Abrams Contrasts Nero With Harrison + Cumberbatch Talks ‘Great Discovery’ in Into Darkness

In the summer movie preview from Total Film magazine, Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ Abrams contrasts Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain with Nero from his 2009 Star Trek film. And in the same mag, Cumberbatch talks about how there is something to "discover" about his character as well. Details below.  



Cumberbatch and Abrams Talk Into Darkness

Benedict Cumberbatch is quoted talking about Star Trek Into Darkness in the new Summer Preview edition of Total Film Magazine (via CBM). The actor talked about his training and his costumes, (perhaps treading into TMI territory)  and he says something intriguing about his character:…

"I did a lot of close combat training. He’s a kick-ass warrior, as masterful with his hands and body as he is with weapons…You will have a great discovery during this film, which I think is great…[My costumes] look great. Some of them were (no pun intended) cumbersome and heavy, but some were very snug; you can almost see what religion I am…"

That bit about "a great discovery" should fuel the notion that there is more to John Harrison than meets the eye.

Cumberbatch’s Star Trek Into Darkness villain featured in Total Film summer preview

One of the criticisms of the 2009 Star Trek film was that the motivations for the villain Nero didn’t seem fleshed out. Director JJ Abrams says that it is totally different this time around…  

"[Nero] was just a raging, vengeful lunatic. All he wanted to do was destroy Vulcan, Earth and the Federation…He had backstory but was kind of irrational. The beauty of Benedict’s [John Harrison] is that he’s completely rational. He’s someone that you can have conversations with. You couldn’t sit down and talk to Nero – he’d bite your head off!"

Abrams: Nero was "irrational" but you can have a nice chat with Harrison

You can get more in the latest issue of Total Film Magazine on sale now in the UK and online.



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Jack Zymurgy

I think we’re in for a great antagonist. I’m excited.

I am not Herbert

“…[John Harrison] is that he’s completely rational.”

yeah, right! LOL!!

I am not Herbert

…well, it’s not TOO difficult to be better than Nero! LOL!!

Moputo Jones

A great discovery, indeed.

“From hell’s heart, I stab at thee…”

I am not Herbert

the WHOLE FRACKING MOVIE was “a little irrational”… LMFAO!!

I am not Herbert

I hope the “great discovery” is that this movie doesn’t suck as bad as the last one!

not holding my breath… ;-)


Nero,not fleshed out?well who fault was that jj?
the comics had time to do it!


Anyone posting odds on John Harrison living or dying at the end of the movie?


I wonder what the new Enterprise will look like. You guys KNOW it’s coming.


#8…I think Harrison lives.


Didn’t the very early blurbs from the studio dweebs say that Kirk had to go and get the one-man army, or however they phrased it? At some point, I think Kirk and Harrison have to work together, which does make for a more interesting dynamic.
I pray he’s not Khan and that Khan is not even alluded to in any of the JJ films.
It’s been done. Please, leave it be.


#8…or at least a piece of him will live on…

Trek Lover

Will there be a Darth Vader in the background?


Any thoughts of the Romulan Empire being in the next installment?

klingon without the ridges. bet you a bar of gold latinum.

Moputo Jones

#9…From the latest SPOILERS, the new Enterprise is probably the old Enterprise – Capt. April’s Enterprise.

Josh C.

obviously khan


@CJC 14 – I know this is probably a lost hope, but I hope the 3rd one has the Borg

@ 9 : I too am looking forward to seeing whether they reveal a new Constitution Clas Enterprise at the end of this film.

If they do my bet is it will look like the 2009 Enterprise but with modifications that make it look a bit closer to the Enterprise from TMP.

17. Josh C

it won’t . They don’t even discover them until The Next Generation.

Even if it is a new timeline – it doesn’t affect how far away the Borg are.

If Starfleet is Alpha Quadrant and Voyager is Delta Quadrant then the Borg are probably in Theta Quadrant or something.


I actually liked the fact that Nero was just a regular guy who went nuts, even if the circumstances were cliched. His “Hi, Christopher, I’m Nero” was sort of refreshing when compared to mysterious bad guys with flourishing dramatic catchphrases and speeches. I wish there’d been, say, less ice monster chase or water tube chase, and more time spent on Nero’s character development.


8: I’m hoping Harrison survives… not necessarily wanting to see him again (that’s TBD) or because I expect to feel he’s worthy of that, but because of all franchises, I think Star Trek is one that should least be locked into a routine of “villain emerges, crew fights villain, crew saves the day, villain dies in the end (whether by their own hand, the crew’s hand or some other “just” cause)”.

Of course, this is pretty much what happened in every Trek movie except ST: TMP and ST:IV TVH, but not so much in the TOS and its successors. Villains could be beat without dying in the end, and yet we were still mostly satisfied with the outcomes. However, the point may be made that with a bigger stakes and bigger villains on the big screen, the ultimate payoff must be bigger as well, but I’d like to think now and then we could escape that… even if they really deserve to die a slow and painful death.

(At least Kirk gave Nero the option… and Nero predictably spat it back in his face.)


No way in hell do I want to see the Borg in this universe…


David, the new first contact with the Borg was in ENT’s 2nd season ;)
The Borg are in the delta quadrant at that time, and there can only be four quadrants anyway :p …but if they already have transwarp tech they could certainly appear in the 23rd century. Imagining a JJA version of the Borg, I think I’d like it :D


16. Moputo Jones
Yeah, and I’m thinking it will have elements that reflect the look of the USS Kelvin.

Great discoveries and a rational villain give me hope that it won’t be all about runnin’ and gunnin’. And I hope the Prime Directive isn’t just used as a plot point to get Kirk in deepsh!t and then not addressed again. Lots of potential for greatness still.

Josh C.

@David 19 – as if that would stop them.

Per the Countdown comics for the first movie, Nero’s ship included some Borg technology. It’s conceivable that this could have somehow “contacted” the Borg during Kirk’s time, alerting them the Federation/Romulan/Klingon’s existence.

And the Borg are (mostly) in the Delta Quadrant


Hi NCC-73515

Can’t get anyone at Paramount to fix the forums. Where are you guys hanging out these days?


i think the entire point of Nero being such a simplistic and shallow villain was to show how star fleet had become so complacent and unprepared that it needed a wild risk taker like Kirk to defeat him.

So, in that sense, Nero simply served a literary purpose rather than being an important character. I am ok with that.

However, I have a suspicion that I would have preferred to wait a few years and have Joss Whedon (who cares more about character development) take over the Trek franchise and let JJ handle the Star Wars franchise. While I like both, Trek is cerebral, Star Wars is pure Western. Whedon does better with morality plays, JJ better with gimmicky shoot’em ups.

I hope JJ and his team proves me wrong in May!

Theatre Historian_Levi

Don’t forget the wreckage of the borg sphere from first contact, was discoverd in the Arctic in one of the episodes of Enterprise(which is still cannon in JJVerse, technically the events of first contact are also cannon in the JJVerse as well) So its concievable that another scientific expidition came across the borg reminants following those two events, so its possible the TOS crew at some point could have contact with the borg.

In fact had enterprise been renewed they were planning on having Alice Krige return as a scinetist who is assimilated at that wreckage, and would have introduced the Borg Queen



You’re going to owe some latinum. We’ve already seen images of the new Klingons and they have ridges.

David Moon

Hopefully they won’t make him too complicated with a elaborate backstory, but play the character two-dimensional and predictable like Nero.


#30 Yeah, I think the ridges got confirmed.

Also, I hope Harrison/Khan lives. I’ll bet his performance will be on par with Heath Ledger’s Joker, and we all selfishly would’ve wanted him to be around for as many movies as they could’ve convinced him to do. R.I.P


9. CJC –
“I wonder what the new Enterprise will look like. You guys KNOW it’s coming.”

Yep. Can’t wait.

18. David –
” I too am looking forward to seeing whether they reveal a new Constitution Clas Enterprise at the end of this film.”

As well David.

“If they do my bet is it will look like the 2009 Enterprise but with modifications that make it look a bit closer to the Enterprise from TMP.”

I’d like that but I’d be happy if they just modified the nacelles from curved to straight.

