“Star Trek Into Darkness” Villain identity revealed?

Paramount has been closely guarding the name of Benedict Cumberbatch’s villainous character in next year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, with Khan Noonien Singh and Gary Mitchell as front runners for the role. The identity of his character may have been revealed today. See below.

Today the Star Trek PADD iOS app (iPad, iPhone) released an update related to Star Trek Into Darkness, including the following image:

John Harrison?

This is a screen cap from my iPad. The image is captioned, as you can see, with Spock, “John Harrison” and Kirk. John Harrison has no other entries in the iPad app. Could this be the identity of the villain, accidentally revealed?

11 replies on ““Star Trek Into Darkness” Villain identity revealed?”

      • As far as I can tell, it’s an original character. Most speculation has been Khan (from “Space Seed” and the original “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”) or Gary Mitchell (from “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the second pilot to the original series) instead of an original character.

    • During an interview Benedict Cumberbatch was asked whether his character was someone from existing Trek lore, and he answered that it was rather than declining to answer. Given the intense secrecy over the character, maybe “John Harrison” is just a code name / placeholder that has been used for the real name on scripts etc.

      My money is still on Gary Mitchell, but quite honestly it could still be pretty much anyone at this point. You’ve got to hand it to the production crew; to have got this far and STILL not had any confirmed leaks as to the character’s name is quite an achievement.

      • Well, “John Harrison” and “Gary Mitchell” are the same length in the number of characters so it fits the “placeholder” theory.

        • Another popular online notion is that it’s a member of Khan’s crew, but not Khan himself. I don’t know if that would work, however.


  1. I think this is just a red herring.

    I think Benedict is playing Khan. In the “new” universe (I really, really, really hate the destruction of Vulcan in the first movie) I think they will be mixing up Khan’s story a bit. I think they’ll rescue Khan as in the “Space Seed” episode, and he’ll succeed in causing a bunch of havoc to ensue. Then, at the end of the movie (as hinted in the Japanese trailer) Spock will sacrifice himself to save the crew and defeat Khan. Khan will end up exiled on Seti Alpha 5 by the end of the movie.

    Thats my guess.

    Also, I think Abrams hates guessing on what his shows are about and that is why he’s so tight lipped. I truly believe that Lost as originally conceived and written was about the characters being in Purgatory. But as soon as people started guessing that (correctly!) he scrambled to change the show to make the Island not be Purgatory. However, they were so vested in the Purgatory angle that they brought it back anyway for the final season. They really should have stuck with what I believe was their original idea even if everyone could already guess what it was.

    With this movie, I’m sure Abrams is pissed people are guessing that it is Khan, but he can’t change the movie like he changed a TV show. He should have just stated its a Khan movie from the beginning, his secrecy doesn’t help him.

    Ok, there’s my rant. I do realize this leaves me completely open to being savagely criticized when the movie comes out if I am wrong ;-), and I would welcome that future criticism if I am wrong. But I don’t think I am.

    I’ll give myself a small out. It could be Gary Mitchell, that would be feasible as well, but I honestly just plain don’t want the movie to be about Gary Mitchell.

    • Well, since we’re speculating, here’s my theory – and yes, I think JJ Abrams got annoyed about the Khan thing and did some re-writing too:

      JJ Abrams originally wanted Benicio Del Toro to play Khan, but the deal fell through and Abrams had to look for a replacement antagonist. Presumably this included auditioning actors for the role of Khan, but he was blown away by Cumberbatch’s improvised iPhone audition. Visually, even Cumberbatch would have a hard time convincing people his surname was Singh, so he cast around for another Trek villain with superhuman skills and a penchant for running amok to minimise the amount of re-writing and settled on Gary Anderson. As a bonus, that still leaves the door open for Del Toro to play Khan in another Trek movie at a later date if a suitable deal can be struck.

      Of course, it could all be a fake-out and the real villain is still Khan. Given that Cumberbatch has said he *isn’t* playing Kahn and seems to feature rather prominently in the trailers, I don’t think that’s the case though.

  2. Here’s my take: I’m OK with it being something new. Really.

    I’ve seen Khan (twice in fact) and I’m good with that performance. I like Cumberpatch a lot, but he’s not Montalban. It’s not a criticism, it’s just they’re different flavors of awesome.

    It’s going to be an action flick. Basically all the Star Trek movies were action flicks. (TMP wasn’t and look where that got us and TVH was a comedy with action elements). The cerebral, intellectual, and moralistic Star Trek we love doesn’t translate into a 2+ hour feature.

    Think about it: Do you want to pay $10+ to see “The Measure of a Man” or “In the Pale Moonlight” on the big screen? Not really.

    Abrams Star Trek is different. I get it. I’m OK with it. My only beef is that its presence in the theaters pretty much precludes us getting back on TV. Maybe after this one makes a bazillion dollars that can change.

    In the meantime, I’m enjoying the hell out of working my way through TNG with my kids (finally on Season 3).

    • This is why I’d prefer Gary Mitchell, if it had to be either of those two. Khan may be a genetically-engineered superhuman but, in the end, it would just be another Abrams Space Adventure! featuring characters resembling the ones in Star Trek. Mitchell had godlike abilities, and pitting the Kirk 90210 Crew against him would mean we’d have something more in the vein of the SF to which TOS aspired.

      And maybe he could use his powers to fix the lens flare problem.

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