Benedict Cumberbatch is NOT playing Khan in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

For some reason, Benedict Cumberbatch is doing a ton of new press right now. I guess that’s not too shocking considering he’s in The Hobbit, except that all of the press seems to be about Star Trek Into Darkness. Cumby plays “the villain” in the Star Trek sequel, and we had the teaser trailer last week. Do you want to watch it again? I want to watch it again.

Oooooo. HIS VOICE. Where was I? Oh, right. All of the nerds and geeks and Trekkies were all “Cumby is Khan” and they were treating STID as some kind of remake of Wrath of Khan (I’m flying without a net at this point, please be gentle). Since the film was announced, filmed and finished, rumors about Cumby’s part have been circulating, but JJ Abrams never, ever told. Well, during press this week, Cumby finally revealed his villain’s identity. It’s still not Khan. The character’s name is John Harrison. Cumby says he’s a “terrorist”. BONUS CUMBY VOICE:

Cumby says: “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. 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. … There’s no two-dimensional obstacle he presents purely and simply by the fact that he’s opposing our hero.” Mmm… what? I’m sorry. I got distracted. I was thinking about Cumby’s voice on my thighs.

Cumby also told Access Hollywood:

“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.”

The actor, who also stars as Sherlock Holmes in PBS’ “Sherlock,” admitted he wasn’t looking to see a “Star Trek” film when the origin story of the reboot franchise first came out.

“I wasn’t that interested in seeing a ‘Star Trek’ movie, I’ll be honest. I know you are a Trekspert, so forgive me,” the Brit told Scott Mantz. “It’s not out of any loathing of the genre or sci-fi or anything. I love it, but I just wasn’t that interested. And people said, ‘No, you should just go and see it. It’s a great film.’ And lo and behold, then all the Trekkie in me was reborn as well and I was just over the moon excited about them all meeting for the first time. I thought it was such an imaginative prequel.”

And Benedict noted the new film takes things even further.

“Without a doubt, it is truly epic,” he said. “It’s a big film. The scale of it is so much bigger than the first.”

[From Access Hollywood]

Yeah… as I said, I’m going to see this. But you know what sucks? This isn’t out until MAY 2013!!! Gah, that’s a long time to wait. What sucks even harder is that STID will be out before we get the new season of Sherlock. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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41 Responses to “Benedict Cumberbatch is NOT playing Khan in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’”

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  1. Miss Kiki says:

    Oh Cumby, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

  2. Amelia says:

    Having grown up in a house full of Trekkies I’ve been reliably informed that there was no chance Cumby is the man who would be Khan.
    I don’t know how they know this, but hey.
    This is going to be an odd Christmas. My sister’s now got to make good on her bet with my brother.
    DAMN YOU CUMBY!! Now I’ve got to put up with Star Trek debates all through Christmas!
    I demand you make this up to me by warping into my bedroom.

  3. alons-y alonso says:

    He’s just so damn alluring.

  4. daz says:

    God Damn You, just make the new Sherlock already !!!

  5. insomniac says:

    Argh! Damn Cumberbatch and Freeman getting all successful and popular and delaying “Sherlock!” How dare they?

  6. Mia 4S says:

    In the age of the internet it’s so funny how obsessed people get when they can’t find out every little detail about a project. Maybe he’s Kahn, maybe he’s Picard, maybe he’s the Emperor of the Tribbles, I don’t care!

    I’m here for the ride, the awesome crew of actors and badass Cumby!

  7. Meh says:

    I hope third season of BBC Sherlock is not going to happen.
    Also praying that Cucumber is indeed playing Khan.

  8. Sugarrbunny says:

    In the original series there was an episode where an old star fleet academy nemesis of Kirk showed up. It was on that weird planet where bones became a knight in shinning armor & Spock smiled & so on, anyway this nemesis was from the UK. I’m guessing that is who my beloved Benedict will be

    • Ali says:

      I think you’re thinking of two different episodes.

