‘Star Trek Into Darkness’: How J.J. Abrams Kept the Identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Villain a Secret
J.J. Abrams has taken the task of protecting audiences from spoilers where no man (or woman!) has gone before.
Journalists were invited to a sneak peek of “Star Trek Into Darkness” footage last December. As Slashfilm’s Germain Lussier explains, Abrams introduced the footage and asked everyone to keep the details on the down-low. Now that “STID” is in theaters, the lengths Abrams et al went to keep some key details super secret — even to journalists — have become clear.
While there was plenty of speculation about the true identity of Benedict Cumberbatch, he was merely introduced as John Harrison in the footage, both in dialogue and visually. According to Lussier, who saw the footage, certain details “were 100 percent different from the sequence when it screened in December, again at CinemaCon in April and possibly other places.”
“STID” co-writer and producer Damon Lindelof had more to say about the switcheroo.
“[Producer] Bryan Burk was the one who first proposed that we use the space jump sequence as a way of getting folks excited for the movie… The challenge was obvious [because] this is AFTER the reveal. Therefore, J.J. and post production supervisor Ben Rosenblatt executed a ‘Harrison Cut’ to preserve the secret. I’d rather not get into the details of how this was accomplished, suffice to say it wasn’t easy. It was, however, worth it.”
Of course, those of us who saw the movie know his real identity — and mum’s the word.