J.J. Abrams On Why Khan's Identity Was Kept Secret In STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Or perhaps that should be attempted to be kept secret! The identity of Benedict Cumberbatch's villain was "rumored" to be Khan for quite a while before the movie was released, but Abrams and others involved had always denied it. Speaking to MTV the director reveals the reason for the deception..

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By Mark "RorMachine" Cassidy - 12/2/2013


Several different sources had reported that Benedict Cumberbatch was actually playing classic Trek villain Khan in J.J. Abrams' second Star Trek flick months before the movie came out, but whenever the director or any cast members were quizzed about this it was firmly denied. Of course, they were lying -Cumberbatch was indeed playing the genetically enhanced super-villain. So why keep up the ruse when the cat was already out of the bag? Well, Abrams reckons it was all to keep the studio happy. "The truth is because it was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you've really got to know what 'Star Trek' is about to see this movie," he revealed to MTV. "That would have been limiting. I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it." In hindsight Abrams feels that they perhaps should have just been upfront about it from the start. "The truth is I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront 'This is who it is.' It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that's what the thing was." He is also asked about the rumor's that Attack The Block director Joe Cornish is the man who'll take over the reigns of the franchise for Star Trek 3, but although he admits that he'd love to see that, he says as far as he knows everything is still "up in the air".
Source: MTV
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Khan is the best villian this year of all geek movies, then General Zod and Faora, then Mother Russia (she is a badass) and The Mother Freaker, and finally everyone else was meh to ok. I can't wait to see Cumberbatch's performance of Smuag.
TheHitchhikingGhost - 12/2/2013, 7:42 AM
Complete misfire with how they handled hiding Khan. Hope he learns his less... oh wait, he's on Star Wars, so NO.
Reni - 12/2/2013, 7:47 AM
Cucumberman was great in Into Darkness but the way the movie ended made it seem like nothing changed. Hope he returns and at least kills someone important.
SuperCat - 12/2/2013, 7:50 AM
I like that he was tight-lipped on his true identity. Was fun playing the guessing game. Of course, I was happy when it was revealed he was really Khan.
fettastic - 12/2/2013, 7:51 AM
Although I liked the movie, there was no reason whatsoever for making that character Khan. With a few tweaks it could have easily been a brand new character. Khan Noonian Singh (they even use that full name in the film), is not the name of a pasty Brit. Yes Cumberbatch was fantastic, but when Ricardo Mantalban is specifically referenced by Leonard Nimoy, it's pretty annoying that he is pretty much the physical antithesis of him.

Ultimately what we were left with is everyone connected with the film LYING TO THE FANS.
NoAssemblyReqd - 12/2/2013, 7:57 AM
I admit I was fooled. The official studio line coupled with the back and forth speculation on these boards had me convinced that Cumberbatch was not Khan, but perhaps a member of Khan's crew.

So I was genuinely surprised when the character revealed himself -- and my first thought was "Good job with the deception, Bad Robot."
DudeGuyMan - 12/2/2013, 8:05 AM
Top 2013 villains list (in this order)

Miley Cyrus

Khan / Smaug

Faora (not Zod)

Kaiju

Deadites

North Koreans

dark elves

outer space

The Mother[frick]er

bone claws



Not Mandarin. [frick] that guy.
mrHJK - 12/2/2013, 8:07 AM
When the Enterprise crew time traveled in IV: The Voyage Home, they changed things. One of those changes including Khan no longer being an Indian played by a Hispanic; now, he's Brunohill Crunchabunch.
@DudeGuyMan, oh shit I forgot the Kaiju. They were awesome. Haha at outer space as the villain. Did you like Mother Russia?
Kyos - 12/2/2013, 8:12 AM
Well, since he didn't at all resemble the real Khan Noonian Singh from the original timeline I wouldn't even say he was Khan, so I'm not sure what they tried to do with the character and the whole guessing game.

Don't get me wrong, "Shall we begin?" was one of my favourite villains this year, but it was ultimately pointless to even call him Khan. Just kinda stupid. Either make him a badass original character or try to make him recognizable as the character he's supposed to be.
DudeGuyMan - 12/2/2013, 8:16 AM
Mother Russia was a badass, but I liked Mother[frick]er more. Call me crazy.
AverageDrafter - 12/2/2013, 8:22 AM
Twists and secrets don't work if they are obvious to even casual fans MONTHS before the film is shown. Jesus, everyone and their dogs were like "Khan?" as soon as the sequel was announced (Bardem was rumored) - followed closely by "Mudd?".
InfiniteMonkey - 12/2/2013, 8:38 AM
Dumbass writers.
Instead of starting a new Star Trek Legend, idiots chickened out. LOL
Wolf38 - 12/2/2013, 8:41 AM
Cringe. Eye-roll. The only reason that they made his character "Khan" was to "angle it to existing fans." New viewers don't care about Khan. And I would argue that old fans would rather see something new anyway, so it fails on both levels.

