Is he John? Or Khan? Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the mysterious villain in "Star Trek Into Darkness," isn't telling.

But he says that when he first agreed to take on the role, he didn't even know everything about the character.

"I had a very good pitch from J.J. on the phone," he told MTV News of director J.J. Abrams at the film's London premiere. "I didn't have time to read the whole script before I began."

Cumberbatch is popping up everywhere lately. After making waves as Sherlock Holmes on BBC's television series of the same name, he landed choice roles in films by Steven Spielberg ("War Horse"), Peter Jackson ("The Hobbit") and Steve McQueen ("Twelve Years a Slave"). While all the "Star Trek" footage released so far has kept his identity — and motives — mostly secret, Cumberbatch's character threatens to throw the crew of the Enterprise and all of Starfleet into chaos.

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While Cumberbatch was eventually able to find out what was in store for his character, Abrams delivered a script to him that was suitably protected to preserve its secrets.

"I did ask for it, and it was then brought to me by a human being with a copy locked to his wrist," Cumberbatch said, laughing. "And it was interesting — I loved the story. It was so complex and intriguing and funny."

Another filmmaker Cumberbatch is set to collaborate with is Guillermo del Toro, whose new film "Pacific Rim" seems poised to smash its summer competition. Cumberbatch didn't reveal much about the upcoming project they're working on, "Crimson Peak," but he indicated he's thrilled to be teaming up with the Spanish filmmaker, not to mention an ensemble cast that includes Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain, among others.

"I'm really excited to be working with Guillermo," Cumberbatch said. "He's a master of that genre. I'm a lucky human being."

"Star Trek Into Darkness" opens in theaters nationwide May 17.

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