Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here Welcome Back To The Park: The First Trailer For 'Jurassic World' Is Here New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed New Character And Plot Details Emerge For 'True Detective' Season 2 As More Cast Members Confirmed James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' James Gunn Says Shared Universe Model Is "Flawed," Plus Listen To "Awesome Mixtape Volume Zero" For 'Guardians' 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday 'Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens' Trailer Hits Theaters This Friday Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Christian Bale Admits He Was Initially "Jealous" When Ben Affleck Was Cast As Batman Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: First Trailer For Thomas Vinterberg's 'Far From The Madding Crowd' Starring Carey Mulligan Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination'  Starring Ethan Hawke SXSW Review: Spierig Brothers 'Predestination' Starring Ethan Hawke From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

J.J. Abrams Redubbed & Retouched Preview Scenes To Keep The 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Villain Secret

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist May 20, 2013 at 7:39PM

By now almost everyone who really, really wanted to see "Star Trek Into Darkness" has. And those who haven't probably don't care who the villain in "Star Trek Into Darkness" is. That said, we should still issue a perfunctory spoiler warning to those who get queasy at the sight of plot specifics. Not that this is really about whom the "Star Trek Into Darkness" villain is, but rather the insane lengths to which director J.J. Abrams went to cover up and classify this revelation. Homeboy's crazy.
10
Star Trek Into Darkness Benedict Cumberbatch

By now almost everyone who really, really wanted to see "Star Trek Into Darkness" has. And those who haven't probably don't care who the villain in "Star Trek Into Darkness" is. That said, we should still issue a perfunctory spoiler warning to those who get queasy at the sight of plot specifics. Not that this is really about whom the "Star Trek Into Darkness" villain is, but rather the insane lengths to which director J.J. Abrams went to cover up and classify this revelation. Homeboy's crazy.

Still with us? Great. So, as /Film pointed out, back in December, there was a press event in Los Angeles where Paramount showcased footage from the sci-fi sequel (including what would ultimately be the 10-minute prologue that was attached to select IMAX presentations of "The Hobbit"). One of the sequences that was shown at this event was the scene in the final movie where Kirk (Chris Pine) and John Harrison, er, Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) shoot themselves out of the Enterprise in these jazzy space suits and rocket towards the hulking Vengeance, a ship that looks like the Enterprise except way more militaristic and totally murdered-out. 

So in the footage that was screened in December, not only was the computer readout changed (by J.J. Abrams) to read "John Harrison" instead of "Khan," but lines of dialogue spoken by Spock (Zachary Quinto) and others was altered so instead of "Khan" they said "John Harrison." If this sounds insane, that's because it is.

"[Producer] Bryan Burk was the one who first proposed that we use the space jump sequence as a way of getting folks excited for the movie,” producer and co-writer Damon Lindelof told /Film. “The challenge was obvious [because] this is AFTER the reveal. Therefore, J.J. and post-production supervisor Ben Rosenblatt executed a 'Harrison Cut' to preserve the secret. I’d rather not get into the details of how this was accomplished, suffice to say it wasn’t easy. It was, however, worth it.” Was it worth it, though? We think not: it was covering up a character that most audiences members would ultimately shrug at and the ones that would know who Khan was were most likely disappointed since the version of Khan in "Star Trek Into Darkness" is kind of watered down and wimpy.

“The preservation of Harrison’s identity has been on ongoing and evolving strategy since the moment we decided to go down the road we went down,” Lindelof told the site. “Before we even started shooting the movie, we acknowledged that there was a fine line between cryptic avoidance and outright denial. We never wanted to overtly lie, but agreed that a certain degree of misdirection wasn’t only warranted, but necessary.” Manipulating footage from the movie that you've already shot and edited seems like outright lying to us, but oh well. At least it was to the end of a well-kept, unguessable secret - oh.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is in theaters now.

This article is related to: Star Trek Into Darkness, J. J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates