Did EW Confirm Star Trek Into Darkness Villain’s True Identity? Not Really

As reported earlier, tomorrow Entertainment Weekly has a Star Trek Into Darkness cover feature with two collectible covers. Some fans have spotted something on the order page at Entertainment Weekly that seems to confirm the identity of the movie’s villain. Did it really? Well not exactly. See below [Warning: Spoilers discussed].  



EW Confirmed Khan?

As we reported earlier there are two collectible covers for the new issue of Star Trek Into Darkness. If you go online to the ew.com site to buy the one with Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch, the cover title appears to confirm the true secret identity of Cumberbatch’s character (John Harrison). See image below…

Being that the cover story includes exclusive new images and on the record comments from JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and many of the actors from the movie is this actual "Khanfirmation." Actally, no.

Here is what is said about Khan in the actual EW cover story written by Geoff Boucher:

Unconfirmed rumors suggest that Harrison also goes by the name of Khan, the genetically upgraded tyrant portrayed by Ricardo Montalban in a February 1967 episode of the original series, as well as in 1982’s big-screen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

In addition when EW sent TrekMovie the cover images yesterday the one in question was titled "Cumberbatch_Pine."

While it is true that Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain has been identified as Khan by TrekMovie.com (see spoiler article from last year – warning additional spoilers)…as well as other sources, this is still considered officially a rumor as it hasn’t been confirmed on the record by anyone related to the film. And that hasn’t changed. EW isn’t reporting any new on-the-record or off-the record-confirmation. It is possible that the "Khan" identity was just an over-zealous person from the EW website.  

UPDATE: EW Changes Order page

Not long after TrekMovie.com published this story, EW.com updated their site and removed the reference to Khan. Now both cover order pages have the same title "Kirk and Spock."

New order page at EW.com

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Thanks for addressing this so quickly. It was going to bug me all day if I didn’t hear something about this. I still think we’re looking at a ‘Talia al Ghul’ situation like in Dark Knight Rises. Harrison is a cover name and he’ll reveal himself as Khan at some point in the movie.




“While it is true that Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain has been identified as Khan by TrekMovie.com (see spoiler article from last year – warning additional spoilers)…as well as other sources, this is still considered officially a rumor as it hasn’t been confirmed on the record by anyone related to the film.”

The words “by anyone related to the film” say it all.




Problem is a lot of people have trouble separating signal from noise.

Charles H. Root, III



i’m guessing the ew banner page gets changed pretty quickly. if not, it would appear to be khan.



I’ll take Khan over Jesus in a Star Trek film any day.

If I want Jesus, I watch “Family Guy.”


It’s going to be “officially a rumor” until the day the movie opens.

But thems don’t change the facts.

Rose (as in Keachick)

So, in other words, nothing new…just more Khan nonsense…will it ever stop?

Josh C.

I will be wheelbarrowing crow in personally when the movie comes out and he’s not Khan


Why are the media so dismissive of all the other wonderful, wonderful theories that trekkies have?

Captain Hackett



The very idea that he’s playing Montalban’s character is entirely Khansensical. It’s obvious he’s not Khan.



Yes, I hope nobody is holding their breath for any official confirmation.

@ 8

AJ says,

“If I want Jesus, I watch “Family Guy.”

That’s funny.


I think that EW stuff just got lazy and they simply took the name from the IMDB page of the movie that for some reason no one has corrected yet.
You think that these guys could google it and find that the name is John Harrison.. but unfortunately most of the times they automatically go to the IMDB only.


Good Job TM. Thank you.

Son of Jello

Having Khan in STITD would show a complete lack of imagination. And ST would look like it cannot move on from a plot line that was started in to 1960s.
(That’s 46years ago for those fans who are still living in the past and are demanding ST stay there).


If you keep playing the game, JJ and crew will keep creating “secrets” for their projects in order to generate un-marketed buzz.

Nice going people.

Promo Boy

I have an EW subscription… so where the hell’s my issue?
Damned mail…

Jeffries Tuber

Montalban+Genomics=Bandersnatch Cumberbund

Son of Jello

21 Sorry about that I will get it back to you when I have finished with it.


The EW page has already been changed to say Kirk and Spock. Did they accidentally spoil an exclusive, or was it an innocent mistake?


#17: I’ve been trying to submit a correction to that since John Harrison was revealed as his character, but it always gets stuck and doesn’t let me. We can only hope they make this correction themselves if enough people write in.


Ensign RedShirt

Abrams is not going to hire a white Brit to play a man named Khan Noonien Singh. It’d be incredibly tacky and flat out wrong.

