From the moment that Benicio del Toro (Sin City) and Edgar Ramirez (Elite Squad) were linked to the role of the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness, the fact that Chris Pine’s Kirk would find himself up against his nemesis Khan Noonien Singh in the sequel to the 2009 reboot was perhaps the worst kept secret in Hollywood history. Sure, the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) as ‘John Harrison’, the continuous denials from the cast and crew, and Karl Urban namedropping Gary Mitchell might have had us questioning ourselves, but let’s face it, was there a Star Trek fan out there who didn’t think “I knew it!” when Cumberbatch dropped his “My name is Khan!” line?
Well, in an interview with MTV, director J.J. Abrams has admitted that he regrets the decision to keep Khan’s identity a secret in the run up to the film’s release: “The truth is, I think it probably would have been smarter just to say upfront, ‘This is who it is.’ It was only trying to preserve the fun of it, and it might have given more time to acclimate and accept that’s what the thing was. The truth is because it was so important to the studio that we not angle this thing for existing fans. If we said it was Khan, it would feel like you’ve really got to know what Star Trek is about to see this movie. That would have been limiting. I can understand their argument to try to keep that quiet, but I do wonder if it would have seemed a little bit less like an attempt at deception if we had just come out with it.”
Meanwhile Abrams – who is set to produce Star Trek 3 while he directs Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII – has expressed his desire for Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) to succeed him in the director’s chair for the third instalment, although he stopped short of confirming that it’s a done deal: “I don’t know if Joe Cornish is the guy. My guess is that’s up in the air. I adore him and love him and can’t wait to see what he does next. Hopefully it will be Star Trek. Whatever it is, he’s brilliant. Attack the Block was one of my favorite movies of the year when it came out.”