From the moment Benedict Cumberbatch was cast in “Star Trek Into Darkness,” rumors were swirling that he would be portraying Khan. Whether or not the iconic “Trek” villain would appear in “Into Darkness” was the subject of much debate in the year leading up to its release, with the movie’s creators going as far as to give Cumberbatch’s character a different name to get people off their scent.
It was ultimately revealed that Cumberbatch was indeed playing Khan, albeit a different version of the character than fans had seen before. A bonus feature on the “Star Trek Into Darkness” Blu-ray explores the effort that went into keeping the villain’s identity a secret, but director J.J. Abrams tells Zap2it that his intent was never to be coy about having the character in the film.
“While I never said that it wasn’t Khan — and Simon Pegg went out and said, ‘It’s not Khan,’ I was like, ‘Simon, it kind of is Khan’ — we tried to not reveal it because we wanted people to experience it on their own,” Abrams says at a “Star Trek Into Darkness” Blu-ray release event. “If you didn’t know ‘Star Trek,’ it wouldn’t matter to you, and if you did, people wouldn’t have the story ruined for them going in. But it was important to us that we try and keep the experience of seeing the film fresh and fun, surprising for fans. We didn’t want to be coy, but it was important to us that we do everything to preserve the surprise for people watching the movie.”
Abrams’ “Star Trek” movies exist in a connected but separate universe from the original “Star Trek” films and TV shows. While “Into Darkness” showed a different spin on a familiar character in the “Trek” universe, Abrams says he’s ready for the series to boldly go in a new direction in the upcoming “Star Trek 3,” which he isn’t directing but is producing.
“I think that in the next chapter, it will be very much kind of going past the experiences that are connected to sort of so deeply the pre-existing stories. That’s something that we knew we would want to do eventually, and it feels like the right time,” he says.
Next year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of “Lost,” and at San Diego Comic-Con Michael Emerson teased to Zap2it that there were “some murmurings of some kind of reunion.” Abrams confirms that news as well.
“There’s nothing that I’ve heard of that’s been planned yet, but I know there has been some talk about things,” he tells Zap2it. “I haven’t heard anything definitive.”
“Star Trek Into Darkness” hit Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 10.