Let me say this before we start. I believe Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan. That being said let’s look at facts we can all agree on and perhaps look at other candidates than Khan. I’m not going to debunk since I’ve been accused of not keeping an open mind.

1. BC’s character John Harrison has superhuman strength, though he’s human looking. Leaked video, trailers.
2. Harrison is a member of Starfleet. EW article; see previous TM story. Alex Kurtzman’s comments.
3. Harrison is described as a terrorist. EW article; comments by BC.
4. Harrison is canon. Bob Orci interview from this site.
5. Harrison says he’s better at everything. Super Bowl trailer.
6. Harrison tells grieving father that he can save his sick daughter. First nine minutes of the move. Could be a Khan job. Oops, sorry about that.
7. Kirk doesn’t recognize Harrison. Asks “Who are you?” Super Bowl trailer.
8. Harrison says he’s coming back for his revenge. Announcement trailer.

Other than Khan, who are the other candidates.

Gary Mitchell. Gary Seven. Charlie Evans. (“Charlie X”) Trelane. Altered Klingons. Kor. Kang. Koloth.

Any others? Just remember superhuman strength, canon, and seeking revenge.



Oh, my. That was quick. Did JJ place the angry phone call personally?

And some of you dare to say JJ doesn’t care about Star Trek anymore.


Why go around saying you are John Harrison? I said this in a previous post wouldn’t Starfleet have Khan’s photo on file so they would know it was him? Unless Khan would be able to alter his appearance somehow?


“While it is true that Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain has been identified as Khan by TrekMovie.com (see spoiler article from last year – warning additional spoilers)…as well as other sources, this is still considered officially a rumor as it hasn’t been confirmed on the record by anyone related to the film. And that hasn’t changed.”

Thanks Anthony for reconfirming your breaking story from last year where you reported from multiple inside sources that Khan was confirmed as the villain.



Dear. These interns are messing with our minds.


@3 “The words ‘by anyone related to the film’ say it all.”

Your selection of this quote from Anthony cuts out the key context phrase. What he said was:

“it hasn’t been confirmed on the record by anyone related to the film.”

The key context phrase here that you chose to leave out is: “ON THE RECORD”

Big difference here, because people in the film OFF THE RECORD confirmed to Anthony last year that Khan is the villain.

Notice as well that Anthony uses the term, “this is still considered officially a rumor.” That certainly implies to me that Anthony is as confident in his Khan story now as he was last year.

This does it for me. This is pretty much the final confirmation that I have been waiting for.

Garth Faction


Garth. Garth fits.

But now I think the cat is out of the bag, and we just got spin…


#29. Well, considering how in “Space Seed”, they knew his name was Khan for a bit before realizing he was Khan Noonien Singh, it wouldn’t be too surprising that no one realized it was him.

Trelane The Squire Of Harlem

You would have to be an idiot to not see that Harrisson is a genetically advanced human being and even more of an idiot to not see whats staring us in the face. He is an augment and he lamented about family and said he was better at “everything”. Kirk did not know who he was in the trailer. He really hates Starfleet and Great Britian pissed him off. The IMAX preview confirms we are dealing with genetics.

Remember Neros incursion altered the timeline thus creating a new reality. The Botany Bay may have been discovered by someone else. It may have been found by another crew. Another branch of Starfleet. The ship drifted for 200 years. Nero altered the balance of power. Vulcan was a major major player in Federation affairs. What was the impact on the Federation? This movie will be awesome Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Riker's Beard

He’s clearly not Khan.


32: “Big difference here, because people in the film OFF THE RECORD confirmed to Anthony last year that Khan is the villain.”

Where did AP ever say his source was from “in the film?” That’s news to me, my man. I don’t ever recall AP identifying his mystery source as someone “in the film” or who was unambiguously in a position to know.


So post that link if you have it.

“This does it for me. This is pretty much the final confirmation that I have been waiting for.”

Sounds like you’re still vacillating, MJ. The “pretty much” cancels out the “this does it for me.”

I am committed to the position that Cumberbatch is not playing Khan.

Are you committed to the position that he is?


It’s either Khan or one of his flunkies from the Botany Bay. I’ve been leaning toward the latter but there’s no reason it couldn’t be Khan. The ethnicity thing could be disposed of with a joke.

“You don’t look like a Singh…”

“It’s called genetic engineering. Have you never heard of it or are you just a racist?”


I don’t post here often but I enjoy reading the comments. So I’ll add my two cents to this for what it’s worth…

I do not believe BC is playing Khan. Not only was Khan Indian, but nothing else before the Botany Bay was launched should have been changed. Unless the Supreme Court are REALLY screwing things up now, which I doubt. Also, the comment that Bob Orci made about BC’s character being canon… well since he’s in the new film, wouldn’t that now make him canon even if he’s never shown up before? I can’t remember if Bob Orci made a remark that we’d ever seen him before or just that he was canon.