      The first is “Shore Leave”. The old school foe of Kirk’s is Finnegan who sported a terrible Irish accent. In the episode McCoy doesn’t become a knight, but he is killed by one.

      The second episode is “This Side of Paradise”. Spock laughs, smiles, flirts, etc.

      Also, John Harrison is a suck name for a character Cumberbatch said was iconic and memorable.

  9. Miss M says:

    I just would love to see Eve’s reaction to this:”…I was thinking about Cumby’s voice on my thighs.”

  10. MissMary says:

    I think the backlash against him (or anyone who is not a PoC) playing Khan would be too big for Abrams to risk casting BC in that role. Much as the red herrings keep saying no, he’s pulling a Cotillard and is really Khan, I’m leaning towards Gary Mitchell (despite the “John harrison” thing) or at least a Mitchell-like character.

    • BW says:

      I agree with you, MissMary. The description fits Gary Mitchell, not Khan. Plus, “John Harrison” was also the placeholder name they put in the old Star Trek scripts, until they came up with the real name for a character. I suspect it’s another red herring, or they’ve decided to actually name a character after the fake name.

    • Musey says:

      Yeah, based on the description, my Trekkie dad and friend are swearing he’s got to be Gary Mitchell, so I’m taking their word for it.

      I was really afraid he actually had been cast as Khan, and then I just wouldn’t have been able to see the movie in good conscience, no matter how excited I’ve been for it. It would just have been way too offensive for them to cast a white British guy as Khan Noonien Singh. But I had faith that J.J. Abrams wasn’t going to do that, since as far as I’m aware, he’s not prone to doing racially insensitive stuff.

  11. Dap says:

    Is there really going to be a third season of Sherlock? Won’t it be a little hard to explain?

    • Justyna says:

      Why wouldn’t it be a third season? The last one have ended with sort of a mini-cliffhanger. All we know is that Sherlock have somehow survived but we don’t know how. I really want to know how it happened. And there are these die-hard fans on tumblr and imdb who are making up one crazy theory after another, analizing every frame of the “death” scene, coming up with some master plans in which both Sherlock and Moriarty survived etc. If BBC said there won’t be another season, they would go completely batshit.

    • EscapedConvent says:

      We saw that Sherlock’s alive at the end of the last episode. He was shown in the cemetery, watching Watson & Mrs. Hudson at his grave.

      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did kill off Sherlock once, but there was such a whoop-ti-doo over it that he brought him back! Readers demanded their Sherlock back! (as we demand our Cumby-Sherlock)

  12. Alli says:

    You had to lead with the baby picture.

  13. Harpreet says:

    Interesting, his character reminds me of Silva from Skyfall.

    Also, I’m glad he is not playing Khan, I’d love to see someone from an actual South Asian or Middle Eastern background play that role.

  14. Mia 4S says:

    I would point out though that while everyone is worried about ethnicity issues in casting the South Asian Khan Noonien Singh, he was originally played by a Mexican. ;-) Hollywood is an odd place children.

    I read a pretty good theory of him being a man called Captain Robert April ( who has a connection to Pike), or even Sybok (Spock’s half brother) with surgical alterations. He might also be the man who created Khan and the other super humans?

    Wow, that’s a long paragraph. I am getting my geek on.

    • Lucrezia says:

      I agree. Since Khan is supposed to be northern-Indian, BC (playing Anglo-Indian) would actually make more sense than the casting of the original actor. I’m sure some Latino-Indians exist, but Anglo-Indian is a more common ethnicity.

      The Brit-factor would bring shades of British-Imperialism, but that completely fits the character of Khan, so … meh? I don’t see a problem.

      That said, I’m dithering over whether he’s actually Khan or not. On the Captain April idea … have you seen the reports coming out of the Bad Robot field day? Journo’s are saying BC’s gun was labelled “April’s gatling gun” in the artwork. Which could be a sneaky red-herring, or a clue they forgot to cover-up.