Pine and Cumberbatch talk Star Trek into Darkness

Posted by CB Droege

On love and terrorism in space.

Quite a lot of mystery surrounds the plot and characters of the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness film. J. J. Abrams is a notoriously secretive writer/director, and this film is no different. Seeing an actor like Alice Eve on the cast list, playing Dr. Carol Marcus, who had a relationship with  Kirk in the original time-line, makes us wonder if this film will have a stronger romantic sub-plot.

With the exception of the brief revelation of a tryst between Spock and Uhura, romance was mostly ignored in the first film.

When asked, Abrams , of course, refuses to give out any plot details, but lead actor Chris Pine is not as closed- mouthed about the production, and answered a question from MTV regarding the role of romance in Kirk's life.

“What I will say about the film is that so much happens, with the action, the plot, the current of it is so fast, there’s really not much time for Kirk to do anything other than save the crew and save his own ass, because danger is imminent, and all that. But clearly, Kirk being Kirk, Kirk loves a blonde, and Alice is a beautiful woman, so the flirting and the connection is there. I’ll leave it to the people who watch to see how far it goes. But what she adds to it…her scientific knowledge and her education, scientifically speaking, plays a big part in helping solve the crisis.”

Dr. Marcus was a character in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn, lending yet more credence to the idea that Into Darkness may be a remake of that classic Trek film. In that time-line, Dr. Marcus was the mother of Kirk's son, David. It seems like that part of the plot has been removed in the new continuity, however.

The most mysterious part of the film's plot, is the identity of the villain, played by Benedict Cumberbatch. We now know his name, John Harrison, but he's not a character whom we already familiar with from the Star Trek stories.

Personally, I think that it's just a different man who has gotten a hold of the Genesis Device, and plans to use it the same way Khan did in the original story. It might even answer themes of predestination that were left open in the previous film.

In his own interview with MTV, Cumberbatch did manage to chat a bit about his character's motivations, saying, "The whole thing, not just his backstory, but his agenda, his plan, his secret, all that is what, for me at least, makes him such a frightening and cool villain."

“Also, the real villains - when they’re not just two-dimensional, angry vengeful types - don’t see themselves as the bad guy," he continued. "They are the good guy and have complete rationale and motivation.

“He’s a terrorist; he operates as a terrorist. He has extraordinary physical powers, but also mental powers. He can sow an idea, which is as powerful as gunshots or close-hand combat, which he’s masterful in. He tears into the fabric of both the world and the Enterprise family, and he leaves behind him a trail of devastation. It’s quite exciting to watch.”

Abrams himself has only said that he wanted the character to be intense, and that after seeing the intensity that Cumberbatch brings to the BBC show Sherlock, in which he plays the title role, he knew that the British dramatic actor would be perfect for this Star Trek villain. In a recent interview, Abrams gushed, " Time and again, every scene, Benedict brought a surprising, unexpected, grounded, real and often terrifying aspect to the role. So we are incredibly grateful, all of us."

There is also a new trailer out today. It's the one that has been showing before The Hobbit. Not much to say about it, as it basically just gives us slightly longer cuts of clips we've already seen in the previous teasers, but it's 2 minutes long - not quite the full-length that was promised - and riddled with dramatic pauses.

I still can't get over Cumberbatch's voice in these Star Trek promos. It's him, yes, but it's his gravelly American accent. He does it well, but it's tough to imagine the voice coming from him after seeing him in Sherlock so much. It's like when we first heard the voice of Dr. House, when the show was new. That voice was so different from Hugh Laurie's natural voice, it was tough to reconcile for a while. We need to see a clip in which Cumberbatch's lips are moving before it will work for me, I think.

Star Trek Into Darkness hits theaters on May 17, 2013.