They should have simply left Cumberbatch's character as John Harrison, a non-Sikh British guy as established in the first half of the film. Have some new ideas, people.

I don't think that the technicality of when the identity was revealed makes much difference. The idea itself is one of the worst screenplay twists that I have seen in a long, long time. Gag.

MsDarkPhoenix - 12/2/2013, 8:43 AM
Faora was awesome! I think she was my favourite villain of 2013! You know who else could have been awesome? The real Mandarin.

@McGee Why not? We are not racist people!
Nomis1800 - 12/2/2013, 8:45 AM
They should've just named it The Wrath of Khan too
giannis - 12/2/2013, 8:50 AM
SpectacularJoShFest - 12/2/2013, 8:56 AM
Everyone spoilt the "well-kept secret" about him being Khan any way...so I guess most trekkies went to watch the movie knowing Cumberbatch was Khan.
beane2099 - 12/2/2013, 9:06 AM
That's fine and all but then when Khan reveals who is that should have elicited a tetch more exposition than "Admiral Robocop started scouring the galaxy and they found my ship." When he said "My NAME... is Khan" that should have immediately followed by "okay who's that?" By not having some scene where they explain who Khan is and why he's significant (like Kirk and Spock looking at a historical tape) that shows that they WERE in fact depending on fan recognition of the name to carry the character's weight. That was a misstep in my opinion.
fadersdream - 12/2/2013, 9:14 AM
I knew he was Khan,
I loved the movie.

Trekkies get on my nerves, seems they want the franchise to be unapproachable. Too many sacred cows are what kill these types of things.

"Han shot first", who cares?
Until people made a stink about such a little thing did anyone really care?
VictorHugo - 12/2/2013, 9:19 AM
Morbius - 12/2/2013, 9:19 AM
That whole thing was just BS and one of the most predictable twists ever.
Shadowelfz - 12/2/2013, 9:31 AM
I have to agree with Fettastic here. I liked Cumberbach as Khan but they should have just gone with Gary Mitchell or a new character insteaad and used Khan as a CENTRAL villian for another movie instead of being a pawn to another villian that turned the tides on him.
SauronsBANE1 - 12/2/2013, 10:15 AM
The thing is, there was absolutely no reason to have him be Khan. The story wouldn't have changed one bit if he'd been some other member of that crew or even a totally different villain. The clever alternate timeline in the 1st movie opened the door for new, original Star Trek characters to see the light of day...and JJ goes ahead and re-tells the most famous Star Trek story of all time. Lazy, cheap, and unsatisfying.

Entertaining movie, but I gotta agree with what Grif has been saying about this movie.
McFarlaneFan - 12/2/2013, 10:49 AM
Into Darkness was a total loss. Khan or not, you don't have these touchy, feely, feminine villains and think the film will work. In todays Hollywood the women don't cry and the men cry like babies.
Abram's Khan was She-Khan.
pointman - 12/2/2013, 1:28 PM
Into Darkness was a popcorn flick at best and forgettable just like abrams first try at star trek. They are visually appealing but don't have much density. And it is just like the parody says, it was has audition tapes for star wars since he ripped a lot of scenes off ( paying homage maybe). I don't see the big fuss over cumberbatch. When he tried to come of maniacally, he made me laugh or cringe.
TheSoulEater - 12/2/2013, 1:54 PM
Because he still believes in decent REVEALS, that's why.

Today everyones wanting to spoiler EVERYTHING
grifdeadpoolteabag - 12/2/2013, 2:40 PM
Translation: "We made him Khan at the last minute because the Star Trek fans weren't coming otherwise."
odinsbeard1 - 12/2/2013, 5:44 PM
Let's see - the Mandarin was a paid actor (and later some nerd who could breathe flames or something - but we couldn't do rings because those aren't real????????). Khan - who subdued a good part of the Subcontinent (and looked East Indian in two earlier portrayals played by Ricardo M.) was really a pale white English actor. Can I get a job in Hollywood - I smoke crack daily and I hallucinate regularly - I would be a great script writer and/or director.
ka0t1c1sm - 12/2/2013, 9:31 PM
When I first saw the trailer, I was hoping he'd be a re-envisioning of Gary Mitchell...
MightyZeus - 12/3/2013, 12:05 AM
Into Darkness was a good movie. Surprisingly i was okay with the reveal of Khan. I'm not a fan of Cumberpath but seeing him in that role made me take him seriously.

In my opinion he's a better Khan. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan is out dated in my opinion.
johnblake - 12/3/2013, 6:27 AM
Somebody please tell me why Kahn is whiite
RetroFit - 12/3/2013, 8:39 AM
As far as secret twists went:
Khan>Mandarin

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