Star Trek Into Darkness villain speaks softly

Posted by David Konow

A long time ago, someone told me that there are two kinds of people to be afraid of in life.

The first is the guy who says he’s coming over to kick your ass in ten minutes and he’s there in five, and the second is the guy who says nothing at all. With the new Star Trek film, the villain won’t be silent, but he’s certainly won’t have to yell to prove he’s a force to be reckoned with. 

One of the reasons Marlon Brando mumbled in The Godfather was he believed that powerful people don’t need to scream and shout, and many times in Oriental culture the angrier someone gets, the more quiet they get. Some people will also tell you the more quietly someone threatens you, the more serious the threat is because if someone’s yelling, they’re probably more scared than you are.
This all ties into Star Trek Into Darkness, where Benedict Cumberbatch talked to MTV about how he’s approaching the new villain, John Harrison. As MTV pointed out, what footage we’ve seen of Harrison he’s talking very quietly, whispering actually, and Cumberbatch said facetiously, "I only whisper for the whole movie. It’s very quiet in space. You can talk at very, very low decibels and people hear you." And you thought in space no one could hear you scream.
Out of all the mysteries with the new Star Trek film, the biggest one is of course the villain. Who is this guy, what’s his agenda, and how much danger can he put everyone in?

As JJ Abrams told, "John Harrison is sort of average – that is what makes him so scary – he is just an average guy who works in an organization called Starfleet, and he turns against the group because he’s got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda."

And indeed, many times the more normal a villain is at first, the more terrifying it is when they finally reveal who they really are. JJ described Harrison to Cumberbatch as a cross between Hannibal Lecter, Jack Nicholson in The Shining and The Joker, so if the villain is indeed that much of lethal combination of evil, he could end up being a bad guy for the ages.