STID: Benedict Cumberbatch Says His Character Is "Not Clearly Good Or Evil"

STID: Benedict Cumberbatch Says His Character Is "Not Clearly Good Or Evil"

The Sherlock actor might be playing the villain in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek sequel, but it seems we can expect a bit of the old ambiguity when it comes to him being an out-and-out eeeevil bad guy. Read on for quotes from the actor..

Director J.J. Abrams, Chris Pine (Jim Kirk) and Benedict Cumberbatch (??) attended a press conference in Tokyo Japan, where the 9 minute preview of Star Trek Into Darkness was screened for those in attendance, along with a Q & A afterwards. The Japanese press seem to be strictly adhering to the embargo placed on descriptions of said footage, but we do have some quotes from Benedict Cumberbatch, who talks a little about his (still unidentified) character. It seems that although Cumberbatch will be the main antagonist of the story, he will have a few shades of grey to him at the same time..

(Translated from Japanese)

"I was a fan of the [2009 Star Trek], so I was pleased when I got the offer. But I know the second one will become far-bigger scale, so I felt terror instantly. He is very ruthless…He is not a clearly good or evil character. He is a villain but the actions he takes has intent and reason. He is a complicated character not to be judged by white-or-black, or good-or-evil. But this is the appeal of J.J.’s works and I felt challenge as an actor."

Hmmm. I'm sure we'll get a few "Ok, that's definitely Gary Mitchel!" comments, and I would agree it certainly sounds like that character. Guess we'll find out soon enough. J.J. Abrams also commented on the somewhat bizarre title of the movie. "I would avoid saying ‘Part 2′ and hate titles with colons," explained the director. "This time, each characters steps deeper into darkness. It reflects that. No matter how great the visual effects, it means nothing if characters don’t have appeal. Particularly, this movie has themes that Kirk and his crew are ‘tried’ in the face of an unexpected and horrible event.". Sounds good to me, even with the slightly dodgy translation!

Posted By:
Mark Cassidy
Member Since 11/9/2008
Filed Under "Star Trek" 12/4/2012 Source: Via Trek Movie
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
Greengo - 12/4/2012, 12:23 PM
Yup. Gary Mitchell.

Or some such.
LP4 - 12/4/2012, 12:23 PM
Nice find Ror, this gives us a new clue to work off of.

Definitely sounds like Gary Mitchell. He wasn't clearly evil because he was a good guy and basically a victim of the new powers he acquired.

I'm curious to see where this leads. I guess Cumberbatch COULD be Khan but it would appear to be a VERY different take on the character but he wasn't clearly good or evil either.

If I remember correctly from Space Seed, he wanted to rule not out of necessity but as he stated himself "we offered the world ORDER" so he kinda felt he could do a better job of ruling.

I personally don't want Khan in this but if it is Khan they definitely didn't copy-and-paste the original Khan. Just going off looks alone, this new villain already looks original.
LP4 - 12/4/2012, 12:25 PM
I like the whole- not clearly good or evil angle and i like the whole gray-area Cumberbatch is referencing for his villain. But at the same time, I don't want the villain to be TOO sympathetic, know what i mean?

But the word "ruthless" definitely caught my attention :)
maxxgone - 12/4/2012, 12:33 PM
doesn't surprise me at all that the Japanese press follow the embargo with the responsibility it calls for.
jazzman - 12/4/2012, 12:37 PM
why cant we just have villains to be just pure evil.
DukeAcureds - 12/4/2012, 12:50 PM
LP4 - 12/4/2012, 12:51 PM
@Jazzman- That would be nice but asking too much of them i suppose ;P
RorMachine - 12/4/2012, 12:58 PM
jazzman, because it's boring.
DaenerysTargaryen - 12/4/2012, 1:07 PM
So....he's Sherlock gone insane?
jazzman - 12/4/2012, 1:07 PM

aww man i miss the pure evil villains


so i guess The Joker was boring in TDK then lol
RorMachine - 12/4/2012, 1:13 PM
No, but even he had his own twisted logic behind what he was doing, and why he was doing it, as he explained to Batman in the interrogation scene. My point is, generally out-and-out evil villains leads to a bit of mustache twirling and makes them into caricatures. They work fine in comics, but tv and film requires a bit more of a connection with the characters.
OdinsBeard - 12/4/2012, 1:13 PM
"He is a complicated character not to be judged by white-or-black, or good-or-evil."

it's things like this that make me miss the joker more each day. no reason, just pure assholery.

we get it.. the villains have motives.. ooh fun.. now come up with something original..
SuperDude001 - 12/4/2012, 1:14 PM
If anyone can pull of a villain as detailed as this sounds it's Cumberbatch.
Although I am getting a tad tired of the overuse of complex villains...I enjoy it, of course complex villains with reasons are far more interesting, but every now and again I love the pure evil Jokers and Moriartys.
RorMachine - 12/4/2012, 1:14 PM
..I'm not saying the NEVER work, as I just realized one of my favorite movie villains was the shark from Jaws, and he was just a c~nt.
RorMachine - 12/4/2012, 1:15 PM
Moriarty is another good example.
Jollem - 12/4/2012, 1:18 PM
@RorMachine - that shark did have a bit of an attitude problem
OdinsBeard - 12/4/2012, 1:18 PM
Ror@ thats one extreme end of the spectrum. the other side is now we always get some emo, morose dude and they spend so much time sympathizing with them that they're almost becoming a characiture too.

