re Kirk, you’re Spock, you’re McCoy, so if they don’t know who the bad guy is going to be in the movie, then you shouldn’t know. It’s not just keeping the secret for secrecy’s sake. It’s not giving the audience information that the characters don’t have.”

Lindelof elaborated on the nature of spoilers and the eventual let-down that comes with knowing something too far in advance:

“[If I tell people who Cumberbatch plays, they know that they] would have a five-second rush of exhilaration followed by four months of being completely and totally bummed out that they can’t tell anybody else and that when it gets revealed in the movie, it will have been spoiled for them. That’s why they’re called ‘spoilers,’ they’re not called ‘awesomes.’”

As human beings it’s our nature to want to know everything, and the advent of the on-demand digital age has made the growing problem of “spoilers” even worse.  I’m firmly of the opinion that it’s much more enjoyable to experience the ride of a film or TV show without knowing all the twists and turns in advance, so the less we know about Into Darkness before its release date, the better.

star-trek-into-darkness-chris-pine-zachary-quintoLindelof also talked a bit about how the theme of Into Darkness relates the first film, speaking to the pic’s intriguing title:

“If the first movie was about meeting and introductions, this movie is about becoming a family. The title of the movie is not just about the mission that the Enterprise is going on but what happens when you get to know each other a little better and the hurdles you must jump over in order to truly become family.”

Head on over to Hero Complex to read the full interview, and sound off in the comments with your thoughts on why you think spoilers are good/bad/insignificant.  Star Trek Into Darkness opens in 3D and IMAX on May 17th.

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