29. Theatre Historian_Levi –
“In fact had enterprise been renewed they were planning on having Alice Krige return as a scinetist who is assimilated at that wreckage, and would have introduced the Borg Queen”

Did not know this. Very cool. I still mourn the ‘Enterprise’ seasons that would have and should have been. Manny Coto was really making some great and interesting Trek at the end there.


Hey omegaman!
It seems they will leave it like they left us… marooned for all eternity…
I have had no further contact with any of our friends. Guess we’re all still hoping for a revival of the forum.

I am not Herbert

yes, ‘Enterprise’ ended too soon… =(


Doubt we will see a NEW Enterprise. Sure the current one gets destroyed, but there’s plenty of old connies in mothballs and that’s where they’ll get their hands on the old Enterprise to go after Harrison.


Wow, Bill Putz is certainly out of control these days. Not that he’s ever been pleasant.


AnthonyD. Hmmm, interesting. So they need Kirk’s Mavericky Maverickidity?

Captain James T. Kirk: You’re a great one for logic. I’m a great one for rushing in where angels fear to tread. We are both extremists. Reality has brought us somewhere in-between.

BTW, to all: Have I mentioned yet, in the past 10 minutes, that I’m sad that I read those spoilers yesterday? I know, I know… I’m an adult, mostly. But I really wish that stuff like that press preview would be embargoed. I was looking forward into seeing this all unfold. Just goes to show that anything posted online (on a Brazilian Trek site) can be everywhere within minutes.

Last time, didn’t they have surprise sneak previews (attached to TWOK) and nobody squealed?


Khan has to live for the animated series! We know Cumberbatch is willing to do voice work.


@39. NuFan. Oooh, imagine that, an animated series with Cumberbatch. Personally I would pour myself a large G&T, close my eyes, lie back and think of England. Mmmm… Erk! apologises for objectifying his dreamy voice :-)



“In fact had enterprise been renewed they were planning on having Alice Krige return as a scinetist who is assimilated at that wreckage, and would have introduced the Borg Queen”

I have to say, I’m glad that did not happen. It would have made no sense. The Borg existed for thousands of years and then they assimilate a human and suddenly decide they need a queen?

The Last Vulcan


Absolutely astonished by the last 30 secs of the IGN spoilerama video. Kirk goes back to being Pike’s First Officer? That realigns canon, but then Pike doesn’t end up in the chair but DEAD. It’s his big funeral there in the trailer. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! This is proving my thesis that boborci & co are masters (and yes, I still don’t love JJTrek, but maybe STID might change my mind)

30. 32.,

there still could be some klingons without ridges. the original series was full of them, this is taking place before TOS, so it’s logical.


Hey guys, in the teaser during the attack in San Francisco, there is a close up of a chick in the crowd and i think it’s Rosario Dawson….Can anyone
confirm that? Because i know she’s a huge Trek fan and maybe JJ did her a favor by giving her a cameo or something.


Do you guys in Brazil have to give everything away? I think JJ and co. were, perhaps, doing you guys a favour by letting you see scenes that had not been seen before by anyone. This is because STID does not get released until June 2013, a month after the movie is released in much of the english speaking world and much of Europe.

Has anyone heard of the notion of “my lips are sealed”?

Honestly, is it any wonder that Bad Robot have been so secretive. Go on ya, JJ, Bob and co.

The Last Vulcan

44. CAPTAIN SCARLET – Yup, I’m pretty sure it’s been confirmed it’s Rosario.


Who is so pissed at Starfleet that all of this takes place? He’s not mad at Earth… Starfleet.

Who was cast out so that he needs to RETURN to have his VENGENCE??

That’s the question…


47. You’re right. That is the question that needs to be answered.

@ Everyone complaining about spoilers. Maybe you shouldn’t read them in you don’t want to know? Some of us enjoy all the info. It gives us more to speculate about. So far everything I’ve looked at had spoiler warnings. If you don’t want to know, don’t read it. It’s pretty simple.



Kea's are not superior

Keachick enough with the self rightess posts.
If you dont want to read the spoilers don’t read them.
Its not like you weren’t warned enough before seeing them.

I am sooo sick of your better than thou attitude.

please stick to postive remarks.

who are you to be complaining about another country, enough allready.
we get it you think Nowhere is better than New Zealand.