Following months of feverish speculation about the identity of the villain in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek sequel, most of it centering on one Khan Noonien Singh, star Karl Urban may have finally let slip who Benedict Cumberbatch plays in the film.
During a promotional junket for Dredd, Urban praised the Sherlock star, telling SFX, ““He’s awesome, he’s a great addition, and I think his Gary Mitchell is going to be exemplary.”
Assuming Urban isn’t practicing a bit of misdirection, it certainly explains why Benedict was shown wearing a Starfleet uniform in photos that leaked in February from the film’s set: In the original series episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before” (the second Star Trek pilot), Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell is a Starfleet Academy friend of Kirk’s who serves as helmsman about the Enterprise when the ship penetrates the galactic barrier. The cosmic energies leave Mitchell with psionic abilities, which begin to destroy his humanity, transforming him into a deranged, and deadly, god-like being.
But then again, Urban, at the behest of Abrams & Co., may simply be toying with legions of fans who have been trying to ferret out Cumberbatch’s role at every opportunity (leading Simon Pegg to express his exasperation).
The film, which opens May 17, 2013, stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve and Peter Weller.