sometimes i don't want to agree with my antagonist. sometimes i just want them to get their ass kicked!

looking forward to Calvin Candie in Django...
OdinsBeard - 12/4/2012, 1:18 PM
lol shark from jaws.... that relentless, soulless bastard..
Rowsdower - 12/4/2012, 1:19 PM
Mustache twirling rules
RorMachine - 12/4/2012, 1:20 PM
Well yeah that's also boring! But the extremes of anything tend to be. I like a ruthless, take-no-prisoners villain but one with just a tad of humanity makes them more interesting imo..take Javier Bardem's character in Skyfall, I actually thought he had a damn good pint! I'd be pretty pissed off too if I were him.
DrDoom - 12/4/2012, 1:22 PM
Robe - 12/4/2012, 1:23 PM
Okay if he is Gary Mitchell maybe he was serving on the USS Excalibur, it was the ship that encountered the barrier and he got the godlike powers.
Kirk wasn't there to stop him returning to Earth and trashing it.
Niem8211 - 12/4/2012, 1:40 PM
valeriesghost - 12/4/2012, 1:43 PM
Benedict Cumberbatch is all i need to know about this movie to already know i want to see it.
jbak368 - 12/4/2012, 1:45 PM
Garth of Izar man. Starfleet captain who goes mad and attempts genocide. Heart of Darkness in space. Garth of Izar.
LP4 - 12/4/2012, 1:50 PM
@Intruder- LMAO nice point.

I just hope i don't walk out of the theater somehow feeling bad or sympathetic for the villain.

It would be weird after murdering thousands, if Kirk felt bad for the guy. LOL
Funsize - 12/4/2012, 1:50 PM
sounds very evilish
DrRockso - 12/4/2012, 2:45 PM
Have we had confirmation that he's playing a pre-existing character? I can't remember.
Greengo - 12/4/2012, 3:26 PM
Or is it not about good or evil?

I read the Gary Mitchell bio and it sounds like he just doesn't care. Kind of like Dr. Manhattan... in that he's beyond a primitive human thought process and is more logical than emotional.

Which I guess could be interpreted as evil. To me villains with what are to them are basic and to me complex motives are very intriguing.
NightForce - 12/4/2012, 3:31 PM
I haven't seen a lot of episodes of the old Star Trek series, but one that I have seen is the episode with Gary Mitchell. I think that it would be pretty cool if Cumberbatch (wow that is weird to type) turns out to be Mitchell. I also hope they don't make the villain too sympathetic, or make him a mustache-twirling, evil for the sake of evil guy.
LP4 - 12/4/2012, 4:02 PM
@DrRockso- Yes, it was confirmed a while back that both Cumberbatch and Alice Eve are playing pre-existing Trek canon characters. I believe it was Bob Orci that confirmed it a while back.

@AsgardianGangsta- "I also hope they don't make the villain too sympathetic, or make him a mustache-twirling, evil for the sake of evil guy"

Then what kind of villain do you want? I agree with you btw about not wanting the villain to be too sympathetic. Look, the guy may have murdered THOUSANDS of innocent people, there is clearly a limit to the amount of sympathy we should feel for this guy.
Tainted87 - 12/4/2012, 5:53 PM
Maybe he's trying to find the Anti-Life Equation.
DrRockso - 12/4/2012, 6:39 PM
@LP4 Thankyouverymuch sir. Personally I want Khan but it seems less likely every tidbit of info they gets released. But now that I've seen Sherlock, I don't care who he is portraying, I know his contribution alone will be worth the price of admission.
simon79 - 12/4/2012, 8:26 PM
I think he's going to be Gary Seven. His job was to protect Earth for centuries and with the time changes in the previous film, this one could possibly be about him setting things right again, no matter what the cost is.

Happy11 - 12/4/2012, 10:08 PM
Argh enough with the Gary Mitchell shit.
LP4 - 12/5/2012, 2:09 AM
@DrRockso- I think everyone here on cbm knows that i was actually one of the few that never wanted Khan in this film lol. Star Trek is so much mpre than just about Khan.

Anyway, no problem my friend :-)
LP4 - 12/5/2012, 2:09 AM
LP4 - 12/5/2012, 2:36 AM
@simon79- i think you are on to something

"Gary Seven was a Human male whose ancestors were abducted from Earth around 4000 BC. He held the position of Class One Supervisor, known as Supervisor 194. He was grown and conditioned in some way which allowed him to have a completely healthy and flawless body; furthermore he was insensitive to the impact of the Vulcan nerve pinch"

The part about him being immune to Spock's nerve pinch is what made me think of Benedict Cumberbatch's character

SUPERSHADOWBAT - 12/5/2012, 6:46 AM
Many times villains don't see themselves as evil or the bad guy. They feel a justified sense of purpose in what they are carrying out. It's that logic that makes a character interesting. Star Trek has always been great at that.

Please log in to post comments.

Don't have an account?
Please Register.