All that being said, I don’t believe Khan is totally out of the picture. Some of the images from the trailers show what look like either coffins or stasis tubes. So BC could either be an Augment like some have suggested, or one of Khan’s followers on some sort of revenge mission against Earth.

I’d be willing to bet that BC dies at the end of the film and sets it up for Khan’s arrival in the next one. Something along the lines of, “You may have beaten me, but this is only the beginning. There’s someone far worse that you’ll have to answer to now.”

In short, I’m just saying I don’t think BC is Khan, but I think there’s some kind of connection to Khan.

And another curve ball to some, in case you’re not reading the Countdown to Darkness comic, Captain April does play a part in something… what that is we’re waiting to know in the next issues.

Spock Prime

Spock Prime begins to have feelings for Uhura and competes with other Spock.
Spock Prime sabotages other Spock’s tether cable on the shuttle.
Spock Prime chases other Spock off the roof of Starfleet HQ.
Spock Prime gets locked in the brig and gives his katra to other Spock.
Other Spock become twice the man he was satisfying Uhura needs giving her more than just the fingers (Pon Farr).


#34 – I don’t think they knew he was Khan when they first saw him in Space Seed. Didn’t they just know that they were genetically engineered super humans because of Lt. McGivers?


Would I bet my life savings on Khan? No.

Do I think its Khan? Yes.

If its not Khan, is is going to be Joachim or and equivalent charter? Most definitely.

Is there any change that the character is unrelated to the Khan story? No

Who has been saying Khan was involved for the past two years? Me, Red Dead Ryan, Basement Blogger, Craiger, a couple others.

Who was saying two months ago it was likely to be Gary Mitchell? You, and 75% of the people here.


“chance” not “change”

Emperor Mike of the Alternate Empire

One things is certen. The Night Star Trek Into Darkness oppens. Trek Movie will be going Nut’s. Just like it did when Star Trek 2009 came out.
Anthony. I hope you have Trekmovie ready.

The Truth

I believe I remember Bob Orci (please forgive me, Bob, if it weren’t you) or one of the other creative staff saying that there would be some ‘face-melting’ in the film. Seeing as Khan (well, a broad-shouldered chap with pony tail and genetically engineered superhman swagger) was seen walking out of a bay containing tens of stasis tubes and all of the ‘I am better’, the jumping ten metres into the air and beating up some Klingons (who aren’t the weakest bunch in the Milky Way)… it’s difficult to think of the baddie being anyone else.

I think the Robert April speculation/rumour was well constructed and the silence surrounding Peter Weller’s character (who, incidentally, has his own starship) is deafening. I believe Weller is April, who’s got some vendetta with Starfleet following Pike’s captaincy of the Big E before him. April revives Khan (prior maybe to Nero’s demise), gives him a new identity and purpose to be a ‘one man weapon of mass destruction’… Of course, Khan’s no puppet, disposes of April and runs his own campaign of vengence against Earth and the wider Federation.

By the way, I’m loving Uhuru’s wetsuit!


DM, here you go –from Anthony’s story last year:

“TrekMovie has also confirmed this with a number of sources so we no longer consider it to be a rumor. Khan is back in 2013, however sources indicate that the film is not a rehash of “Space Seed,” the original Star Trek episode where Kirk and crew first encounter the genetic superman from the past.”

It says here, “confirmed this with a number of sources so we no longer consider it to be a rumor.” The only way Anthony could say this is if he had confirmation from inside sources…again, he says, “we no longer consider it to be a rumor.” To no longer consider it a rumor, he would need inside confirmation.

Now if you want to say that Anthony is a shoddy journalist and take that route her to question him, well I can’t prove anything in that regard. However, my opinion is that Anthony is a pretty damn good amateur journalist who is careful about what he says.


@45. Yes, Weller is most likely playing April. I would rate that as a 90% chance.

Spock Prime

#45 – By the way, I’m loving Uhura’s wetsuit!

So does Spock Prime.


Also with this new Universe couldn’t JJ make Khan not be from India? I found this at Wikipedia:

“The character was originally conceived of as a Nordic superman by scriptwriter Carey Wilber before his ancestry was changed in script revisions. Harve Bennett, executive producer for Star Trek II, chose Khan as the villain for the film.”

What if JJ uses that early version of Khan before it was changed?


@48 Pon fracking farr…..yea, baby!!!