J.J. Abrams wants Star Trek fans to know that he’s not happy with the way Into Darkness handled the mystery and secrecy surrounding the identity of Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain in last summer’s blockbuster sequel.
The problem with that is that it’s Abrams, as the director of Into Darkness, who’s responsible for this Mystery Box nonsense.
Still, in an effort to mend fences, Abrams opened up about the decisions in an interview with MTV (which you can watch above). As many remember, Team Star Trek swore up and down that Cumberbatch was NOT playing Khan, a classic Trek villain famously portrayed by Ricardo Montalban in the 1982 sequel Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. Despite being asked numerous times in the run up to Into Darkness opening, cast and crew swore the villain would not be Khan.
Except that the villain was Khan. And the needless misdirection angered many. Abrams, in the new interview, argues:
That’s basically what we came up with when we took Abrams to task for his Mystery Box foolishness. You risk alienating true fans with sleight-of-hand parlor tricks that can end up negating any goodwill and momentum you have built up heading into a sequel. Plus, once Cumberbatch’s identity is revealed in Into Darkness, the "tension" created by a marketing exercise deflates. It doesn’t help the overall film.
We can only hope Abrams learned his lesson, and doesn’t try such blatant misdirection on Star Wars: Episode VII. Then again, we know so little about that sequel at the moment, the whole movie exists in a suffocating Mystery Box. Here we go again?
The Joe Cornish bit at the end of the MTV interview addresses recent rumors that the Attack the Block filmmaker might be up for Star Trek 3, whenever it goes into production. Abrams tempers the rumor cycle, but doesn’t shoot the idea down. Stay tuned for confirmation (or denial) in time.
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