"So this movie doesn't require you have seen the first movie," he told Trek Movie via I09. "The characters are a group of people who have recently come together and find themselves up against this incredibly terrifying force. His name is John Harrison and he is sort of an 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 has got this back-story and this kind of amazing secret agenda. After two very violent attacks, one in London and one in the U.S., our characters have to go after this guy and apprehend him. And it is a far more complicated and difficult thing then they ever anticipated. "Into Darkness" is very much about how intense it gets and really what they are up against.
Is Abrams hinting at a happy ending despite a trailer that looks dark, violent and suggests deaths from some of the major characters?
"I don't like going to the movies to feel bad. I don't like going to the movies to feel depressed and feel diminished. The reason you go to the movies is to feel bigger and stronger and happier. So this is a movie that they certainly go ‘Into Darkness,' but I would be the wrong director if it was about characters staying there. This is very much a movie about hope, about love, about romance, and about facing something that is truly terrifying and finding a way through the connection of your family and surviving and being stronger afterwards."
Cumberatch reveals several iconic villians were the inspiration for his John Harrison character who fans still insist is Khan (and knowing Abrams he still could be).
"When J.J. described the role to me… he described someone who was, in movie terms, a mixture of Hannibal Lecter, Jack in 'The Shining,' and the Joker in 'Batman'... He's someone who has enormous physical strength. He's someone who is incredibly dangerous, both as a physical entity and through the use of various technologies and weapons and who performs acts of what I would describe as terrorism. He's also a psychological master. He manipulates the minds of those around him to do his bidding in a very, very subtle way."
"Star Trek Into Darkness" stars John Cho, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Peter Weller and lands in theaters May 17, 2013. Update 1/3/13: High res images and new pics of Cumberbatch and Pegg. [Empire/SuperheroHype]