For fans of the series, the lead-up and the marketing around “Star Trek Into Darkness” promised a different movie than the one that hit screens in May. Every interview and article postured who Benedict Cumberbatch was playing, but an hour into the movie, the character reveals his true identity without any major impact on the story. It was enough to make fans wonder what all the secrecy was about.
When director J.J. Abrams stopped by MTV News to discuss his latest project, “S.,” the book he co-authored with Doug Dorst he revealed that he does regret withholding Khan’s identity from the audience.
“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,” he said.
The idea to keep Khan on the D.L. apparently came from the studio, which, according to Abrams, didn’t want to give the impression that a comprehensive knowledge of “Star Trek” cannon was required in order to enjoy the latest installment.
“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,” he said. “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.”
But “Star Trek Into Darkness” is Abrams’ rearview mirror, and as he moves forward with “Star Wars: Episode VII,” he’s also a producer on the next “Star Trek,” which is said to be considering Joe Cornish as a director. Abrams could not say for sure whether Cornish would eventually beam up, but he sure hopes so.
“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,” Abrams said. “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.”